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State Correctional Spending Increased Despite Significant Population Reductions

Thursday, February 06, 2020

In what will surely be shocking to regular readers, the State Legislative Analyst found "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. Since 2011, "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." The study found that although "the total number of positions in CDCR is currently similar to its level prior to the 2011 realignment, the cost per position has increased--contributing to over $3 billion in increased CDCR spending. Whereas each position cost CDCR an average of $110,000 in 2010-11, each position cost CDCR an average of $158,000 in 2018-19, a 43 percent increase--nearly triple the rate of inflation." Report