Skip to comments.CA: Problems, blame abound in prison system
Posted on 05/02/2004 9:18:17 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
The jaw-dropping moment came right at the beginning of a hearing in a room tucked away near the top of the state Capitol building.
Lawmakers wondered: Was anybody managing spending at the state's adult prisons, which had blown their budget by a half-billion dollars this year? The one-word answer they got from a Finance Department official at the March hearing: No.
More than two decades after California started toughening its sentencing laws and building new prisons to deal with rising crime rates, the mammoth penal system it created is embroiled in financial and management turmoil.
The adult corrections system has overspent its budget by a cumulative $1.6 billion since 1999. Annual overtime costs for correctional officers have tripled in the past six years. The price of inmate medical care has doubled in five years as officials handed out no-bid contracts to health providers. And a recent watchdog report called the state's parole system a "billion-dollar failure" because more than two-thirds of inmates released from prison end up returning.
(Excerpt) Read more at sacbee.com ...