Jerry Brown cuts 400 jobs at state prisons HQ

Gov. Jerry Brown brought the ax down today at the state prison system’s headquarters, eliminating 400 jobs to save $30 million.

The cut at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation‘s head office returns its bureaucratic workforce to 2005 levels, so that it now accounts for less than 5 percent of CDCR’s total workforce; 600 other headquarters positions already had been eliminated in the past 18 months.

“This is a long overdue action to make CDCR more efficient while cutting costs,” Brown said in a news release.

CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate said the “new executive structure is designed to create a leaner organization, clarify functions and responsibilities, delegate decision-making authority and eliminate duplicative functions.”

The governor’s office says this restructuring includes cutting 32 executive-level positions including the chief of staff, deputy chief of staff and five chief deputy secretaries. More than 100 manager and supervisor positions will be eliminated, increasing responsibilities in many areas for those remaining. This round of cuts affects more than 90 personnel classifications.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • John W

    Yikes! Give Jerry due credit on this one. But, if they can cut 400 HQ jobs now and 600 previously, how many did they have to begin with? How many remaining? How many similar opportunities throughout the Sacramento complex? All agencies and departments, whether general fund (Education) or special fund (CARB) need similar attention. Special funds always get exempted just because they are funded by dedicated fees and federal funds. Never mind the hidden costs of the havoc bloated bureaucracies and red tape play with those who have to deal with them.

  • Elwood

    What do you call 400 bureaucrats at the bottom of the ocean?

    A good start.

  • John W

    Re: #2

    Old lawyer joke. Need some fresh material.

  • Lars54

    Cutting the bloated Corrections budget was long overdue, Jerry Brown is listening to people. All polls showed voters wanted money spent on prisons scaled way back. No way we can afford 160,000 inmates at $50,000 annually. Health care for inmates was costing 2 billion annually, and courts wanted this amount doubled! On top of that you have all these prison guards wracking up overtime, they were making $100,000 a year to push buttons that open cell doors. Ridiculous. This big build-up in prisons was failed experiment, we were pouring money down rat-hole. Responsible leadership means make tough choices – and Brown is doing it.