March 24, 2010
California continues to struggle with corrections costsThe San Jose Mercury News has this effective new report headlined "California finds that prison costs aren't so easy to cut." Here is how it starts:
The billions of dollars that California pours into its troubled prisons — a number fattened by court-ordered medical spending and sky-high personnel costs — have become an increasingly attractive target for leaders desperate to trim the state's $20 billion deficit.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in January called for a constitutional amendment that would cap prison spending and put the savings toward public universities. And since last summer, lawmakers have tried to wring more than $2 billion from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, once budgeted for $10 billion.
But despite officials' attempts to clamp down after watching costs double over the past decade, some corrections spending is proving impervious to the budget ax. Already, hundreds of millions in expected savings have failed to materialize, partly because one big expense — more than $1.5 billion for inmate medical care this year — is under the watch of a federal receiver, not the state.
It's also because some legislators, fearing the "soft on crime" sobriquet, balked at cost-saving measures last year that might have released thousands of the state's 160,000 inmates. That alone, the Department of Finance says, has cost nearly $600 million.
March 24, 2010 at 01:04 AM | Permalink
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Posted by: Juliawells | Mar 24, 2010 1:20:08 AM
I am interested in the economic value of crime victimization, its real total cost, pain, injury, lost economic opportunity, deterrence from productive activity, deterrence of the neighbors. An easy way to measure these values might be to get the verdicts in intentional torts with similar victimizations.
I bet the cost of prison is miniscule compared to these costs when multiplied by the number of times/day a career inmate commits a crime when released.
Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 24, 2010 7:31:07 AM
guess this means the calif prison employees union is DEAD since the cal goft can't touch those billions of dollars t hey have been ordered to spend by the federal court. nothing left to touch but employees and their salaries
Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 24, 2010 11:08:18 PM