California has one of the most expensive prison systems in the world
Thirty years ago this week President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the second week in May as National Correctional Officers Week. Today we look at California’s state prison system.
The first state-run facility used as a prison was a ship named The Waban that was anchored in the San Francisco Bay in 1851. Today, the system is one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the nation with more than 30,000 officers, parole agents and investigators.
118,383: The number of felons housed in California state prisons as of midnight April 30
5,222: The number of women who are felons in the state prisons
131.9%: Prison occupancy in facilities and camps
747: Number of inmates on death row as of May 4
4,253: California prisoners housed in Arizona and Mississippi
ADULT FELON POPULATION
The prison population has declined in recent years. But the population at many facilities is more than 150 percent of designed capacity.
The percentage of inmates who return to prison within three years in California was 61 percent in FY 2008-09, the most recent year statistics are available.
PRICE PER PRISONER
Annual cost to incarcerate an inmate in a California prison
Inmate health care
Medical care $14,834
Psychiatric services $3,359
Dental care $1,246
Facility operations and records
Facility operations $4,334
Classification services $1,798
Maintenance of inmate records $723
Reception, testing assignment $145
Inmate food and activities
Inmate employment $823
Inmate activities $102
Religious activities $123
Academic education $1,237
Cognitive behavioral therapy $823
Vocational training $377
PORTION OF STATE BUDGET
2017-18 General Fund expenditures under governor’s current proposal
POPULATION IN PRISON
In 2011 California prisons were operating at 179.5 percent of design capacity. They have declined to 131.9 percent as of May 2017.
ANNUAL MEAN WAGE FOR GUARDS
Correctional officers and jailers by state for May 2016
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, California had 37,050 correctional officers and jailers in May 2016. The number reflects local, county and state employees.
Sources: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Bureau of Labor Statistics, State of California Department of Finance