Recent acts of police brutality against Black Americans and greater public outcry over the continued abuse and deaths of people across Black communities have amplified calls for defunding, abolishing, and reimagining local policing. This also comes with growing understanding that police violence has disproportionately fatal consequences for Black men and women, and Black transgender women in particular.The calls to action involve significantly transforming the mission and structure of local law enforcement, divesting from local law enforcement in its current forms, and reinvesting the freed-up funding into community-building capacities that would also seek to end racial profiling and police brutality against Black people and other people of color.
In recent years, California has taken steps to reform its approach to criminal justice, including reducing incarceration and promoting more effective pathways to rehabilitation. The Budget Center provides research and analysis about reforms to California’s criminal and juvenile justice systems that can improve outcomes for individuals and identify opportunities to invest money in preventive services.
As policymakers consider the state’s fiscal outlook, as well as the health of all Californians, it’s important to know that California spends more than $13 billion per year from the General Fund on state corrections. The cost per incarcerated adult at the state level is around $90,000 per year. Crisis or not, policymakers can better protect the health of incarcerated adults – over 70% of whom are Black or Latinx – and of prison staff by further reducing overcrowding and focusing on services that are proven to create safer communities.
Prisons and jails have been turned into “America’s…new mental hospitals,” even though it is clear that correctional facilities are highly inappropriate places to house and treat people with mental illness. In this fact sheet learn why California must continue to improve health care for people who are incarcerated and why reforms are also needed to address the connections between mental health and the criminal justice system so that Californians who need mental health treatment receive the appropriate care in a timely manner rather than being confined in state prisons or county jails.
This “First Look” analysis examines Governor Newsom’s revised state budget proposal for 2019-20, the state fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2019, and highlights the ways it could impact low- and middle-income Californians.
This Fact Sheet shows that the number of state prisoners receiving mental health treatment has grown in recent years, rising from 32,535 in April 2013 to 38,561 in December 2017. Reforms are needed so that Californians who require mental health treatment get the care they need instead of ending up in prisons or local jails.