Program costs: $964.5 million in spending, protected indefinitely (increases annually with cost of living). Plus $500 million in prison outlay costs.
Where Does the Money Go? $352.5 million (+COLA) to new programs, $612 million (+COLA) to protecting funding levels for selected existing programs.
New Programs: $352.5 million (+COLA)
Proposition 6’s new programs categorically lack clear goals and performance measures. Many are duplicative of already existing, more effective programs. Meanwhile, Prop. 6 requires these new, untested programs be funded indefinitely, with increases for cost of living, whether or not they produce results.
1) Prop. 6’s new programs lack accountability.
None of these programs set specific goals or performance measures. None of the money is specifically targeted toward areas where crime is most severe.
2) A balanced investment? Funding strategy weighs heavily in favor of suppression.
$242.5 million – law enforcement / probation (69% of new spending)
$40 million – criminal justice bureaucracy (info bureau, intervention commission, reward funds) (11% of new spending)
$25 million – jails (7% of new spending)
$20 million – contracts for reentry programs / “aggressive supervision” of parolees (6% of new spending)
$15 million – GPS equipment (4% of new spending)
$10 million – juvenile recreation programs run by law enforcement (3% of new spending)
$117.5 million goes to gang suppression, $115 million to county probation for supervision and facility repair, but just $10 million supports opportunities for juveniles—and those must be programs run by law enforcement. No money goes to evidence-based programs aimed to support youth in desisting from crime.
3) Duplicative spending.
- $117.5 million to a gang suppression strategy that overlaps with—but does not interface with—the more balanced, coordinated anti-gang effort advanced by the Governor’s CalGRIP initiative.
- $27.5 million to its Office of Public Safety Information and Education for victim services and criminal justice info. It is already the duty of the Attorney General’s Office of Victim Services “to provide support, information and assistance to victims at every stage of the criminal process.” It is also the duty of the Attorney General “to collect, analyze, and report statistical data, which provide valid measures of crime and the criminal justice process to government and the citizens of California.”
- $10 million to the “Crimestopper reward” reimbursement fund. This fund is duplicative of the Governor’s power to offer rewards for assisting in a criminal investigation.
Existing Programs: $612 million to put existing programs on autopilot.
In 2008, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) released the report, “Restructuring Local Assistance for Public Safety,” and made recommendations to eliminate or reduce “General Fund support for programs that have not demonstrated results, do not serve a statewide purpose, could be consolidated, or could be funded from other sources.”
Many of the programs Prop. 6 would fund indefinitely failed the LAO’s standards for smart public safety spending.
Had the proponents of Prop. 6 implemented the LAO’s budget recommendations for these existing programs before funding them indefinitely, they would save taxpayers $205.3 million dollars annually (+COLA for a portion), while improving efficiency and performance.
Instead, Proposition 6 implements none of the LAO’s recommendations in its budgeting for the existing state-level criminal justice programs it chooses to protect forever.
1) $160 million of the $612 million for existing programs (26%) supports programs that were recommended for permanent elimination by the Legislative Analyst’s report.
- Prop. 6 makes permanent an allocation of $125 million (+ COLA) to COPS Program: “We recommend eliminating the COPS program […] We find it difficult to justify using state resources to fund public safety services that lack a specific statewide objective and that have no identifiable results to evaluate […] The program appears to take what is largely a local government responsibility—the police protection—and shift some of the cost to the state, without a strong policy rationale for doing so.” (Legislative Analyst)
Difference between Prop. 6 spending and LAO recommendation: $125 million annually.
- $35 million for Jail Efficiency Fund (local facility subventions): “We recommend that the state eliminate the subventions it provides to counties not to charge booking fees since no statewide criminal justice objectives are being achieved through these subventions. In addition, we recommend that the Legislature change state law to clarify that counties are authorized to charge booking fees up to the actual administrative cost of a booking. Doing so will provide cities with the proper incentives for using county jail space efficiently and to ensure that the costs of bookings are borne where it is most appropriate—at the municipal level.”
Difference: $35 million.
2) $33.5 million (5.4% of spending for existing programs) goes to programs recommended by the LAO for significant funding reductions, as well as changes in how funds are distributed.
- Prop. 6 makes permanent a $4.1 million allocation to Central Valley and Central Coast rural crime prevention programs. LAO recommends “reducing the grant by 25 percent,” consolidating the two programs “into a single rural crime prevention grant,” and tying “future grant allocations […] to both agricultural production and property crime rates.” Proposition 6 attends to none of these recommendations, protecting the funding as-is.
Difference: $1 million.
- $29.4 million to California Multi–Jurisdictional Methamphetamine Enforcement Team (CAL–MMET) program. “Given the duplication of funding, overall reduction of meth production in the United States, and the lack of the required reports on program performance,” the LAO recommends reducing the program’s budget to $7.1 million. “Additionally, we recommend that the program administer grants to counties on a competitive basis so that available funds can go where there continues to be the highest level of meth production.” Proposition 6 does not make this adjustment (nor the adjustment in funding).
Difference: $22.3 million.
3) Prop. 6 gives $326 million (53% of existing program spending) annually to duplicative programs recommended for consolidation by the Legislative Analyst.
- Prop. 6 gives $125 million (+COLA) for Juvenile Probation and Camps Funding program and $201 million to the Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act. “We recommend the enactment of state legislation to eliminate the COPS/JJCPA programs and consolidate the JJCPA and the Juvenile Probation and Camps Funding.” LAO would preserve current funding levels, but reduced by 5 percent “to reflect anticipated administrative savings.” “We also recommend that the Legislature adopt budget trailer bill language creating a statutory framework for the consolidated program similar to the existing JJCPA statute,” which has a clearer accountability structure. Proposition 6 follows neither of these recommendations, therefore increasing administrative costs, and weakening accountability.
Potential savings from LAO recommendations: $22 million
TOTAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROP. 6 FUNDING AND LAO RECOMMENDATIONS: $205.3 million (+ COLA for a portion)
This figure accounts for 33 percent of Prop. 6 program spending on existing programs, or 21.2 percent of total program spending, in the first year alone.
Other spending for existing programs ($92.5 million, 15% of spending on existing programs) goes to the Youthful Offender Block Grant. But Prop. 6 changes the way the funds are distributed to disqualify county mental health and drug treatment providers from receiving these funds. All money must now go to county probation. Prop. 6 does not, as juvenile justice experts have recommended, set measurable goals for these funds.