D.C. Government: Noneducation Factors Hindered Criminal Justice Initiative

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-06-27.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                 United      States   General    Accounting   Office

                 Report to Congressional Requesters                          .

June   1990
                 D.C. GOVERNMENT
                 Noneducation Factors
                 Hindered Criminal
                 Justice Initiative

                 :as3 u:3wdu3le --Not   to be released outside         the
                General ZRRnt.hq      Oflice unless specifhlly
                approved by ;Ihe Office of Congressional


                                      - --   _
               United States
GAO            General Accounting  Office
               Washington, D.C. 20648

               General   Government   Division


               June 27,199O

               The Honorable Brock Adams
               Chairman, Subcommittee on the District
                 of Columbia
               Committee on Appropriations
               United States Senate

               The Honorable Thomas Harkin
               United States Senate

               The Honorable Arlen Specter
               United States Senate

               During October 1983, Congress funded a special prison initiative for the
               District of Columbia commonly referred to as the Criminal Justice Initia-
               tive (cx). Congress’ intention was to expand the academic and voca-
               tional education training programs in the District’s overcrowded
               correctional institutions. Congress also envisioned that CJI would serve
               as a model education program for the Nation’s correctional community.

               Two former Subcommittee Chairmen, Thomas Harkin and Arlen Specter,
               asked for information on three questions relating to the planning and
               operation of cJI:

             . What program planning challenges did the District face in originally
               organizing the CJI program?
             . For what purposes were CJIoperating funds spent?
             . How many inmates obtained a job related to the CJI training received?

               The District of Columbia’s Department of Corrections (not) is currently
Background     respon&bIefor housing about 12,000 men and women sentenced by the
               courts and for preparing them to reenter society. To fulfill this role, DOC
               operates a variety of correctional facilities and contracts for some cor-
               rectional services. DCXoperates a detention facility in the District of
               Columbia, where it holds about 1,700 individuals until their cases are
               heard in court. After sentencing, inmates are housed at the not-operated
               institution in Lorton, Virginia; in state and local correctional facilities; at
               a federal facility; or at halfway houses in the District. The District con-
               tracts with state and local correctional facilities to house its inmates in
               order to reduce overcrowding at its Lorton facility. At the time of our

               Page 1                                            GAO/GGD9M9    D.C. Govemment
                            review, DOCestimated that its inmate population exceeded its physical
                            plant capacity by 23 percent.

                            Congress recognized that the District faced a potentially dangerous
                            prison crowding situation and that one reason was the high incidence of
                            recidivism among D.C. offenders (estimated at 52 percent). Therefore, in
                            fiscal year 1984 Congress provided the District with funds for an initia-
                            tive to attempt to relieve the crowded conditions and break the cycle of
                            recidivism. This effort was known as the Criminal Justice Emergency
                            Initiative, later known as CJI. From fiscal year 1984 through fiscal year
                            1986, $41 million in federal funds were provided to the District for CJI.
                            The objectives of CJI were to

                        l hire additional prison staff to provide security and to process the ever-
                          increasing resident population more effectively;
                        . support expansion of the education program by hiring additional
                          instructors and support staff and by purchasing equipment; and
                        l build, renovate, and equip classroom and vocational facilities.

                            The objective of the education portion of CJI was to provide the inmates
                            with basic life skills and a trade that they could use upon release. This
                            objective was to be accomplished by expanding the academic and voca-
                            tional training programs available to inmates at the District’s correc-
                            tional institutions.

                            Federal funding for CJI ended in fiscal year 1986. Since then the District
                            has used its own funds to continue these educational programs.

                            In order to answer the three questions raised concerning the planning
Objectives, Scope,and       and operation of CJI, we interviewed DCKofficials who were involved
Methodology                 with, or had knowledge of, its initial organization. We also reviewed DOC
                            files and records on early CJI program planning and implementation.
                            However, these files were incomplete, limiting our ability to pursue all
                             aspects of each question. For example, only limited program planning
                            documentation was available. Thus, we could not determine how the
                            concerns of facility managers and security staffs were addressed by the
                            education staff, a problem noted by several uoc officials. We used the
                             computerized files of DOC’Smanagement information system to obtain
                            job placement information for the period from October 1, 1986, to June
                             30, 1989. Prior to October 1986, DOCdid not maintain job placement dat2
                             on a departmentwide basis. The data identified (1) the number of job
                             placements, (2) job titles, (3) hourly salaries, and (4) the number of jobs

                            Page 2                                           GAO/GGIMCU39 D.C. Governmen

                that were related to the CJI training received while incarcerated. How-
                ever, during our analysis of the not records, we became aware of signifi-
                cant data accuracy problems that restricted our ability to analyze and
                draw conclusions about the impact of CJI. These problems are discussed
                in detail in appendix III.

                Our work was done between August 1988 and October 1989 and in
                accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.

                The following responses to the questions were based on the best infor-
Results         mation available at the time of our review:

          l     The District faced formidable challenges in initially planning and
                organizing the CJI program. The District originally planned for a
                $760,000 appropriation to develop a basic literacy program for pris-
                oners. However, the planning figure was later increased to $8 million
                when a congressional representative told the District that Congress was
                considering a larger appropriation. About 3 months from the time the
                District was first contacted by Congress, Congress appropriated $22.3
                million. Thus, DW had only about 3 months to plan and organize the cx
                effort, and Congress immediately pressed for results. In response, DOC
                officials reorganized the correctional education program in an attempt
                to expedite the planning and implementation of the program. However,
                problems with the way this management effort was carried out actually
                delayed program implementation. (See app. I.)
          l     Of the $41 million total WI federal appropriation provided between
                fiscal years 1984 and 1986, $27.3 million was for operating expenses
                and $13.7 million was for capital projects. Over 50 percent of the oper-
                ating funds were used to support the education portion of CJI. During
                each succeeding fiscal year in which federal CJI funds were provided,
                DOCspent a larger percentage of its CJI operating funds on education-in
                fiscal year 1984,36 percent; in 198558 percent; and in 1986, 100        per-

                cent. (See app. II.)
              . D&S current job placement information system significantly limits the
                ability of DOCmanagers to accurately assess program performance and
                make well-informed managerial decisions. Our analysis of DOC’Scomput-
                erized job placement records showed that the data were incomplete, not
                standardized, and inaccurate. For example, 46 percent of the records did
                not indicate whether the placement was related to the CJI training
                 received. Further limiting program evaluation is the lack of information
                 that could provide a complete profile of the job obtained and its relation-
                 ship to the training received. There is no requirement for the placement

                Page 3                                           GAO/GGD99-39   D.C. Gownment

                 file to contain (1) job descriptions, (2) data on why a particular place-
                 ment was deemed to be related to the CJI training received, or (3) infor-
                 mation on noneducation factors that influenced an inmate to take a
                 particular job. Until the existing data problems are corrected and the
                 additional data elements added, we believe that a significant shortfall
                 exists in D&S job placement database, thereby reducing its usefulness
                 to uoc management. (See app. III.)
             l   Our analysis of the limited data available shows that from October 1,
                 1986, to June 30,1989, there have been 3,944 job placements. Of these,
                 392 (10 percent) were reported to be related to the CJItraining received.
                 The perceived low ratio of CJIplacements is influenced by noneducation
                 factors. These factors are (1) the practice of inmates taking the first
                 available job in order to be eligible for parole; (2) the practice of inmates
                 taking a nona-related     job because it provided better benefits, espe-
                 cially medical; and (3) the lack and/or cost of transportation, causing
                 inmates to take a job close to their homes.

                 Jobs under the title “Laborer” were obtained most frequently, repre-
                 senting 123 (3 1 percent) of the c.u-related placements. For the cJr-related
                 group as a whole, the average hourly salary obtained was $5.90. (See
                 app. III.)

             l   The chronic overcrowding that exists in the District’s correctional
                 system works against efforts to develop and sustain an effective educa-
                 tion program. DOCestimates that the inmate population will exceed the
                 physical plant population well into the 1990s and perhaps longer,
                 depending on how quickly additional facilities are built. According to
                 not officials, overcrowding results in inmate transfers that cause signifi-
                 cant breaks in an inmate’s education and creates an environment not
                 conducive to learning. Inmates transferred to other state and local facili-
                 ties are often those enrolled in the education program and picked by the
                 receiving institution because their involvement in the program is consid-
                 ered a positive trait. (See app. III.)

                 District managers need reasonably complete, standardized, and accurate
Conclusion       data regarding the CJI program in order to both make management deci-
                 sions and evaluate program results. Our analysis of not’s job placement
                 records, however, showed that the data contained in those records were
                 incomplete, not standardized, and inaccurate. These problems impede
                 using this information for making well-informed management decisions
                 to improve program effectiveness.

                 Page 4                                            GAO/GGLMO439 D.C. Govemmer

                      To improve the usefulness and validity of its computerized job place-
Recommendations       ment data, we recommend that the Mayor of the District of Columbia
                      instruct the Director of DOCto take the following actions:

                  . Review existing job placement input controls to determine how the accu-
                    racy of the data can be improved.
                  l Develop standardized job title information so that all similar job place-
                    ments are grouped under the same job title.
                  . Provide in the computerized record, information relating to (1) job
                    description, (2) why a particular placement was deemed to be related to
                    the CJI training received, and (3) any noneducation factors that influ-
                    enced an inmate to take a particular job.

                      The District of Columbia Government concurred with the report’s find-
Agency Comments       ings, conclusion, and recommendations, noting that many of these issues
                      are not new. The District listed a variety of corrective actions that it will
                      take to address our recommendations. In particular, the District will
                      strengthen controls over the input of job placement data by placing data
                      responsibilities in one person, having a quality assurance team review
                      current controls for accuracy, and adding more equipment. In addition,
                      the District will provide additional staff training and acquire new
                      software to expand and improve its job placement database. The com-
                      plete comments of the District are in appendix IV.

                      As arranged with your offices, unless you publicly announce the con-
                      tents of this report earlier, we plan no further distribution until 30 days
                      from the issue date. At that time, we will send copies to other interested

                      Major contributors to this report are listed in appendix V. If you have
                      any questions concerning this report, please contact me on 275-8387.

                      J. William Gadsby
                      Director, Federal
                         Management Issues

                      Page I5                                           GAO/GGD9O49 DC. Govemment

Letter                                                                              1

Appendix I                                                                          8
What Program             More Time Was Needed to Plan and Organize CJI
                         Centralizing the Education Program Caused Problems
Planning Challenges      Use of Contractor in Lieu of Normal Procurement           11
Did the District Face        Channels
in Originally            Lessons Learned: Future Efforts Need More Time and        12
                             Greater Emphasis on Planning
Organizing the CJI
Appendix II                                                                        13
For What Purpose         CJI Operating Fund Expenditures for Fiscal Years 1984
                              Through 1986
Were CJI Operating       DOC Spent 35 Percent of Its 1984 CJI Operating Funds on   14
Funds Spent?                  Education
                         DOC Spent 58 Percent of Its 1985 CJI Operating Funds on   14
                         All Fiscal Year 1986 CJI Operating Funds Spent on         15
                         District Now Supports Education Programs                  15

Appendix III                                                                       It:
How Many Inmates         Data Errors in DOC’s Job Placement File
                         CJI-Related Placements Represent 10 Percent of Total
Obtained a Job Related        Placements
to the CJI Training      Most Common Job Obtained-Laborer                          15
                         Salaries Average Less Than $6.00 Per Hour                 21
Received?                Prison Crowding- A Significant Problem Facing the         22
                              Education Program

Appendix IV                                                                        2F
Comments of the
District of Columbia

                         Page 6

Appendix V                                                                                        28
Major Contributors to
This Report
Tables                  Table 11.1:Expenditure of CJI Operating Funds, Fiscal                      13
                            Years 1984,1986, and 1986
                        Table 11.2:Expenditure of CJI Operating Funds, Fiscal                      14
                            Year 1984
                        Table 11.3:Expenditure of CJI Operating Funds, Fiscal                      15
                            Year 1986
                        Table 11.4:Expenditure of CJI Operating Funds, Fiscal                      15
                            Year 1986
                        Table 111.1:Average Hourly Salary, Fiscal Years 1987                       22
                            Through 1989

Figures                 Figure III. 1: Job Placements by Fiscal Quarter, October 1,                18
                             1986, to June 30,1989
                        Figure 111.2:Most Frequently Obtained Job for Inmates                      20
                             With CJI-Related Training, October 1, 1986, to June
                        Figure 111.3:Most Frequently Obtained Job for Inmates                     21
                             Without CJI-Related Training, October 1,1986, to
                             June 30,1989
                        Figure III.4: Inmate Year-End Population by FiscaI Year,                   22
                             1983 Through 1989
                        Figure 111.6:Inmate Year-End Population by Facility,                       23
                             Fiscal Years 1983 Through 1989


                                    Criminal Justice Initiative
                                    Department of Corrections

                        Page 7                                          GAO/GGDW89    D.C. Government
Appendix I

What Program Planning ChallengesDid the
District Face in Originally Organizing the
CJI Program?
                      In October 1983, Congress provided the District of Columbia’s Depart-
                      ment of Corrections (DOC)with $22.3 million in Criminal Justice Initia-
                      tive (CJI) funds, of which $12.4 million was for operating expenses. CJI
                      operating funds were to be used in part to implement a correctional edu-
                      cation program that would be viewed as a model for the rest of the
                      United States. However, the District’s initial planning efforts were ham-
                      pered by insufficient lead time for proper planning and Congress’ desire
                      for quick results. These conditions created formidable challenges for the

                      In response to the CJI challenge, IXC reorganized its education function
                      by centralizing program management. The goal was to expedite and gain
                      better control over CJI planning and implementation. However. commu-
                      nication problems emerged between the DOCsecurity staff, facility man-
                      agers, and the education staff. These problems resulted in slowing CJI
                      education program implementation. DOCalso hired a private contractor
                      to perform a variety of administrative services, such as obtaining
                      teachers and supplies for the program. DOCbelieved that the in-house
                      procurement process was too slow. Again, the goal was to be responsive
                      to the congressional call for quick action.

                      Before fiscal year 1984, DOCoperated a relatively small education pro-
More Time Was         gram. When it needed to expand its program quickly because of the CJI
Neededto Plan and     initiative, DOCtook actions it thought would speed program implementa-
Organize CJI          tion. However, the 3-month lead time provided by Congress was not
                      enough for DOCto effectively plan and organize the program.

CJI Funding Was Too   According to a former DOCAssistant Director for Administrative Ser-
                      vices who was involved with the early CJI planning, DOCwas first
Much Too Soon         approached by a congressional representative during the summer of
                      1983 for an estimate of the funds needed to develop a basic literacy pro-
                      gram for residents of the District’s correctional institutions. DOC’Sinitial
                      CJI planning estimate was about $750,000. That estimate was later
                      revised to $8 million, including $4.2 million in capital funds because DOC
                      was informed by a congressional representative that Congress was con-
                      sidering a larger program.

                      In October 1983, or about 3 months from the time DOCwas first con-
                      tacted, $22.3 million was provided to DOCto improve and expand its edu
                      cation programs and to relieve the crowding that existed within the
                      District’s correctional facilities as part of the District’s fiscal ytlar 1984

                      Page 8                                             GAO/GGD904S   D.(‘. hvemnwl
                           APpe*     1
                           DiStIiCtF&X?ill orisiarusogrnizine*

                           appropriations act. According to the former Assistant Director for
                           Administrative Services, DOChad developed only preliminary staffing
                           and budget configurations by October 1983.

                           The appropriations act provided $22.3 million for CJI. According to the
                           act’s conference report, $9.9 million was for capital improvements and
                           $12.4 million was for operating expenses. (We have previously reported
                           on the use of CJI capital fundsl) The conference report also contained a
                           breakdown of how the conferees intended the operating funds to be
                           used. The operating expenses were broken down as follows:
                           (1) $437,000 for classification and parole officers and records clerks;
                           (2) $3.7 million for additional corrections officers; and (3) $8.2 million
                           for education and vocational programs. However, because the operating
                           expense breakdown was not incorporated into the act either expressly
                           or by reference, the District was not legally bound to follow it. The $8.2
                           million represented about 600 percent more than the approximate $1.2
                           million MU: spent for education during fiscal year 1982.2 uoc was
                           required to spend the operating funds during fiscal year 1984 or lose

CongressStressed Results   In addition to the funding challenges, the District was also being chal-
                           lenged by Congress to show program results quickly. At a November
                           1983 congressional CJI oversight hearing, CJI’Sprincipal congressional
                           sponsor noted that if the program yielded results, appropriations for
                           other jurisdictions could become available. He also noted that future DCZ
                           CJI appropriations would be influenced by program accomplishments. A
                           congressional representative confirmed that pressure was placed on ooc
                           to get the CJI program going. DCICofficials said that quick results were
                           desired because CJI was considered a pilot program that could be used as
                           a national model.

                           ‘D.C. Government: Problems Have Created Delays in constructing Ikkation        Facilities at ~~QII,
                           (GAO/GGD8slBR,      Oct. 1987).
                           Wscal year 1982, rather than 1983, was used for comparison because 1983 data were not available.
                           According to a Dot budget official, a reporting format change instituted in fiscal year 1983 dmcon-
                           tinued recording expenditures at the program level of detail, i.e., education. The official said. how-
                           ever, that fiscal year 1983 expenditure8 for education were similar to thee made during fkal year
                           1982. Data prior to fiscal year 1982 were not available.

                           Page 9                                                             GAO/GGIMW-J39      D.C. Govemment
                    Appendix I
                    What Program Planning Challenges Did the
                    District Face in Originally w      the
                    CJI Program?

                    To expedite CJI implementation, MX: changed its educational program
Centralizing the    management approach. DOCtook program control away from the staffs
Education Program   of the individual correctional facilities and gave it to a centralized man-
Caused Problems     agement staff. However, this action resulted in conflict and a lack of
                    communication among the education, facility management, and security
                    staffs, which actually hindered program implementation.

                    Before the CJI initiative, each correctional facility manager had been in
                    charge of that facility’s education program-a decentralized manage-
                    ment approach. On November 27, 1983, all institutionally based aca-
                    demic and vocational programs were reorganized into a single program
                    under the new position of Assistant Director for Educational Services.
                    The Assistant Director became responsible for and had control over all
                    personnel, expenditures, and services provided under the education por-
                    tion of the cn appropriation. The Assistant Director also assumed con-
                    trol over existing educational programs, including personnel, equipment,
                    supplies, and space.

                    This new organization encountered substantial communication
                    problems. It did not effectively address the different priorities of the
                    DOCstaffs, according to a former M)(: Director. While the Education Ser-
                    vices staffs primary interest was the establishment of an education pro-
                    gram, the corrections staffs priority was facility and personnel security
                    According to uoc officials, the corrections staff’s input in the planning
                    and implementation of the program was not obtained. According to the
                    former DOCDirector, the lack of communication resulted in a “we-
                    versus-them attitude” and “no buy in” from security personnel and
                    facility administrators. He said that as a result, the education function
                    never became integrated into the mainstream of the correctional envi-
                    ronment, and implementation was hampered.

                    In August 1987, not decentralized management of the education pro-
                    gram, and facility administrators were once again responsible for the
                    education program within their facilities. This was done in response to
                    congressional concern that DOCfacility administrators should become
                    more involved in the daily operation of the education program.

                    Currently, the education division’s responsibility is the development ar
                    monitoring of the program, with day-to-day program implementation
                    and supervision done by the facility administrators. The DOCofficials
                    currently responsible for education and management of the facilities
                    believe that facility administrators have to be involved with the pro-
                    gram and that this was a positive change.

                    Page 10                                          GAO/GGD9@89 D.(‘. Gove-4
                          Appendix   1
                          DiAtliCtFACAiIl OW=WNtbe

                          District officials readily admit that program delays did occur. As
Lessons Learned:          recently as May 17,1989, the Mayor testified before the Subcommittee
Future Efforts Need       on the District of Columbia, Senate Appropriations Committee, that
More Time and             implementation was slower than expected and was not without
                          problems. The Mayor stated that “the bureaucracy operates slowly and
Greater Emphasis on       it took some time to get all aspects of the program in gear.”
                          The CJI experience provides valuable insight on the problems associated
                          with implementing a new and large initiative without adequate plan-
                          ning. DOCprogram officials said that the lack of planning time and the
                          need to show quick results were key factors contributing to the
                          problems that later resulted. They said that at least 1 year would be
                          necessary to plan a program of the size and scope of CJI. During this
                          year, they said, the program planners should do the following:

                      . determine the needs of the target population;
                      l develop a comprehensive education program and curriculum to meet the
                        needs of the population;
                      l develop an effective system for the procurement of teachers, supplies,
                        and facilities; and
                      . establish an effective process to facilitate systemwide coordination,
                        cooperation, and direction among all the parties that will affect the suc-
                        cess of the program. These parties include not only government agencies
                        but also private organizations associated with correctional rehabilitation
                        and business groups that will eventually provide jobs.

                          Page 12                                        GAO/GGKHO-8!l D.C. Gove-n
For What Fbrpose Were CJI Operating
Funds Spent?

                                          During fiscal years 1984 through 1986, Congress provided DOCwith
                                          $27.3 million in federal funds for CJI operating expenses. Of this total,
                                          DOCused $14.3 million (52 percent) for the education portion of CJI. The
                                          remaining $13 million (48 percent) was used for security purposes, such
                                          as the hiring of correctional officers, and for other purposes such as
                                          feeding, clothing, and providing medical services to inmates.

                                          Each fiscal year, DOCincreased the percentage of CJI operating funds
                                          used for education. During fiscal year 1984,35 percent was used for
                                          education; during fiscal year 1985,58 percent; and during fiscal year
                                          1986, 100 percent. Starting in fiscal year 1987, the District used its own
                                          funds to continue this education effort.

                                          During fiscal years 1984 through 1986, Congress provided DOCwith a
CJI Operating Fund                        total of $27.3 million in federal operating funds for CJI. Of this total, DOC
Expenditures for                          used $14.3 million (52 percent) for the education portion of CJI. The
Fiscal Years 1984                         remaining $13 million (48 percent) was used for security and other
                                          needs. The District also contributed $2.3 million of its own funds during
Through 1986                              fiscal year 1986 to support the education program. Table II. 1 summa-
                                          rizes CJI expenditures for the 3 fiscal years. The expenditure classifica-
                                          tions were determined by DOC.

Table 11.1:Expenditure of CJI Operating
Funds, Fiscal Years 1984,1985, and 1988   Dollars in thousands
                                                                                                                          Security and
                                          Description                                                Education                   0theP           Total
                                          Personal     services                                           $8,305               $10,315         $18,820
                                          Supplies                                                         1,525                   587           2,212
                                          Other services      and chargesb                                  3,971                 1,641          5,811
                                          Medical                                                                0                    16            18
                                          Land and buildings                                                  887                     0            887
                                          Equipment                                                         1,857                   334          2,191
                                            Subtotal                                                      18,545=               12,992          29,537
                                          Less District     FY 1986 contribution                          W!86)                        0        WW
                                          Total federal funds                                           $14,259                $12,992         $27,251
                                          Percentaae                                                             52                   48           100
                                          Note: Totals do not add due to rounding.
                                          aExpenses classified as “other” include feeding, clothing, and providing medical serwces to Inmates

                                          b”Other services and charges”       is pnmarily used for contractual   services such as consultlng
                                          %cludes      $2.3 million of District funds provided during fiscal year 1986.

                                          Page 13                                                                     GAO/GGD9O439 D.C. Gwemment
                                          For What Puqmee Were CT1 Operating
                                          Funds Spent?

                                          The District of Columbia Appropriations Act of 1984, (Public Law 98-
DOC Spent 35 Percent                      125) provided about $25.2 million to the District for CJI. Of this amount,
of Its 1984 CJI                           $22.3 million was provided to LXX. The remaining $2.9 million was pro-
Operating F’undson                        vided to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for additional
                                          staff and capital improvements. Of the $22.3 million provided to not,
Education                                 $12.4 million was used for CJI operating expenses and the remaining
                                          $9.9 million was used for capital projects.

                                          For fiscal year 1984, not reported it spent $4.3 million for education and
                                          $8.1 million for security and other purposes. Table II.2 presents a sum-
                                          mary of fiscal year 1984 CJI operating fund expenditures.

Table 11.2:Expenditure of CJI Operating
Funds, Fiscal Year 1984                   Dollars in thousands
                                                                                               Security and
                                          Description                            Education             other         Total*
                                          Personal services                                          $5,819         $6,883
                                          Supplies                                     849              583          1,432
                                          Other services and charges                   957            1,524          2,481
                                          Medical services                               0               16             18
                                          Land and buildings                           887                0            887
                                          Equipment                                    781              169            950
                                          Total                                     $4,318           98,112        812,430
                                          Percentaae                                    35                65           100
                                          aTotal does not add due to rounding

                                          For fiscal year 1985, Congress provided DCK$11.6 million for the contin-
DOC Spent 58 Percent                      uation of CJI. Because of congressional concern regarding the pace with
of Its 1985 CJI                           which the education portion of CJI was being implemented, only about
Operating Funds on                        one-half of that $11.6 million ($6.2 million) was provided as part of the
                                          District’s 1985 appropriation (Public Law 98-473). The additional $5.4
Education                                 million was later provided in a supplemental appropriation (Public Law
                                          99-88). During fiscal year 1985, DOCused $6.7 million, or 58 percent, of
                                          the total CJI appropriation for educational purposes. The remaining $4.9
                                          million, or 42 percent, was used for security and other proposes, such as
                                          bedding supplies.

                                          As with fiscal year 1984, Congress did not specify in the public law the
                                          purposes for which the fiscal year 1985 CJI funds could be used. Table
                                          II.3 presents a summary of fiscal year 1985 CJI expenditures.

                                          PAge 14                                            GAO/GGDM9     D.C. Govemmenl
                                          For What Purpose Were CJX Operating
                                          Funda Spent?

Table 11.3:Expenditure of CJI Operating
Funds, Fiscal Year 1985                   Dollars    in thousands
                                                                                                    Security and
                                          Description                                Education              other               Total’
                                          Personal    services                          $3,590             $4,496              58.088
                                          Supplies                                         434                  104               538
                                          Other services and charges                      1,896                 116             2,012
                                          Equipment                                         816                 165               981
                                          Total                                         98,738             94,881            Sll,618
                                          Porcentaoe                                        !i8                 42                 100

                                          aTotal does not add due to rounding.

                                          During fiscal year 1986, the last year federal funds were provided, Con-
AlI Fiscal Year 1986                      gress provided $3.2 million in CJI operating funds. The District supple-
CJI Operating Funds                       mented this with $2.3 million of its own funds. Table II.4 shows
Spent on Education                        expenditure data for the combined federal and District fiscal year 1986
                                          education funds. The District did not separately account for federal

Table 11.4:Expenditure of CJI Operating
Funds, F&al Year lSa8                     Dollars in thousands
                                                                                                     Security and
                                          DOSCcriptiOtl                              Education               other               Total
                                          Personal services                              $3,871                   0            53,871
                                          Supplies                                          242                   0               242
                                          Other services and charges                      1,118                     0            1,118
                                          Eauioment                                         260                   0               280
                                          TOW                                           95,ssr                    0            $5,492
                                          Percentage                                        100                     0              100
                                          Note: Totals do not add due to rounding.
                                          %cluded $2.3 million In nonfederal funds

                                          Beginning with fiscal year 1987, the District has used its own funds to
District Now Supports                     support the continuation of the education programs begun under CJI.
Education Programs                        Since fiscal year 1987, the District has spent $24.4 million on correc-
                                          tional education-$7.7    million in 1987, $8.5 million in 1988, and $8.2
                                          million in 1989.

                                          P8ge 16                                                 GAO/GGMO-89         D.C. Government
Appendix III

How Many Inmaks Obtained a Job Related to
the CJI Training Received?

                           Since fiscal year 1987, DOChas used a computerized job placement
                           database to retain information relating to the jobs its inmates have
                           received. During our analysis of these data, we noted several significant
                           accuracy problems, including missing information. Consequently, while
                           the data presented in this appendix represent the best available on the
                           results of the CJI program, they have significant limitations that restrict
                           our ability to draw conclusions about the impact of CJI.

                           Our limited analysis showed that from October 1, 1986, to June 30,
                           1989, there have been 3,944 job placements. Of these, 392, or 10 per-
                           cent, were identified on DOCrecords as being related to the CJI training
                           received. Jobs under the title “Laborer” were identified as the most fre-
                           quently obtained, representing 123, or 31 percent, of the c&related
                           placements. For the cn-related group, the average hourly salary
                           obtained was $5.90.

                           According to not officials, the perceived low number of reported CJI-
                           related placements is attributable to several noneducation factors. These
                           factors are (1) the practice of inmates taking the first available job in
                           order to be eligible for parole; (2) the practice of inmates taking a non-
                           a-related job because it provided better benefits, especially medical;
                            and (3) the lack and/or cost of transportation, causing inmates to take
                           jobs close to their homes.

                           The chronic overcrowding that exists in the District’s correctional
                           system, a problem that goes well beyond the education program,
                           presents a significant challenge to providing effective education. MXI
                           estimated that at the end of fiscal year 1989, the inmate population
                           exceeded capacity by 23 percent. According to DOCofficials, over-
                           crowding results in inmate transfers that cause breaks in an inmate’s
                           education and creates an environment that is not conducive to learning.

                           During our job placement records analysis, we became aware of signifi-
Data Errors in DOC’s       cant data accuracy problems in LX’S computerized placement records.
Job Placement File         These problems were as follows:

                       l   Incomplete data on (X-related placements. Our initial analysis of ooc
                           placement records showed that 45 percent did not indicate whether the
                           placement was related to the CJI training the inmate had received. To
                           deal with this deficiency, the DOCCoordinator of Job Placement and Arts
                           in Prison Program reviewed the computerized records and decided
                           whether the job placement was related to the training received.

                           Page 16                                           GAO/GGD90-89   D.C. Gmwnmen~
    How Many lntnates Obtained a Job Related to
    the CJI Tmhinjj Received?

l    Inconsistent data on CJI participation. Analysis of the records after the
    job placement coordinator had completed her review showed there were
     427 c.n-related placements. However, analysis of the c&related place-
     ments showed that for 36 of these (8 percent), the inmate who obtained
     the job did not participate in any education program. These 35 records
     were not included in our c&related placement analysis but were
     included in the nona analysis.
l    Inaccurate/Incomplete data on salaries. In analyzing hourly salary data,
     we noted that some records showed weekly rather than hourly salary
     data, showed no salary data, or showed what appeared to be unreason-
     able data (e.g., 50 cents per hour). Because of these problems, we
     included only job placement records that showed hourly salaries of
     between $3 and $20. This methodology was agreed to by the hoc job
     placement coordinator. As a consequence, 198 (5 percent) of the total
     3,944 placement records were not included in our salary analysis.
l    Incomplete job title information. While analyzing job titles, we noted
     that 319, (1 m-related and 318 nona-related)       or 8 percent, of the
     placements did not contain a job title. Also, DOCdoes not maintain any
    job description data in its computerized records. Thus, we could not
     determine why a particular job was identified as cn-related.
l    No standard job titles. MW=does not use standardized job titles. It records
     the job title as it is provided by the employer. This practice and the lack
     of job description data precluded any meaningful analysis of the types
     of jobs obtained. For example, the following jobs associated with sheet
     metal work were reported: sheet metal, sheet metal approx., sheet metal
     work, and sheet metal mech. These four titles could represent the same,
      similar, or different jobs within the same trade.

    District managers need reasonably complete, standardized, and accurate
    data to make management decisions and evaluate program results. How-
    ever, our analysis of D&S job placement records showed that the data
    contained in those records were incomplete (for CJI participation, sala-
    ries, and job titles), not standardized (for job titles), and inaccurate (for
    CJI participation and salaries). Standardization of job titles would allow
    DOCto more accurately determine what type of jobs its inmates are

    Further limiting DOCmanagers’ abilities to evaluate program results and
    effectiveness is the lack of information in the placement records that
    could provide a complete profile of the job obtained and its relationship
    to the training received. This necessary information includes ( 1) job
    descriptive data, (2) why a particular placement was deemed to be
    related to the CJI training received, and (3) any noneducation factors

    Page 17                                           GAO/GGIMO-89   D.C. Govemment
                                                  How Many hnates Obtained a Job Related to
                                                  the CJI Tr8lning Received?

                                                  that influenced an inmate to take a particular job. Until the existing
                                                  data problems are corrected and the additional data elements added, we
                                                  believe that a significant shortfall exists in hoc’s job placement
                                                  database, reducing its usefulness to Mx: management.

                                                  On the basis of the limited data available, for the time period October 1,
CJI-Related                                       1986, to June 30,1989, our analysis showed there were 3,944 job place-
Placements Represent                              ments. Of these, 392, or 10 percent, were identified as being related to
10 Percent of Total                               the CJI training the inmate received. We found no appreciable increase in
                                                  the ratio of c.n-related placements to total placements during the time
Placements                                        period we analyzed. Figure III. 1 shows the number of placements by
                                                  fiscal quarter.

Figure 111.1:Job Phcements by Fircel Querter, October 1,1906, to June 30,198g
lM6   Numbuofplacmds
466                                                                   I          L

      Ew       lizI,      Qurlr
                          lm7     aaler
                                  1#1     aumtu
                                          1383       Quftr
                                                     1333      Quhr
                                                               1383       Qumu
                                                                          1333       EL     amrbr
                                                                                            13.3      1323
      1        2          3       4       1          2         3          4          1      2         3
      Fbml yuand       quarm

                                                  Note 1: There were a total of 3,944 placements of which 392 were CJI-related placements

                                                  Note 2: Ten percent of al placements from October 1, 1966. to June 30, 1989, were CJI related

                                                  P8ge 18                                                            GAO/GGD90-89 D.C. Covemmen
                   Appends JII
                   How Many Inmates Obtained a Job Rehted to
                   the CJl Trdning Received?

                   While the CJI-related placements represent 10 percent of the total place-
                   ments, it should be noted that many of the inmates who obtained non-
                   CJI-related placements were participants in a CJI education program. Of
                   the 3,552 non-CJI placements, 1,868, or 53 percent, showed that the
                   inmates who obtained those placements were enrolled in a CJI education
                   program. For those inmates, a DOC vocational development specialist
                   decided that the job obtained did not relate to the CJI training.

                   uoc officials said the perceived low number of c&related placements is
                   influenced by several noneducation factors. One factor is that inmates
                   are taking the first available job, whether or not it relates to the cx
                   training, in order to be eligible for parole. The D.C. Board of Parole
                   requires an inmate to have employment in order to be paroled.
                   According to an official of the Board, while it does not keep statistics
                   relating to this subject, it does appear that inmates are taking the first
                   available job in order to be eligible for parole.

                   A second factor noted was that a vocational development specialist may
                   recommend that an inmate take a nona-related        job rather than a CJI-
                   related job, if the specialist believes the former would be better for the
                   inmate and/or the inmate’s family. For example, hoc considers jobs with
                   medical benefits to be very desirable, especially if the inmate’s family
                   has no medical coverage or is receiving its medical coverage as a result
                   of welfare participation. If the non-en job offers medical benefits while
                   the cn-related job does not, the specialist would probably recommend
                   the non-en-related job. The final decision, however, is the inmate’s.

                   The availability and cost of transportation were also noted as factors
                   affecting job selection. The DCMZjob placement coordinator noted that
                   because of transportation limitations, some inmates prefer a job close to
                   their homes regardless of the job’s relationship to the training they

                   Our initial analysis of job titles showed there were 764 separate job
Most Common Job    titles reported in DOCrecords. However, DOCdoes not use standard job
Obtained-Laborer   titles but instead reports the title provided by the employer. In order to
                   adequately report on the type of job obtained, we grouped all the jobs
                   that appeared similar under separate titles. For example, under our title
                   “Warehouseman” we included the following job titles reported in the
                   computerized records-warehouse,         warehousemen, warehouseman,
                   warehouse person, and warehouse worker. Our effort resulted in
                    reducing the number of separate titles from 764 to 534.

                    Page 19                                         GAOpXZMO-89   D.C. Gommment
                                        Appendix Ill
                                        How Many Inmatea ObWned a Job Belated to
                                        the CJI +lbhing Received?

                                        The job title with the greatest number of placements was “Laborer.”
                                        That title accounted for 1,273, or 35 percent, of all the placements that
                                        had job titles. Regarding CJI training-related placements, the “Laborer”
                                        title accounted for 123 placements, or 31 percent. For non-CJI-related
                                        placements, it represented 1,150 placements, or 36 percent. Figures III.2
                                        and III.3 show the 10 job titles with the highest number of placements
                                        for cx-related placements as well as noncJr-related placements.

Figure 111.2:Most Frequently Obtained
Job for Inmates With CJI-Related        36 Pucaltotu~~lobs
Training, October 1,1966, to June 30,
1969                                    33



                                        Note 1: Based on 391 CJI-related placements that had job titles.

                                        Note 2: Al\ remaining )ob Wes each represented   1 percent or less of the total C&related     placements

                                        Page 20                                                              GAO/GGDtXM39           DK. Governmet
                                        Appendix III
                                        HOWhiany hnatea Obtd.ned (LJob Recited to
                                        the CJI Trdnlng       Recehd?

Figure 111.3:Moat Frequently Obtained   I
Job for Inmates Wfthout CJI-Related
                                        PU wltdNofleJlrolatodk(w
Training, October 1,1988, to June 30,
1989                                    36

                                        Note 1: Percentages      are based on a total of 3552 job placements that had job titles

                                        Note 2: All remaining job titles each represented    1 percent or less of the total job placements

                                        According to DW officials, while they can locate a job for any inmate
                                        who wants one, the typical jobs available are for unskilled laborers and
                                        have little upward mobility. They attribute this to (1) the bias associ-
                                        ated with hiring ex-convicts, (2) the high level of competition for all jobs
                                        due to the above average level of education of the local population, and
                                        (3) inmates wanting jobs close to home because of transportation availa-
                                        bility and cost.

      3 Averagekss
Salaries                                to June 30, 1989, was $5.80 per hour. For c.u-training-related jobs it was
Than$6.00PerHour                        $6.90, and for noncJr-related jobs it was $5.79. There was no appreci-
                                        able salary increase for either group during the time period analyzed.
                                        Table III.4 shows average salary received, by fiscal year.

                                        Page 21                                                                  GAO/GGD9lM9        D.C. Go~cmment
                                            Appendix III
                                            How Many hnates obtained a Job Related to
                                            the CJI Trdning Received?

Table 111.1:Average Hourty Salary, Fiscal
Years 1987 Through 1989                                                                                                           Non-CJI- related
                                            Fiscal year                                  CJI- related jobs                                    jobs
                                            1987                                                          3588                               $5 72
                                            1988                                                           5.08                               5.84
                                            1989                                                           5.91                               5 78
                                            Average                                                       $5.90                              $5.79
                                            Averaae       for all Dlacements                                            $5.80

                                            Since fiscal year 1983, DOC’Sinmate population has grown by 84 percent.
Prison Crowding-A                           Figures III.5 and III.6 show the locations at which inmates are housed
Significant Problem                         and the population change at these locations between fiscal years 1983
                                            and 1989.
Facing the Education
Figure 111.4:Inmate Year-End Population
by Fiscal Year, 1983 Through 1989
                                            15     Thowuaotlnrmdr

                                                   loo3           1904    1#6   ls88     law        1Qw           low
                                                   Pbal     yar

                                            Note: The Inmate population increased by 64 percent dunng the time period covered by lhls figure.

                                            Page 22                                                                 GAO/GGD9089    D.C. Governmr
                                           How Mmy hnatee Obtained a Job Related to
                                           the CII Trdnhg Recehd?

Figure 111.5:Inmate Year-End Population by Facility, Fiscal Years 1993 Through 1999

          Mum&r   ol inmdr

          1oIJ                 1W          1SM               I#88              1@#7         lM#             19.8

          1 J Dcdemtbn
                  Halfway houaea

                                           While the number of inmates has increased, the District’s physical plant
                                           capacity has not kept pace. On the basis of D&S fiscal yearend 1989
                                           population level, DOCestimated that the inmate population exceededthe
                                           physical plant population capacity by 23 percent. not projects that the
                                           inmate population will exceedcapacity until at least fiscal year 1992.

                                            DCEofficials claim that chronic crowding has made it difficult to ensure
                                            continuity in education programs. To avoid violation of court orders
                                            regarding population limits, DOCmust move inmates from one District
                                            facility to another or to another jurisdiction’s correctional facility. These
                                            transfers result in breaks in inmate education programs. For example,
                                            an inmate transferred to another jurisdiction may not have any educa-
                                            tion opportunity if none is offered by the receiving institution.
                                            According to the former MX:Director, many of the transferred inmates

                                            Page 23                                          GAO/GGD-QWB D.C. Gomrmment
Appendix III
How Many Inmate0 Obtained a Job Related to
the CJI Training Received?

were enrolled in the DW education program. These inmates are prime
candidates for selection for transfer because their involvement in educa-
tion is considered a positive behavioral factor, and thus they are more
acceptable to the receiving jurisdiction.

Overcrowding also presents a negative environment for education,
according to the not Deputy Director for Operations. For example, space
may not be available to provide the opportunity for quality time for stu-
dents to study. He said that it is very difficult for inmates to effectively
study in a noisy, overcrowded area where they are concerned about
their physical safety.

Page 24
Appeidix   IV

Comments of the District of
Columbia Government

                                            GOVERNMENT   OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
                                                         EXECUTIVE     OFFICE

                OFFICE OF THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR                                    CAROL 8. THOMPSON
                DEPUTY MAYOR FOR OPERATIONS                                         CITY ADMINISTRATOR
                                                                                    DEPUTY MAYOR FOR OPERATIONS
                                                                                    1350 PENNSYLVANIA  AVE., N.W. - RM. 507
                                                                                    WASHINOTON,    DC. 20004

                                                          MAYI 7 19%

                      Richard L. Fogcl
                      Assistant   Comptroller    General
                      U.S. General Accounting      Office
                      441 G Street,   N.W. Room 3860
                      Washington,   D.C.     20548
                      Dear   Mr.   Fogel:
                      In reply to your letter          dated April       2, 1990. please find
                      enclosed     the comments of the District             government to your
                      draft   report       titled, "Non-Education        Factors Hindered    Criminal
                      Jurtice    Initiative".       Please direct        further   inquiries  regarding
                      this ratter        to Marc Loud of my staff          at, 727-6053.
                                                            Sinstly,            -

                                                            City Administrator/Deputy               l'layor
                                                               for Operations         -

                               Page21                                                       GAO/GGD9OSSD.C.Government
              Appendix Iv
              Commenta of the Dbtrict        of
              C4hmbia      Government

                                           Government  of the District of Columbia
                                            DEPARTMENT       OF CORRECTIONS
                                                           SUIIC N-203
                                                   1923 Vcrmon! Avenue. N W.
                                                     Warhmgton.   D.C. Z&WI

Dffice of the Director

                                                                      MAY16 1990

   TO                :   Carol B. Thompson
                         City Administrator/Deputy                  Mayor

   SUBJECT:              Response to GAO Audit titled                    "Non-Education
                           Factors Hindered Criminal                    Justice  Initiative"

   The aseessment of this agency is that the conclusions                                       drawn in
   this report,     ae they relate to the education program,                                   have been
   generally    accepted aL1 along and are not new.
   During the pact several          years we Slave devtioptd      new procedures,
   with the result         that the prccurtment   process has been improved,
   and through the decentralization           of day-to-day      management of
   educational        programs,   we believe  communication      among security
   staff,    facility      managers and the education      staff   is more open and
   In regards to the job placement      function,    we are cognizant   of the
   concerns as outlined,    and have already      begun to initiate   new
   proceduree.  I will   briefly  discuss     each GAO recommendation:
                 0            Review existing    job placement  input controls
                            to determine     how t&c ac-Tracy  of the data can be
                            1.      We have identified   one person to input all job
                                    placement data into the system submitted     from
                                    halfway houses.    The error rate has already been
                                    reduced,  as have incomplete/inaccurate   data.
                            2.      Additional      WICAT computers are in place                 to
                                    facilitate      the input process.
                            3.      We have also  identified        a quality   assurance team
                                    to review current      controls    for accuracy and to
                                    make further  recommendations          for improvement.

               Page26                                                                GAO/GGD-9999D.C.Govemmer
     comlaeatdof the Dbtrict of

      0        -lop     standardized    job title        infoxmmtion       ao
               that all similar     job placementa         am grow          under
               the same job title.
               1.     The department    haa ordered the GIS (Guidance
                      Information    Syatam) aoftwaro     which will
                      standardize    our job title   information     for us.
               2.     Thrar staff  membora have already             bean trained
                      by the Department    of Employmsnt           Sorvicea   on the
                      use  of this software.
               3.     A target   date of September 1, 1990 haa been
                      identified    to have all staff trained and using
                      the GIS aoftwaro.
      0         Provide  in thm coquterired      record,      info-tion
               relating  to (1) job daacrlption,       (2) why a particular
               placement   was dead    to k rmlatti       to tba CJI training
               received,   uxl (3) any non-education        factor8      that
               Influenced anitmate to take l pmrtlculu                job.
               1.     We are also purchasing      the aoftwara     related    to the
                      Dictionary   of Occupational     Titles,    which llata
                      conventional   job descriptions.         Tha Department of
                      Employment Sarvicaa     is providing      us technical
                      l aaiatance  to put this in place.
               2.     The quality    l aauranco    team ham also been asked to
                      develop a procedure       for documenting  factors  that
                      relate   to job plmxmant.        They have been given a
                      deadline    of September 1, 1990 for this project.
~a thoam areas that we have identified             for   further      development      are
completed,  I will keep you informed.

      Page27                                                       GAO/GGIMO4l9D.C.Govemment
Appendix V                                                                                             -
Major Contributors to This Report

                            John Stahl, Assistant Director, Federal Management Issues
Genera3Government           John A. Parulis, Evaluator-in-Charge
Division. Washirxton,   I
                            Gregory Wilmoth, Senior Social Science Analyst
                            Marsha A. Matthews, Secretary

(426676)                    Page 28                                       GAO/GGD90-89   DC. Govern1