In a major action to ease overcrowding and effectively implement Governor Brown’s Realignment program, the Corrections Standards Authority (CSA) yesterday, on March 8, awarded $602 million to 11 counties for the expansion or construction of county jails.
“This provides a major boost for California counties to house local inmates safely and effectively,” said Matthew Cate, CSA Chairman and CDCR Secretary. “These awards, coupled with the ongoing funding to counties, demonstrate California’s commitment to helping our counties successfully implement Realignment.”
Los Angeles, Riverside and Orange counties were awarded $100 million each. Stanislaus will receive $80 million, and Tulare and Santa Barbara $60 million each. The CSA also awarded $33 million to both Kings and Shasta counties; $23.626 million to Imperial County; $10.255 million to Sutter County; and $3 million to Madera County.
The bond funding was authorized as part of the 2011 Public Safety Realignment legislation. The funding supports the fundamental realignment of responsibilities for lower-level offenders and adult parolees from state to local jurisdictions. The jail construction funding decisions are made by the CSA, which operates within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).
The $602 million award was made at CSA’s bi-monthly public meeting in Sacramento after evaluating applications from 20 counties. The funds were distributed among three groups of counties: large, medium and small population. The CSA also recommended Kern and San Benito counties receive $100 million and $15 million, respectively, after legislation is enacted to shift more funds from an earlier allocation into the current round.
To date, the CSA has awarded approximately $1.2 billion to 22 counties for jail construction. The bonds were first authorized by Assembly Bill 900 in 2007.
State’s Commitment to Counties Under Realignment
Under Realignment, California’s most significant correctional policy change in decades, state prisons are responsible for housing and rehabilitating serious and violent offenders serving long or life sentences, and counties have the responsibility for lower-level inmates and parole violators. In some counties, this requires more jail space.
To help the counties handle these new responsibilities, a permanent revenue stream has been dedicated to help pay for training, hiring staff, and implementing new rehabilitative programs. Using a portion of both the Vehicle License Fee and the State sales tax, more than $400 million was provided to the counties last year. A further $850 million is being provided this year, and State support is expected to grow to more than $1 billion in 2013-2014. Governor Brown has also committed to seeking constitutional protection for the local Realignment funds.
More information about Realignment is available at www.cdcr.ca.gov/realignment.
Information about the Corrections Standards Authority and Jail Construction funds is available at www.cdcr.ca.gov/csa.