BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    







                      SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                            Senator Loni Hancock, Chair              A
                             2013-2014 Regular Session               B

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          AB 1019 (Ammiano)                                          9
          As Amended May 6, 2013
          Hearing date:  June 11, 2013
          Penal Code
          SM:mc

                              PRISON VOCATIONAL EDUCATION  

                                       HISTORY

          Source:  SEIU Local 1000

          Prior Legislation: SB 1121 (Hancock) - Chapter 761, Statutes of  
          2012

          Support: California Attorneys for Criminal Justice; California  
                   Correctional Peace Officer Association; California  
                   Public Defenders Association; Drug Policy Alliance;  
                   Legal Services for Prisoners with Children; American  
                   Civil Liberties Union

          Opposition:Taxpayers for Improving Public Safety

          Assembly Floor Vote:  Ayes 75 - Noes  0



                                        KEY ISSUES
           
          SHOULD THE SUPERINTENDENT OF CORRECTIONAL EDUCATION AT THE  
          CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND REHABILITATION BE REQUIRED  
          TO ESTABLISH PRIORITIES FOR CAREER TECHNICAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS AS  
          WELL AS THE CURRENT ACADEMIC PROGRAMS, AS SPECIFIED?




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          SHOULD A CAREER TECHNICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM ESTABLISHED AT THE  
          CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND REHABILITATION BE REQUIRED  
          TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT SPECIFIED FACTORS REGARDING WHETHER THE PROGRAM  
          WILL LEAD TO EMPLOYMENT IN OCCUPATIONS WITH A LIVABLE WAGE?

                                       PURPOSE

          The purpose of this bill is to (1) approve uncodified intent  
          language regarding career technical education programs at the  
          Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; (2) add career  
          technical education programs to those programs for which the  
          Superintendent of Correctional Education at the California  
          Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is required to set  
          both short-term and long-term goals for inmate testing and  
          require the Superintendent to establish priorities for career  
          technical education programs as well as the current academic  
          programs; and (3) require that a career technical education  
          program established at the California Department of Corrections  
          and Rehabilitation take into account specified factors regarding  
          whether the program will lead to employment in occupations with  
          a livable wage.

           Current law  requires the Secretary of California Department of  
          Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to appoint a  
          Superintendent of Correctional Education, who shall oversee and  
          administer all prison education programs.  (Penal Code   
          2053.4.)

           Current law  requires the Superintendent of Correctional  
          Education to set both short- and long-term goals for inmate  
          literacy and testing and vocational education programs and to  
          establish priorities for prison academic and vocational  
          education programs.  (Penal Code  2053.4.)

           This bill  includes the following uncodified intent language,  
          "Given that, as of June 2012, 60.8 percent of state prison  
          inmates have a medium to high need for academic or career  
          technical programs, and it has been shown that career technical  




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          education programs are both effective at reducing recidivism and  
          cost effective to the state, it is the intent of the Legislature  
          in enacting this act that the Department of Corrections and  
          Rehabilitation shall, within its existing resources, set both  
          short- and long-term goals for career technical education  
          programs."

           This bill  would amend current law to add career technical  
          education programs to those programs for which the  
          Superintendent of Correctional Education at CDCR is required to  
          set both short-term and long-term goals for inmate testing and  
          would require the Superintendent to establish priorities for  
          career technical education programs as well as the current  
          academic programs.

           This bill  would require that, based upon the goals and  
          priorities of CDCR, a career technical education program  
          established, given the department's goals and priorities, shall  
          take into account all of the following factors:

                 whether the program aligns with the workforce needs of  
               high-demand sectors of the state and regional economies;
                 whether there is an active job market for the skills  
               being developed where the inmate will likely be released;
                 whether the program increases the number of inmates who  
               obtain a marketable and industry or apprenticeship board  
               recognized certification, credential, or degree;
                 whether there are formal or informal networks in the  
               field that support finding employment upon release from  
               prison; and
                 whether the program will lead to employment in  
               occupations with a livable wage.


                    RECEIVERSHIP/OVERCROWDING CRISIS AGGRAVATION

          For the last several years, severe overcrowding in California's  
          prisons has been the focus of evolving and expensive litigation  
          relating to conditions of confinement.  On May 23, 2011, the  




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          United States Supreme Court ordered California to reduce its  
          prison population to 137.5 percent of design capacity within two  
          years from the date of its ruling, subject to the right of the  
          state to seek modifications in appropriate circumstances.   

          Beginning in early 2007, Senate leadership initiated a policy to  
          hold legislative proposals which could further aggravate the  
          prison overcrowding crisis through new or expanded felony  
          prosecutions.  Under the resulting policy known as "ROCA" (which  
          stands for "Receivership/ Overcrowding Crisis Aggravation"), the  
          Committee held measures which created a new felony, expanded the  
          scope or penalty of an existing felony, or otherwise increased  
          the application of a felony in a manner which could exacerbate  
          the prison overcrowding crisis.  Under these principles, ROCA  
          was applied as a content-neutral, provisional measure necessary  
          to ensure that the Legislature did not erode progress towards  
          reducing prison overcrowding by passing legislation which would  
          increase the prison population.  ROCA necessitated many hard and  
          difficult decisions for the Committee.

          In January of 2013, just over a year after the enactment of the  
          historic Public Safety Realignment Act of 2011, the State of  
          California filed court documents seeking to vacate or modify the  
          federal court order issued by the Three-Judge Court three years  
          earlier to reduce the state's prison population to 137.5 percent  
          of design capacity.  The State submitted in part that the, ". .  
          .  population in the State's 33 prisons has been reduced by over  
          24,000 inmates since October 2011 when public safety realignment  
          went into effect, by more than 36,000 inmates compared to the  
          2008 population . . . , and by nearly 42,000 inmates since 2006  
          . . . ."  Plaintiffs, who opposed the state's motion, argue in  
          part that, "California prisons, which currently average 150% of  
          capacity, and reach as high as 185% of capacity at one prison,  
          continue to deliver health care that is constitutionally  
          deficient."  In an order dated January 29, 2013, the federal  
          court granted the state a six-month extension to achieve the  
          137.5 % prisoner population cap by December 31st of this year.  

          In an order dated April 11, 2013, the Three-Judge Court denied  




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          the state's motions, and ordered the state of California to  
          "immediately take all steps necessary to comply with this  
          Court's . . . Order . . . requiring defendants to reduce overall  
          prison population to 137.5% design capacity by December 31,  
          2013."         

          The ongoing litigation indicates that prison capacity and  
          related issues concerning conditions of confinement remain  
          unresolved.  However, in light of the real gains in reducing the  
          prison population that have been made, although even greater  
          reductions are required by the court, the Committee will review  
          each ROCA bill with more flexible consideration.  The following  
          questions will inform this consideration:

                 whether a measure erodes realignment;
                 whether a measure addresses a crime which is directly  
               dangerous to the physical safety of others for which there  
               is no other reasonably appropriate sanction; 
                 whether a bill corrects a constitutional infirmity or  
               legislative drafting error; 
                 whether a measure proposes penalties which are  
               proportionate, and cannot be achieved through any other  
               reasonably appropriate remedy; and
                 whether a bill addresses a major area of public safety  
               or criminal activity for which there is no other  
               reasonable, appropriate remedy.

















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                                      COMMENTS

          1.  Need for This Bill  

          According to the author:

               Current law, penal code section 2053.4, tasks the  
               Superintendent of Correctional Education to only set  
               goals and priorities for literacy and testing  
               programs.  Goals and priorities are not required in  
               law to be set for Career Technical Education (CTE)  
               programs; yet, they are integral to the new emphasis  
               on rehabilitation.  This bill would require that as  
               the superintendent sets goals for academic programs,  
               to set goals for CTE programs.

               The purpose of this legislation is to in the law,  
               recognize that CDCR emphasize vocational as well as  
               academic education.  Career technical or vocational  
               education has been shown to reduce recidivism.  A  
               study published by the Washington State Institute for  
               Public Policy on a variety of programs found that one  
               of the most successful in reducing recidivism was  
               career technical education, reducing recidivism by 9  
               percent and resulted in a net savings per participant  
               of $13,700 annually. Creating goals and priorities for  
               CTE will allow the Department of Corrections and  
               Rehabilitation and the Legislature to have some basis  
               for evaluating the success or failure of these CTE  
               programs.

          2.  Background  

          Existing law requires that the Superintendent of Correctional  
          Education to set goals and priorities for literacy and testing  
          programs but does not set the same requirement for the goals and  
          priorities for Career Technical Education (CTE) programs.  This  
          bill would add CTE programs to those programs for which the  
          Superintendent of Correctional Education at CDCR is required to  




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          set both short-term and long-term goals for inmate testing and  
          would require the Superintendent to establish priorities for  
          career technical education programs as well as the current  
          academic programs.  This bill would also require that, based  
          upon the goals and priorities of CDCR, a career technical  
          education program established, take into account several factors  

          regarding whether there is an active job market for the skills  
          being developed where the inmate will likely be released and  
          whether the program will lead to employment in occupations with  
          a livable wage.

          3.  Effectiveness of CTE Programs  

          As argued by the proponents of this bill, CTE programs in  
          prisons reduce recidivism rates and have been found to be cost  
          effective.  As the author states, the Washington State Institute  
          for Public Policy found that CTE programs reduced recidivism by  
          9% and resulted in a net savings per participant of $13,700  
          annually.  
                
          4.  Effectiveness of the Prison Educational System as Implemented  

          A 2008 report of the Legislative Analyst's Office stated:

               Our analysis indicates that the current set of CDCR  
               education programs reach only a small segment of the  
               inmate population who could benefit from them.  The  
               CDCR now enrolls about 54,000 inmates in education  
               programs for a system with 173,000 inmates, and barely  
               one-half of those-27,000 inmates-are in the core  
               traditional academic and vocational training programs  
               (including those operated by PIA) most likely to  
               improve the educational attainment of inmates and thus  
               their employability upon their release on parole to  
               the community.  (Legislative Analyst's Office, From  
               Cellblocks to Classrooms: Reforming Education to  
               Improve Public Safety (February 2008) p. 11.)  












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           CDCR, however, states that the decline of state prison inmate  
          populations due to criminal justice realignment "has provided  
          the opportunity to increase access and improve its  
          rehabilitative programs, which will significantly lower  
          California's recidivism rate."  (CDCR, The Future of California  
          Corrections (2012) In-Prison Rehabilitative Programs, p. 21.)  
           

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