California Prison Budget Up By 79 Percent

Vittorio Hernandez - AHN News Writer

Sacramento, CA (AHN) - California's budget for prison maintenance is expected to go beyond $10 billion in 2008. The 79 percent hike compared to 2003's $8.5 billion allocation, is caused by an 8 percent rise in prison population, now more than 173,000.

Prison spending tops the state's budget allocation for any other major program, except public schools and healthcare for the poor. The budget hike for the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is not expected to slow down. According to the Legislative analyst's office, California will have to adjust upward its prison spending by 6 percent per annum for the next 5 years due to the construction of new prisons. ...

New state law, such as the Jessica's law, which restricts residential choice of released sex offenders and requires tracking by satellite for life, also contribute to the higher spending on prisons. ...

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed releasing over 200,000 non-sex offenders who are on their last months of serving sentence to reduce the state budget deficit.
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