Criminal Justice Financing in California
California currently spends roughly $25 billion annually on criminal justice. In addition, the share of the General Fund that supports corrections has been on the rise from approximately 4% in the mid-1980s to close to 10% today. With support from the Gerbode Foundation the Warren Institute is leading an initiative to examine laws, policies, and practices related to criminal justice financing in California. The examination will cut across government agencies and criminal justice functions toward a comprehensive understanding of the problems with the current financing system. The initiative is intended to inform the public and political debates and reform efforts in the State through objective analyses and recommendations on ways in which the financing system can be improved. The first phase of this initiative is the development of three papers that will provide historical context of the issue, articulate some of the most pressing challenges related to criminal justice financing in California, and delve into some of the proposed reform efforts. The topics for this initial set of three papers are an overview of criminal justice financing in California, realignment, and privatization.