The California correctional officers’ union (CCPOA) has been guarding more than just prison inmates. As one of the most influential special interest groups in the state, it has secured and steadfastly held onto some of the highest salaries and benefits awarded to state employees.
CCPOA maintains an annual operating budget of over $23 million. With that sum, it makes contributions to ballot initiatives, lobbying efforts, and political campaigns.
CCPOA is best known for its support of ballot initiatives that keep prison populations high. In 1994, CCPOA spent $101,000 on the Three Strikes Initiative, making it the second largest donor to that campaign. That proposition passed with a 72% majority. In 2008, CCPOA spent $1 million against Proposition 5, helping to defeat an initiative that would have emphasized treatment over incarceration for non-violent drug offenders.