Roadmap for Closing Two State Prisons, Smart Improvements to State Parole and Protections for Investments in Programs That Support Survivors of Crime Highlight Budget Agreement  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
June 22, 2020

CONTACT:
Will Matthews, Californians for Safety and Justice, (909) 261-1398; will@safeandjust.org 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders today announced an agreement on a 2020-2021 fiscal year budget that aims to shutter two state-owned and operated prisons by 2023 as part of a plan to balance the state budget in the face of a more than $50 billion deficit. 

The budget proposes closing one facility beginning in 2021-2022 and a second facility beginning in 2022-2023, while maintaining a Newsom’s plan to close all private, in-state contract correctional facilities for male inmates in 2020-2021. The budget also outlines a plan for strengthening the state’s parole system by aligning it with evidence-based practices that are proven to promote the success of people coming out of prison. 

Additionally, the budget protects a $23.5 million general fund investment that will ensure the state’s victim compensation fund is solvent and able to continue operating at current levels. The budget also contains more than $100 million in savings from reduced incarceration attributable to Proposition 47, money that will be reallocated back to local communities for crime prevention programs like drug treatment, medical and mental health programs and trauma recovery services to help survivors of crime heal.  “This budget is a step toward answering the demands of Californians and Americans across the country who are calling for a re-imagining of public safety that reduces spending on prisons and failed criminal justice policies, and instead invests in communities,” said Jay Jordan, executive director of Californians for Safety and Justice. “In the face of a historic budget deficit, the legislature is to be commended for prioritizing support for survivors for crime and the health and well-being of all our communities. Californians today are more aware than ever that spending more on failed policies that undermine public safety takes dollars away from strategies that actually work to keep Californians safe. In order to get California’s economy back on track, we must invest in the necessities, things like hospitals, schools, housing, trauma recovery centers, reentry support and jobs, not prisons. And we must also continue to pursue smart strategies to further reduce incarceration so we can close prisons, save money and increase investments in communities.”