California’s Department of Corrections Plans for More Prisoners

by Vins
Published: Last Updated on

In 2011 the Supreme Court ruled that overcrowded prisons in California violated the Eighth Amendment. The Supreme Court ordered the State of California to lower the prison population to 110,000. According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) weekly population reports, the total amount of prisoners as of March 2, 2016 is 128,365. Reports by Robin Respaut and Lizzie Buchen provide critical accounts of how the CDCR has responded in its master plan, which indicates that California does not plan on reducing its prison population anytime soon. Instead, it may well incarcerate more people.

Respaut reports that Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s prison reform was never about saving money. Buchen explains how the CDCR’s plan is to renovate the state’s twelve oldest prisons, which entails investing “billions more of Californians’ tax dollars into a decaying system,” rather than reductions. Since 2012, the CDCR’s budget grown to about $1.5 billion.


Lizzie Buchen, “CURB responds to CDCR’s new master Plan: A concerning vision of a more powerful prison system,” San Francisco Bay View, January 22, 2016,

Robin Respaut, “California Prison reforms have reduced inmate numbers-but not costs,” Rawstory (via Reuters), January 6, 2016,

Student Researcher: Katie Kolb (College of Marin)

Faculty Evaluator: Susan Rahman (College of Marin)