Issue Area 1:The Division of Corrections Failed in its Attempt to Measure Recidivism After a 1994 Performance Audit.
In 1994, a legislative review identified that the Division of Corrections did not track recidivism rates. Recidivism is the primary measure of rehabilitation program effectiveness. The DOC's inability to track recidivism is a direct result of its current information management system. The DOC dedicates staff and resources to the administration of rehabilitation programs. However, without tracking recidivism, the DOC has no way to evaluate the effectiveness of these programs. Without accurate recidivism studies, the DOC is not able to provide proven and effective rehabilitation programs, nor is it able to effectively plan ahead for future construction needs.
In January 1999, the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety issued a Request For Proposals for a Jail and Prisoner Information and Facility Management System. The system is intended to allow the DOC, the Regional Jail Authority and the Juvenile Services Authority to access at least five years of active offender records. Once this system is operational, the Doc will still lack adequately trained staff to perform recidivism studies. However, the data necessary for accurately calculating recidivism will be available to the DOC.