The major issue where "post-partisanship" worked was the agreement on reforming the prisons. The state prison system currently has 173,000 inmates in space designed to accommodate, with acceptable overcrowding, approximately 155,000. The inmate population is projected to increase to 190,000 by 2012.
In 2005, the Legislature passed SB 737 (Romero) reforming the management of California's Corrections system. In 2006, the Governor proposed moving away from warehousing prisoners to small, community-based facilities with enhanced substance abuse, job training and other rehabilitation programs. To address dangerous levels of overcrowding, Governor Schwarzenegger convened a special session of the Legislature to fix prisons. When those reforms stalled, he reintroduced comprehensive prison reform in his January 2007 State of the State Address. The state currently faces three federal court cases based on existing court orders. These cases now seek overcrowding relief and could result in federal orders to control and/or cap the inmate population. A compromise was reached by the Governor and legislators with the enactment of AB 900 (Solorio) which created "The Public Safety and Offender Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007," authorizing $7.4 billion in lease-revenue bond financing for construction of 40,000 new state prison beds and 12,000 new county jail beds, phased-in and contingent upon a series of rehabilitation programming benchmarks; authorizing the CDCR to temporarily house up to 8,000 inmates in out-of-state facilities for up to three years; and requiring CDCR to implement and significantly enhance anti-recidivism programming including substance abuse treatment, mental health care, and academic and vocational education. It also appropriated $300 million to make infrastructure improvements in the state prisons.
Specifics of AB 900
1. Beds: The state agreement provides 53,000 prison and jail beds in two phases. Phase I funding will permit immediate construction. Phase II funding is contingent on the CDCR meeting rehabilitation, management and construction benchmarks during Phase I.
Phase I: $3.6 billion lease-revenue bond.
Phase II: $2.5 billion lease-revenue bond. Must be enacted by 2014.
Local matches: 25% (approximately $300 million) of $1.2 billion in lease-revenue bonds for local jails.
Additional funding: $350 million General Fund ($300 million for infrastructure, $50 million for rehabilitation).
Prison and Community Re-Entry Beds for State Prisoners: 40,000. The agreement provides $6.1 billon to increase the number of beds in state prisons. Rehabilitation services, like substance abuse treatment, mental health services and job training, will accompany all new bed construction.
Rehabilitation and Secure Re-Entry Beds: 16,000. The agreement prioritizes rehabilitation and reducing recidivism. It directs CDCR to set aside 4,000 beds for drug treatment and create 16,000 new beds in secure reentry facilities.
Phase I Construction:
6,000 secure re-entry beds
Phase II Construction:
10,000 secure re-entry beds
"Infill" Beds: 16,000. The agreement adds 16,000 beds at existing prisons to reduce the number of prisoners in bad beds (such as double and triple-bunking in gyms and dayrooms). Currently, state prisons currently house approximately 172,000 prisoners in facilities designed for about half that number.
Phase I Construction:
12,000 infill beds
Phase II Construction:
4,000 infill beds
Medical Beds: 8,000. The agreement adds 8,000 medical, dental and mental health facility beds as mandated by the federal Receiver. The Receiver will determine where these beds will be added, and what services (mental health, long-term care, other) they will provide.
Phase I Construction:
6,000 medical beds
Phase II Construction:
2,000 medical beds
2. Local Jail Beds: 13,000. The agreement provides $1.2 billion to increase the number of beds in local county jails by approximately 13,000 to remediate overcrowding faced by counties across the state. Counties are required to match 25% of the $1.2 billion (approximately $300 million), unless their population is less than 200,000--in these counties, the Corrections Standards Authority can reduce or eliminate the match. Counties that assist the state in locating re-entry facilities and helping parolees get mental health services will receive funding preference. In 2005 alone, 233,388 individuals avoided incarceration or were released early from jail sentences due solely to a lack of jail space.
3. Out-of-State Prison Transfers: The agreement gives the Legislature clear statutory authority to voluntarily and involuntarily transfer prisoners out-of-state for the next four years. In October 2006, Governor Schwarzenegger authorized the CDCR to transfer prisoners out-of-state by Executive Order.
4. Phase I Benchmarks: The CDCR committed to meeting specific benchmarks during Phase I to trigger Phase II funding. They are:
Successfully completing construction of one-half of Phase I beds (12,000 new beds).
75% average participation in drug treatment programs over six months.
Establishing the California Rehabilitation Oversight Board in the Office of Inspector General.
Proper assessment and placement of offenders in rehabilitation programs when they enter the system, and then again when they are a year away from parole.
Increasing offender participation in classes and education programs.
California Rehabilitation Oversight Board's completion of a prison-to-employment plan.
Providing mental health day treatment for parolees.
Completion of various studies by CDCR and the California Rehabilitation Oversight Board assessing the effectiveness of inmate programming.
Other significant Corrections legislation enacted into law included: SB 81 (Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee) enacting the Correction's trailer bill to the 2007 State Budget; SB 99 (Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee) authorizing funding for the design and construction of a central health facility at San Quentin State Prison, as specified, by means of state issued revenue bonds; SB 100 (Ducheny) appropriating funds, to address budget deficiencies for negotiated enhancements for dental personnel in the prisons; SB 101 (Ducheny) appropriating funds for the California Correctional Peace Officers Association arbitration settlement award dated January 18, 2007, and for funding litigation, compliance to the CDCR to comply with a series of federal court orders; SB 391 (Ducheny) allowing the CDCR to expand the use of parole programs or services to improve the rehabilitation of parolees, and allowing the CDCR to create the Parole Violation Intermediate Sanctions Program; SB 568 (Wiggins) defining "treatment" facilities to include a county jail for the sole purpose of administering antipsychotic medication pursuant to a court order which is designed to restore a criminal defendant's "mental capacity"; SB 655 (Margett) prohibiting the possessions of tobacco products and wireless communication devices in a local correctional facility; SB 718 (Scott) allowing sheriffs in Alameda, Los Angeles, Orange, San Francisco, San Diego, and Stanislaus Counties to expend money from the inmate welfare fund to provide indigent inmates, after release from county jails or any other adult detention facilities under the jurisdiction of sheriffs, with assistance with the re-entry process within 14 days after the inmates' release; SB 943(Machado) authorizing the use of the Northern California Women's Facility as a reentry facility to house inmates, parole violators, or parolees pending revocation of parole, as specified; SB 959 (Romero) allowing counties to establish an involuntary home detention program where participants are electronically monitored; AB 76 (Lieber) requiring the CDCR to develop a Female Offenders Reform Master Plan; AB 932 (Jeffries) requiring the Secretary of the CDCR to make weight training equipment available to inmates assigned to fire suppression efforts, as specified; AB 1300 (Price) expanding the CDCR's Division of Juvenile Programs purpose to include the provision of comprehensive education to youth offenders to promote family ties, communication restoration, and accountability to victims; and AB 1539 (Krekorian) establishing a criteria and procedure for which a state prisoner may have his/her sentence recalled and be re-sentenced if he/she is diagnosed with a disease that produces death within six months or is permanently medically incapacitated and whose release is deemed not to threaten public safety.
Vetoed significant Corrections legislation included: SB 263 (Romero) requiring the CDCR to conduct an interdisciplinary assessment of new inmates and inmates subsequently sent to CDCR's facilities more than 12 months after release for new crimes, excluding inmates returned for parole violations; SB 299 (Romero) requiring the CDCR to develop and implement an inmate Honor Program for Level III and Level IV inmates; SB 304 (Romero) authorizing the CDCR to allow reporters to personally interview inmates, including prearranged interviews and random encounters while at a correctional facility, unless the warden determines the interview poses an immediate threat to public safety or the security of the institution (CDCR has proposed changes to the current regulation pertaining to media access); AB 508 (Swanson) repealing the lifetime disqualification from food stamps for persons convicted of specified felonies involving controlled substances; AB 639 (Hancock) establishing a pilot project at San Quentin State Prison that requires the CDCR to take reasonable steps to ensure that each inmate parolee successfully obtains a valid California identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles prior to release on parole, as specified; AB 1049 (Solorio) requiring the CDCR to establish "Rebuilding Lives and Communities Reentry Programs" for parolees between the ages of 16 and 23 years with community reintegration upon discharge from detention, as specified; AB 1334 (Swanson) requiring that the Director of the CDCR allow any nonprofit or public health care agency to distribute sexual barrier protection devices such as condoms and dental dams to inmates, as specified; and AB 1743 (Huffman) requiring the Bureau of State Audits to conduct an Evaluation of Condemned Inmate Facility Alternatives, and requiring that CDCR not expend any money on a proposed condemned inmate complex at San Quentin State Prison until specified conditions are met.
Relative to the death penalty, on December 15, 2006, United States District Judge Jeremy Fogel identified five specific deficiencies in California's lethal injection protocol arising from the case of Morales v. Tilton. On May 15, 2007, California released a report to the Judge proposing revisions to the protocol including (1) establishment of a screening process for selection of execution team members and a parolee review process for team members; (2) establishing a comprehensive training program for all execution team members; (3) developing standardized legal record keeping to ensure there are complete and reliable records of each execution; (4) developing training processes for the proper use of sodium thiopental; (5) recommending improvements to the death penalty facility at San Quentin Prison; and (6) proposing revisions to the lethal injection protocol.
On October 31, Judge Lynne O'Malley Taylor of Marin County declared the protocols invalid because it was not adopted in compliance with the Administration Procedures Act. In a related matter, the United States Superior Court, on October 30, signaled it would continue to halt executions nationwide until it decides a challenge to Kentucky's lethal injection procedure.
Until the present time in California, there are 667 inmates on death row, including 15 women held at a prison in Madera County. No executions have taken place since January 2006.
An issue relative to Corrections which will be the subject of negotiations with the State of California and State Bargaining Unit 6 (Correctional Peace Officers Associations), in 2008, is the ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement. The Correctional Peace Officers Association and the state have been in a labor impasse this year. AB 1662 (Garcia), would have provided a short-term solution but it is being held in the Senate Appropriations Committee. It would have provided these peace officers a 6.1% increase in pay.