Analyst Estimates $100 Million More in Prop. 47 Savings than Brown

The Legislature’s non-partisan fiscal analyst believes Gov. Jerry Brown is underestimating the amount of savings from Proposition 47, the controversial ballot initiative that reduced some nonviolent drug and property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. The initiative required the savings be used for mental health, drug treatment, truancy and victim services. In a report issued Friday, the Legislative Analyst’s Office estimated that the first deposit should be about $100 million more than … [Read more...]

Putting Governor Brown’s Sentencing Proposal in Context

Governor Brown has proposed a ballot measure—the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act—that could significantly alter sentencing in California. If it qualifies for the ballot—which seems likely—and is approved by voters in November, the measure would allow non-violent felons who have earned enough credits for good behavior to spend less time in state prison. It would also shift the power to determine whether juveniles should be tried as adults from prosecutors to judges. The measure follows the … [Read more...]

Old Jerry Tries to Fix Young Jerry’s Mistake

Hang around long enough and you might see things turn full circle. People included. Like a comet, they come back around. Gov. Jerry Brown is a comet. He dominated the Capitol cosmos two generations ago, floated off and circled back. Now one of the major public policy issues of 40 years ago also has returned, meteor-like. It concerns criminal sentencing. Like too many things involving government, however, the jargon is wonky: "determinate" and "indeterminate." Put simply, it's … [Read more...]

California Prison Reforms Have Reduced Inmate Numbers, Not Costs

In 2012, under court order to reduce prison overcrowding, California announced an ambitious criminal justice reform plan that promised not only to meet the court mandate but also to improve criminal sentencing and “save billions of dollars.” Now, three years after implementing the changes, California has reduced its prison population by some 30,000 inmates, and the state is in the vanguard of a prison reform movement spreading across the country, with support from both the right and the … [Read more...]

Governor Brown, California Legislature Squeezed on Criminal Justice Reforms

September is a pivotal time in California politics as state legislation must pass out of both houses of the legislature before the September 13 deadline and then Governor Brown has until October 13 by which he can sign or veto these bills. Both the legislature and Governor Brown are currently reviewing a wide range of juvenile and criminal justice policies that will have a long-term impact on the state. California continues to work through the implications of Realignment, and develop a safe … [Read more...]

Stop Jerry Brown’s “More Cages” Bill

Gov. Jerry Brown announced his plan last week to comply with a federal court order that he limit prison crowding by increasing prison capacity by 8,000 inmates, at a cost of $315 million this year, $400 million next year, and more in years to come. Help stop this folly! Call your Assembly members to remind them of the following: Governor Brown's bill does not commit to any population reduction strategies (expansion of good time credits, elder prisoner parole, expansion of medical … [Read more...]

Use the Budget for Prison Expansion? No Way!

Governor Brown is going to try to use the state’s fragile budget surplus to fund hundreds of millions of dollars in prison expansion. Jerry Brown Is Really Messing This One Up You Can Stop Him, If You Want. Click Here: Say No to Brown’s Prison Expansion! This is the worst possible scenario not just for prison reform in California – but for our schools, our roads, our hospitals, and our social services.  We absolutely cannot let this happen. The only way to beat this is to get way out in … [Read more...]

Jerry Brown’s Corrections Budget Revise: More Cages, Little Else

Last week, Governor Brown released his May Budget Revise, which advocates who have been pushing for comprehensive prison population reduction reforms were anxious to see.  We hoped that the minor reforms to good-time credits, medical parole, and elder parole from the Governor’s court-ordered population reduction plan would find their way into the revise. However, last Tuesday’s revised budget shows, yet again, that Jerry Brown is not committed to any sustainable change in prison policy and … [Read more...]

CURB Pushes Brown for Humane Realignment Plan

On April 11th, the Ninth Circuit Court’s issued its most forceful order yet, requiring Governor Jerry Brown to finally bring the state into compliance with basic constitutional protections by reducing the state prison population to 137.5% of design capacity by the end of 2013. The Governor’s reluctance to fully follow the court order in its entirety highlights the grim reality that plagues California’s prison system – and the growing need for a smart, strategic plan that looks at real … [Read more...]

Governor Brown’s Budget Undermines Social Safety Net for State’s Children and Families

Governor Jerry Brown released a revised proposal for the 2012-2013 state budget that maintains devastating cuts to health and human services, as well as other critical programs serving for California’s children and their families. The budget also calls for $5.5 billion additional trigger cuts to public schools if voters reject Governor Brown’s November tax initiative. The budget proposal includes almost $900 million in cuts to CalWORKs cash assistance for families and more than $450 … [Read more...]