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CDCR has just published its annual report, which you can download in its entirety. Secretary Cate's optimistic introduction reads:
In the midst of significant challenges, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has quietly had a remarkable string of successes in the last year. While it is easy to focus on the negative, there have been many positive developments at our agency.
The report mentions some of these developments:
- Population reduction: 166,569 inmates in August 2009 (as opposed to the all-time high of 173,479 in October 2006); 111,308 parolees in August 2009 (as opposed to the all-time high of 128,108 in August 2007).
- Decrowding through out-of-state transfers: nearly 8,000 inmates - meeting the goal set in AB 900
- Decrease in number of "bad beds" from 19,618 (all-time high in August 2007) to 10,568 in August 2009 (lowest level since the 1990s)
- Some progress with the new evidence-based system for addressing parole violations
- Increase in participation in academic (50 to 62 percent) and vocational programs (42 percent to 55 percent) (data here is updated to December 2008 - why?)
- Continuous improvement with medical services (the Receiver, Clark Kelso, credited here as working collaboratively with Secretary Cate)
- Improvement with the "prisons go green" project
- Increasing reliance on GPS monitoring
- Reforms in juvenile correctional system
- Implementing risk and needs assessment in all 12 reception centers (including Chino?)
Some important budgetary numbers:
- The average annual cost per california inmate in 2008-09 was $48,536. Of this, aproximately $16,000 per inmate goes toward medical, mental health, and dental care.
- Between 1998 and 2009, CDCR’s budget grew from $3.5 billion to $10.3 billion. In the 2009-10 budget, CDCR received a $1.2 billion cut, which is expected to be achieved through significant cuts to headquarters, operational savings, “right-sizing” of DJJ, and population reductions.
We'll be devoting a few posts over the next few days to an analysis of the data provided in specific sections of the report. We hope you'll find them useful.
Have I got this right-we're supposed to be excited because CDCR reduced prison populations by almost 7,000 in three years while simultaneously increasing its out-of-state transfers to almost 8,000. If there's good news there I can't see it.
In some ways, Rodney, this is like the undocumented immigrant deportations and, more so, like the push from state prisons to local jails. Moving people between jurisdictions and institutions does not mean that the problem ceases to exist. It would only appear so.
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