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Budgeting for a Just California


February 25, 2010 10:00am - 3:30pm

Faculty Lounge, Stanford Law School

Spending on corrections has risen dramatically in the last two decades, soaking up funding that could otherwise have gone to education, healthcare or other important programs. Now the Governor has declared that corrections spending should be capped at 7% of the General Fund, requiring a $3.5 billion reduction in current corrections spending. How can we actually achieve that goal while protecting the public and accomplishing other important public policy objectives?

The Stanford Criminal Justice Center invites you to join a roundtable discussion on the state’s budget crisis. This meeting will convene interested leaders of a wide range of organizations that have been affected by state budget cuts in order to share crucial information about the impact that rising corrections spending is having on the general fund budget, to build awareness about how the state can reduce corrections spending while increasing public safety, and to exchange tools we need to achieve more balanced state spending.

Lunch and materials will be provided. Participants are invited to bring literature (fliers and brochures) highlighting the issues of importance to their organizations.

Order of Events:

During the morning session, Tim Gage, Founder of Blue Sky Consulting Group and former Director, California Department of Finance, will analyze the California budget, identifying expenditures related to corrections and the criminal justice system. He will explain what has driven the dramatic increase in overall corrections spending over the last ten years, and which programs have suffered as a consequence. Mr. Gage will highlight the long term budgetary impact of criminal justice policy choices made now—how criminal justice policy decisions made today can lock policy makers into spending choices that will last for many years.

At lunch, Kara Dansky, Executive Director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center and Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School, will describe the existing 2010 proposals for reforming California corrections, highlighting the pros and cons of each proposal in terms of public safety, fiscal impact, and consistency with essential criminal justice priorities, including fairness, justice, and accountability. Meeting participants will be invited to explore the relevance of these proposals to their own program areas.

During the afternoon session, Catherine Beane, Director of Behind the Cycle and Consultant at Beane Consulting, will lead the entire group in a facilitated discussion designed to identify shared priorities among meeting participants, explore the foundations for developing an integrative approach to justice among California's policy makers, and develop ideas for potential partnerships between meeting participants on the most pressing public policy issues.

For summary materials, the event agenda and speaker biographies, please click on "Related Media" in the left-hand navigation bar.

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