California Report: Governor’s 2012-13 Proposed Budget Update

By Nick Warner, Managing Partner, Warner & Pank LLC
Danielle Higgs, Legislative Representative/Business Consultant, Warner & Pank LLC

As implementation continues on criminal justice realignment in California and as population management and facility capacity issues come further to the forefront, the Corrections Standards Authority (CSA) and local and state stakeholders are working to move Phase 2 of AB 900 funding forward.

Applications for Phase 2 funding were due to CSA on January 11, 2012.

The CSA Board will convene on March 8, 2012 to hear the Executive Steering Committee recommendations for funding action/conditional awards and approve funding awards.

Local stakeholders are also working with the State on a Phase 3 by moving former reentry money to locals. Some counties such as San Mateo have decided to move forward even without AB 900. Counties continue to show some interest and ability to creatively self finance and/or to explore alternative financing such as P3.

Projects and funding for juvenile facilities are also moving forward with potential for more juvenile hall construction. Los Angeles County voted to move forward on their SB 81 award and as DJJ closures are occurring or being proposed in total or in large part, movement of another round of SB 81 grows.

The emphasis on meeting demands of Armstrong v. Schwarzenegger (ADA), health, mental health and ultimately programming space seems key to county decision making. The biggest issue and challenge for counties and developers is future staffing. Demonstrating that new facilities can meet complex inmate populations and needs while saving on ongoing staffing costs through better design is key to success.