Governor’s Revised Budget Also Proposes Smart Improvements to State Parole and Protects Investments in Programs That Support Survivors of Crime

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | May 14, 2020

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

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Gov. Gavin Newsom today proposed shuttering two state prisons by 2023 as part of a plan to balance the state budget in the face of a more than $50 billion deficit. 

The proposal in Newsom’s revised budget builds on the original budget Newsom released in January in which he indicated he would close a state prison in the next five years. The May revision proposes closing one facility beginning in 2021-2022 and a second facility beginning in 2022-2023. It maintains Newsom’s plan to close all private, in-state contract correctional facilities for male inmates in 2020-2021. The governor’s revised 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. 

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 May revision 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. 

“The governor’s revised budget proposal reflects what California voters have known for a long time – that continued wasteful spending on failed prisons is bad for safety and our budgets,” said Jay Jordan, executive director of Californians for Safety and Justice. “As state leaders grapple with a historic budget crisis, the choice couldn’t be clearer that investments in helping survivors of crime and supporting the health of communities should be the priority. It’s time for a new normal. Long term investments in failed crime policies that have proven to undermine public safety only serve to siphon public dollars from effective strategies that keep Californians safe and healthy. Hospitals, schools, housing, trauma recovery services, reentry support, and jobs are the things that will help California get back on track, not prisons.”