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Millions for Tech in State Corrections Budget

The department’s share of California’s $308 billion 2022-2023 Fiscal Year state budget should fund improvements to existing technology initiatives as well as new IT work.

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The state department charged with facilitating the re-entry of the incarcerated back into society has received considerable state funding for technology to enable just that.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which houses around 100,000 inmates, received nearly $14.6 billion in its portion of the enacted $308 billion 2022-2023 Fiscal Year state budget. That includes many millions dedicated to preserving and enhancing existing IT and innovation infrastructure as well as procuring new solutions. Here are some of the funding streams:

  • $97.6 million from the general fund in FY 2022-2023 and $7.8 million ongoing to continue “statewide Correctional video surveillance.” The funding will go to install “fixed camera systems at 10 additional institutions, and deploy body-worn cameras at four additional institutions.” In a budget change proposal (BCP) in January, the department sought $80.3 million from the general fund and 32 positions this fiscal year, plus $7.6 million ongoing for the project.
  • $19 million from the general fund this fiscal year and $1.4 million ongoing for “eDiscovery platform, redaction and delivery.” The funding will let the department “procure new technology to support implementation of the new camera systems” and enable it to do a better job of managing and storing data and information. This, too, had a BCP in January; the department sought $19.5 million from the general fund and 10 positions this fiscal year plus $1.4 million in FY 2023-2024 and ongoing to develop the platform and grow staffing for the “centralized video storage and redaction unit.”
  • $12.6 million from the general fund this fiscal year, $1.7 million in FY 2024-2025 and ongoing for standing up an enhanced managed access system (EMAS) at 20 facilities, to “block contraband cellphone use” by those incarcerated. In a BCP in January, CDCR proposed utilizing “the MAS technology already deployed at 18 facilities as a foundation to build EMAS on and expand statewide to the remaining 15 institutions.”
  • $11.5 million from the general fund this fiscal year, $16.1 million in FY 2023-2024 and $17.5 million in FY 2024-2025 and ongoing for Microsoft “software end user licensing agreement costs” statewide, for CDCR and California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS). A statewide pact, the department said in a BCP, should yield “enhanced” licensing with “upgraded software and security benefits that may ordinarily be out of fiscal reach.”
  • $6 million in one-time general fund monies for “data collection and evaluation,” to do a two-year analysis on the outcomes of people who are released from prison. Part of the aim here, the department said around the time of the May revision of the governor’s proposed budget, is to explore leveraging existing collection and analysis methods that determine the return on rehabilitation programs.
  • $4.4 million from the general fund this fiscal year and $5.2 million ongoing to improve CDCR’s security capabilities and let it address “cybersecurity risks and protect privileged information.” This also supports security software licenses for “37,000 thin-client laptops being issued to incarcerated persons as authorized in the 2021 Budget Act.” Without the resources, the department said in a BCP, it is “susceptible to breaches that could result in additional costs in the form of data, productivity and reputational loss.”
  • $2.1 million ongoing from the general fund for “privacy office enhancements,” to empower CCHCS to safeguard “confidential health records and personally identifiable information” and to respond proactively to cybersecurity incidents and risk factors. The department must, it said in a BCP, “maintain a robust systemwide privacy, information security and cybersecurity program” to meet state and federal regulations and protect PII.
  • $3.1 million in ongoing general fund monies to expand the Statewide Mental Health Program to support “improved data verification and validation functions to assist with measuring performance.” This funding will let CDCR and CCHCS “respond to additional reporting requirements and data validation tasks in conjunction with the Coleman litigation.” This, the department said in a BCP, will also allow it to address a then-backlog of “135 pending approval change requests,” and grapple with an “ongoing increase in workload and projects” around the Mental Health Services Delivery System.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.