DOF Issues Interim Fiscal Update on CDCR COVID-19 Activities

On Thursday, the Department of Finance (DOF) issued an interim fiscal update on actions of the Newsom Administration to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). CDCR has undertaken a number of emergency actions to address COVID-19 over the past weeks and months, reporting on Thursday for the first time in three decades that California’s incarcerated population dipped below 100,000 persons. The last time California’s incarcerated population was below 100,000 was in 1990 when California’s overall population was approximately 10 million less than it is today.

DOF’s memo reports that costs of nearly $138 million have been incurred by CDCR in responding to the ongoing pandemic, including $103.4 million for inmate and staff testing, personal protective equipment (PPE), and deployment of tents for housing and health care. DOF also indicates that $34.2 million has been incurred in fiscal year 2019-20 to reimburse counties for housing inmates due to the temporary stoppage of prison intake and to provide for supervision of inmates released on an accelerated basis. Notably, DOF indicates that “the majority of CDCR’s COVID-19 related costs have not yet been formally reported” to DOF. As such, the $138 million incurred thus far is expected to grow significantly once additional costs have been fully accounted.

The memo provides additional details on CDCR’s actions in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 among inmates and staff within state prison facilities and surrounding communities. The memo also provides information on the state’s response to the significant outbreak at San Quentin State Prison and identifies CDCR’s expenses through June 30, 2020. The full memo is available here.