A three-judge panel granted California a two-year extension last week to comply with a federal order to reduce prison overcrowding.
The current state budget sets aside 315 million dollars for that purpose. Governor Brown’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year adds another 400 million to prison population reduction.
H.D. Palmer with the governor's Department of Finance says the money would have been spent differently had the court not granted the extension.
“Then the money we are providing for such things as mental health, substance abuse disorder, re-entry programs, we would have had to have spent that money to acquire additional out-of-state capacity to house inmates,” says Palmer.
Meanwhile, a recent study from the non-profit watchdog group, the California Budget Project, says prison spending is up about one billion dollars over what it was two years ago. It went mainly to guard salaries and housing inmates.
(AP) - A 57-year-old convicted killer has become the first U.S. inmate to receive state-funded sex reassignment surgery.
(AP) - Authorities say one guard was stabbed and another has a broken wrist after an inmate attacked them at a Northern California prison.
(AP) - The son of a former California state Assembly speaker has been freed from prison after his manslaughter sentence was significantly reduced in 2011 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
(AP) - The historic Nevada State Prison in Carson City will open for tours next month.
(AP) - The union representing most California state prison guards says it has agreed to a new labor contract that includes a 9 percent salary increase over three years.