The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

September 26, 2013
California state auditor sounds warning on prison realignment

Supreme_Court_California_Prisons.jpgCalifornia's woefully underfunded teachers' retirement system, the state's swelling long-term health care costs for government retirees and its deteriorating roads, bridges and other infrastructure aren't the only items on the list of "high-risk" issues noted in a new report issued Thursday morning.

Like prior biannual assessments by State Auditor Elaine Howle's office, the audit dings the government for those failings and others: poor preparation for the mass exodus of retiring employees, inadequate emergency-preparedness and insufficient oversight of information technology projects.

But new to the pantheon of multibillon-dollar worries since the last high-risk report in 2011 is prison realignment, which shifts responsibility for some lower-level offenders to the counties. Here's Howle's summary:

The State does not currently have access to reliable and meaningful data concerning the realignment. As a result, the impact of realignment cannot be fully evaluated at this time. Even so, initial data indicate that local jails may not have adequate capacity and services to handle the influx of inmates caused by realignment. Until enough time has passed to allow the effectiveness and efficiency of realignment to be evaluated, we will consider it a statewide high-risk issue.

Here's the full audit:

High Risk

PHOTO: This file photo released by the California Department of Corrections shows inmates in crowded conditions at the California Institute for Men in Chino on Aug. 10, 2006. The state prison population has fallen since then.

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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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