SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing to significantly shrink the footprint of California’s juvenile and adult prison system.
It's partly because of massive budget cuts prompted by the pandemic, but it's also a philosophical decision. The revised budget he sent to state lawmakers this week envisions closing two state prisons in coming years. He proposes shuttering nearly one of every five inmate firefighter camps. And he wants to eventually close all three state-run juvenile prisons. He's also seeking expanded sentencing credits that help inmates get out of prison sooner.
The moves have pleased criminal justice reform groups but have upset crime victims' advocates.
Earlier this week, Gov. Newsom proposed to cut $6.1 billion from a variety of programs as part of next year's budget.
the budget prioritizes public education, public health, and public safety. His revised budget forecast estimates unemployment will climb to nearly 25 percent and tax revenues will drop by about a quarter.
Newsom plans to tap the state’s $16 billion rainy day fund over three years. After a record budget surplus that allows programs to grow, Newsom says it breaks his heart to have to make cuts.
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