Overview of 2018-19 Corrections Budget: May Revision

Governor Brown’s revised budget increases funding to the CDCR to an all-time high $11.8 billion (2018-19), up from $11.4 billion last year (2017-18). However, the budget also projects that the implementation of  Prop. 57 will cause the adult prison population to decrease by 5,800 people in 2018-19 and 11,200 people in 2020-21. In spite of these much needed reductions in the state prison population, the Governor’s proposed budget increases spending on corrections. While a budget for increased accessibility, positive programming, and the opportunity to earn more credits towards early parole along with reentry services is necessary, there is still an urgent need to shift public safety spending to support more aggressive, retroactive parole and sentencing reform so that we can close prisons and invest our dollars in community based alternatives to incarceration and supportive services.  

As of May 3rd: CDCR population was at 134.6% of design capacity, finally below the federal court-ordered cap of 137.5%. changes in the adult inmate parole population have resulted in a net decrease of $12.6 million from the Gov. January projected budget. Yet spending within the CDCR budget has grown steadily every year, from $8.9 billion (2012-2013) to this coming year’s proposed $12 billion. The budget does not directly propose any new dollars for prison or jail construction or expansion although it does prioritize $3.8 million for two “Young Adult Pilot Program” housing units to divert young adult prisoners from the adult system, reminiscent of last year’s proposed California Leadership Academy. While we definitely want to see our youth protected from moving into adult correctional facilities, we advocate for community-based diversion programs instead of programs that increase state capacity for prison structures. CURB maintains its opposition to any and all forms of prison construction.

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