In the fall of 2006, with California’s prisons bulging at the seams and the state facing lawsuits targeting prison overcrowding, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger used his executive authority to “temporarily house” California prisoners in private correctional facilities in other states. (The Legislature endorsed this policy soon after it was implemented.) Initially, the numbers were small: Within […]
When it comes to how state and local policymakers seek to support communities, boost the economy, and promote overall well-being, the ability to make choices about budget priorities is one of the most powerful tools they have. As is often said, public budgets are ultimately a statement of what matters to us and the kind […]
Although the number of people incarcerated by the state has declined from 173,000 in 2007 to to 131,260 as of June 2017, combined spending on the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Board of State and Community Corrections is on track to be over $2 billion higher in the coming year than in 2012-13. For perspective, according to a recent analysis by the California Budget & Policy Center, while state spending per state prisoner has grown 32 percent since 2007-08, spending per K-12 student has grown by just 14 percent.
This Data Hit shows that spending per state prisoner has outpaced spending per K-12 student in California and that ongoing overcrowding in prisons has resulted in higher costs per prisoner.
This Fact Sheet highlights the recent substantial drop in state-level incarceration and shows that even with this decline, spending on state corrections remains high.