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( richmck )

Comments made by richmck

California Parole System Criticized

The prisons are not as overcrowded as claimed. The Governor and various Legislators frequently have claimed that prisons are dangerously overcrowded, operating at over 200% of capacity. The prison bed shortage, based on the independent Legislative Analysist (LAO) prison bed figures, is now only about 2,500 beds. The actual correctional system shortage is the 66,500 county jail bed shortage reported in a 2006 analysis by the California Sheriffs Association (CSA), not in the prison system. If the jail bed shortage were dealt with, prisons would have a huge prison bed surplus.

Without providing any analytical basis or even commenting on the LAO facts, the Governor and Legislature passed AB 900 for construction of 40,000 prison beds. New prison beds will probably be used for 40 to 50 years or longer. It will take years to bring the new prison beds on-line and, according to the LAO, will result in a 32,000 prison bed surplus by 2012.

April 3, 2010 at 7:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Calif. Budget Deal Could Cost San Diego Millions

If each correctional contract bed saves $30,283 in operating costs and avoids spending $300,000 for construction of a prison bed, why do we have so few?

If DC&R added 8,505 contract beds, 9 % of capacity, it would save $257.5 million in annual operating costs and avoid spending $2.6 billion for new prison bed construction. The savings could be applied to the deficit.

According to the state budget, each prison bed costs $52,363 in annual operating costs while contract beds cost $22,080, a savings of $30,283. The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DC&R) has only 4% of permanent capacity in contract beds. Texas has 9% in contract beds and Florida has 6%. Any increase in contract beds would be opposed by the correctional employee unions and will not even be considered despite a $26 billion deficit.

Actually, the annual $10 billion prison budget could be reduced by about 10% and $6.5 billion in prison construction bonds could be applied to the deficit without any impact on public safety. That illustrates the incredible influence of the prison unions!

July 22, 2009 at 4:29 a.m. ( | suggest removal )