The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

May 21, 2009
CCPOA offers up savings in CDCR budget -- without layoffs

CCPOA Executive Vice President Chuck Alexander has sent lawmakers a list of Corrections and Rehabilitation Department cuts that he says would produce "more than a billion dollars of potential savings in the corrections budget ... without compromising public safety, prison security or the safety of correctional officers and other prison staff."

The list, which as of this writing isn't on the union's Web site, lists 10 ideas and concludes,

These are just some of our recommendations for reducing the cost and improving the efficiency of California's correctional system. We look forward to working with you to find others that will help the department succeed in its fundamental mission -- protecting the people of California.

To read the CCPOA plan, click the link below.

Here are CCPOA's cost saving suggestions from, "Reforming Corrections: Cut the fat, not the muscle."

1. Save nearly $1 billion by capping the cost of inmate health care at a level equal to the per-patient cost of Medi-Cal coverage.

2. Save up to $500 million by trimming CDCR administrative staff, which has ballooned by 400 new positions in recent months and more than doubled two of the department's administrative divisions.

3. Save $580,000 by directing the CDCR to end its lease or office space in San Diego, which has sat vacant for four years, and conduct a department-wide audit to identify other unused or under-utilized lease spaces.

4. Save $5 billion by postponing the AB 900 prison construction and parole programs not currently in place.

5. Save at least $50 million by discontinuing furlough days in state prisons and other state jobs requiring 24/7 staffing.

6. Save up to $30 million by filling the 500 to 1,000 correctional officer positions that remain vacant.

7. Save potentially hundreds of millions of dollars ($20,000 per parolee) by embracing our past recommendation to expand Drug Court, Mental Health Court, Reentry Court and Revocation Court.

8. Save $3.2 million by cancelling the Paroles Division's current contact with the Employment Development Department, which has failed its mission to help paroled inmates find jobs.

9. Save millions by no longer providing CDCR managers and headquarters staff with state vehicles and mileage allowances for commuting to work.

10. Conduct annual performance audits to determine which parole and rehabilitation programs are achieving their goals.

State Worker note: The rationale behind proposal 5 is that the state pays big bucks for overtime to correctional officers covering for furloughed colleagues. We have yet to see numbers supporting or refuting those contentions. As we reported in this recent post, state payroll is down since furloughs started in February, although for various reasons it is difficult to draw specific conclusions from those numbers about issues such as overtime.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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