California Prison Reform – Time To Enforce Better Method
Thursday, October 31st, 2013 @ 6:30PM
California Prison Reform. California has built 23 prisons since 1980. In the same period, the University of California system has opened one new campus. And although California’s prison population has declined in recent years, the state’s spending per prisoner has increased five times faster than its spending per K-12 student in the last two decades.
California has more than 130,000 prisoners, a huge increase from the state’s 1980 prison population of about 25,000. Prisons cost California taxpayers close to $10 billion, compared with $604 million in 1980. While some say the additional spending is needed for rehabilitation services, they also note that the prisons are draining scarce funds from education and other key areas.
“California tax payers pay almost 10 billion dollars to our prison system annually. That money can go towards higher education. California education is ranked 49th in the nation in per-pupil spending. We can save taxpayers money by applying the word of God to our prison system,” stated Dr. Robert Ornelas California Candidate for Governor 2014
At the moment, the U.S. has one of the world’s highest prison populations, possibly the highest. Over 2 million Americans are in prison or jail!
Biblical Law calls for no jails at all! Old Testament Law is far more lenient than U.S. law. Throw in the calls for forgiveness found in the New Testament, and a Christian nation should have a lower than average prison population.
Let us start with theft. The standard penalty for theft was restitution. The amount depended on what was stolen. It was 5-1 for cattle, 4-1 for sheep, if the animals in question were killed. [Ex 22:1-9] Otherwise paying back double was sufficient. That’s it!
The Price of Prisons in California:
- $7 billion in prison expenditures
- $969.7 million outside the department’s budget
IN FISCAL YEAR 2010, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) had $7 billion in prison expenditures. However, the state also had $969.7 million in prison-related costs outside the department’s budget. The total cost of California’s prisons—to incarcerate an average daily population of 167,276—was therefore $7.9 billion, of which 12.2 percent were costs outside the corrections budget.
Determining the total cost of state prisons requires accounting for expenditures
in all areas of government that support the prison system—not just those within
the corrections budget. The additional costs to taxpayers can include expenses
that are centralized for administrative purposes (such as employee benefits
and capital costs) and services for inmates funded through other agencies.
Prison costs also include the cost of underfunded contributions to corrections
employees’ pensions and retiree health care plans; state must pay the
remainder of those contributions in the future.
Prison costs outside CDCR’s budget included the following:
- RETIREE HEALTH CARE CONTRIBUTIONS – The state of California made a payment of $320.1 million for corrections employees in 2010.
- UNDERFUNDED RETIREE HEALTH CARE CONTRIBUTIONS – In 2010, California contributed 34.5 percent of the amount necessary to fully fund retiree health care benefits. The state will need to pay the remaining $607 million, plus interest, to provide for the retiree health care benefits for corrections employees that are scheduled under current law
- STATEWIDE ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS – In 2009, the most recent year for which Vera could obtain data, CDCR incurred $38 million in indirect costs (such as auditing or information technology) paid by state administrative agencies. Indirect costs related to prison operations provided by these agencies were determined using the Statewide Cost Allocation Plan (SWCAP).
- INMATE EDUCATION AND TRAINING – In 2010, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection paid $4.5 million for education and training programs.
- INMATE HOSPITAL CARE – A portion of this cost is funded outside the corrections department. Vera could not obtain this information and this cost is not included in this fact sheet. Therefore, the state’s total prison cost calculated for this report is a conservative estimate.