Home Beyond Prisons: The Future of Corrections (2012)

Beyond Prisons: The Future of Corrections (2012)

The Future of CorrectionsFor years, California’s prison system has faced costly and seemingly endless challenges. Decades-old class-action lawsuits challenge the adequacy of critical parts of its operations, including its health care system, its parole-revocation process, and its ability to accommodate inmates with disabilities. In one case, a federal court seized control over the prison medical care system and appointed a Receiver to manage its operations. The Receiver remains in place today. The state’s difficulty in addressing the prison system’s multiple challenges was exacerbated by an inmate population that—until recently—had been growing at an unsustainable pace. Overcrowded prison conditions culminated in a ruling last year by the United States Supreme Court ordering the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to reduce its prison population by tens of thousands of inmates by June 2013. At the same time that prison problems were growing, California’s budget was becoming increasingly imbalanced. By 2011, California faced a $26.6 billion General Fund budget deficit, in part because the department’s budget had grown from $5 billion to over $9 billion in a decade…

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