Sunday, February 22, 2009

Stimulating Corrections: Federal and State Levels

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As many of us were relieved to find out this week, the State of California FINALLY has a budget, (albeit dependent upon voters) of which corrections expenditures constitute 7.3%. A summary is here and the full breakdown by numbers is here. As in all state agencies, you'll note cuts across the board for all departments. Several things in particular that stand out, in no particular order:

  • The general budget decreases from $431,285 in 2008-2009 to $394,996 in 2009-2010.
  • Treatment programs are cut down from $83,059 in 2008-2009 to $58,937 in 2009-2010. The cuts will be particularly felt in mental health treatment programs, which will be losing about 60% of their budget. However, the cuts in medical services are far less dramatic.
  • Prison security will suffer much less than treatment programs: from $91,651 in 2008-2009 to $87,077 in 2009-2010.
  • There seem to be less cuts to the juvenile justice system. Educational programs for juveniles will not suffer very much, and juvenile parole services will be funded at almost the same level. There's even a modest increase in medical services to juveniles.

And, on the federal level, our friends over at the Criminal Sentencing blog have observed that the stimulus favors punitive over rehabilitative programs. Others at TalkLeft have numbers to support these arguments. This doesn't seem to reflect what we have been promised by the White House.

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