Michael Minor is chief deputy secretary of the Division of Juvenile Justice at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. It’s his job to help shape the future for this department that’s potentially on the budget chopping block. KALW’s Holly Kernan spoke with Minor about what the role of the Division of Juvenile Justice.
The previous year was a huge one for criminal justice in California, and 2012 promises to be just as dramatic. This year we’ll see the continued fallout of California’s prison overcrowding crisis, which coupled with the state’s financial crisis, is opening the doors to reforms never thought possible in our state. Here are three big issues to watch this coming year.
On October 1, 2011, California experienced a major change to its criminal justice system. After the Supreme Court ordered the state to drastically reduce its prison population, the Legislature decided to shift responsibility for a wide variety of offenders to the local level. I sat down with KALW’s Holly Kernan to discuss how the shift’s playing out.
This weekend, an important bill will go into effect in the state of California. It’s called AB 109, but most people know it as “realignment.” It was crafted as a response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling back in May, which ordered the state to drastically reduce its prison population by as many as 40,000 inmates. What lawmakers came up with is an idea that’s been floating around the criminal justice world for some time: moving the least dangerous inmates back to the communities they came from.
Yesterday, I sat down with KALW News’ executive editor, Ben Trefny, to talk about how realignment will change California’s criminal justice system.
By Nicole Jones
Spending on corrections has ballooned from $604.2 million in 1980 to $9.6 billion in 2010 and now accounts for over 10 percent of the state’s general fund. According to a new report by the California Budget Project, the majority goes to staff salaries and benefits, followed by medical care for inmates, and down near the bottom, rehabilitation programs command 4.6 percent of the CDCR budget.
By Nicole Jones
With the reality of realignment just weeks away, California county officials are scrambling to make decisions on how to deal with thousands of new level low-level offenders and parole violators previously handled by the state.
All and all, county jails and probation departments are expected to absorb as many as 40,000 new offenders.
In response to a federal court order to drastically reduce the state’s prison population, California is planning a massive shift: switch responsibility for lower-level felony offenders to the counties. In perhaps even more of a system-bender, parole functions will largely shift to the county as well. That means it’ll be harder to put people in prison in the first place, and once they’re there, harder to keep them cycling in and out on parole violations and petty offenses. Last night, we ran a piece about realignment on KALW’s Crosscurrents. The story is above, with a transcript after the jump. Also check out our more thorough explainer on the new law.