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State correctional spending increased despite significant population reductions

The Legislative Analyst’s Office has just published the following report:

State Correctional Spending Increased Despite Significant Population Reductions

Over the past decade, the state has taken various actions that have significantly reduced the number of inmates and parolees under the supervision of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). As a result, the state’s inmate population declined by nearly one-quarter and the parolee population declined by nearly one-half. However, over the same period, CDCR spending increased by over $3 billion, or more than one-third.

In this brief, we find that the major reasons why CDCR’s costs did not decline in line with the substantial decrease in the populations are: (1) costly operational changes to comply with various federal court orders, (2) increased employee compensation costs, and (3) the payment of costs that were deferred during the state’s fiscal crisis. However, we note that had the inmate population not declined over this period, CDCR spending would have increased by billions of dollars more than it actually did.

This report is available using the following link: https://lao.ca.gov/Publications/Report/4145?utm_source=laowww&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=4145

This article was released by the Legislative Analyst’s Office.