California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will call for about $10 billion in construction for prisons, jails, and medical facilities, and include support for a sentencing commission, reports the Sacramento Bee. Sources said the funding would allocate about $4.4 billion to prisons and re-entry institutions, $4.4 billion for county jail and juvenile beds, and $1 billion for medical facilities to satisfy court monitors in two federal cases overseeing health care and treatment of the mentally ill. Nearly 174,000 prisoners are being housed in prisons designed for fewer than half that many, which prompted Schwarzenegger to declare an overcrowding emergency earlier this year.
The new prison construction would be funded by lease-revenue bonds, with some general fund money included to take care of planning. The $4.4 billion would fund 16,000 new beds at an undisclosed number of prisons and 5,000 more beds at community-based re-entry facilities. The construction money also would fund a new correctional officer training academy and pay for modifications of San Quentin State Prison’s death row. Another $1 billion in lease-revenue bonds would be for construction of medical facilities. Court monitors such as prison health czar Robert Sillen have identified the medical facilities as a crucial need to help correct what he has described as the “horrific” inmate medical care system.