Budget Agreement Requires the Governor to Develop a Comprehensive Plan for the State Prison System
The 2015-16 budget package requires the Administration to develop a long-term plan for the state prison system that includes a permanent solution to the decaying infrastructure at the California Rehabilitation Center (CRC) in Norco. As recently as 2012, the CRC – one of the state’s 34 prisons – was slated to be closed by June 2016 because of its age, dilapidated condition, and high operating costs. While the Legislature contends that the CRC can be closed immediately without jeopardizing the courtordered prison population cap, the Administration has voiced concerns about meeting future prison capacity needs. In its summary of the 2015-16 budget package, the Administration indicates that the long-term plan – which is due in January 2016 – will also address the need for durable population reduction measures and will take into account the expected increase in the prison population, limited prison capacity, and the state corrections system’s rehabilitative goals.
In addition, the budget agreement includes $10.2 billion for state corrections, excluding spending on infrastructure and on corrections responsibilities transferred to counties in 2011. This spending level is $8.5 million less than the amount proposed in the Governor’s May Revision, but $412.3 million more than the 2014-15 budget act level.