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Scathing audit highlights more problems at the Department of Corrections

5 years 7 months 1 day ago Monday, October 30 2017 Oct 30, 2017 October 30, 2017 5:33 PM October 30, 2017 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE- More problems emerged Monday as the State Legislative Auditor released a scathing audit involving the Department of Corrections.

For months, the WBRZ Investigative Unit has been reporting on issues at the Department including: a work release inmate who escaped and killed a woman, a band made up of sex offenders and violent offenders released into the public, and a man who was paroled from a life sentence who managed to kill a teenager last week.

Today, the State Legislative Auditor highlighted a myriad of problems that showed a lack of oversight on inmates in the prison system and a waste of your taxpayer money.

The audit showed:

1. 100 files of inmates were reviewed.
   11 offenders were at a facility other than what was in the Department of Corrections System.

2. Monitoring offenders' data was not sufficient in their system when it came to local facilities. Nine facilities were examined and 19 percent had errors involving inmates.

3. Calculating release dates is inconsistent.
   DOC has no policy, procedure or manual to correctly calculate release dates.

4. $3.6 million dollars spent on an Offender Management System
   It went live on June 15, 2015 and was taken off-line on July 31, 2015 due to system failures.

"There needs to be better tracking of offenders," Kristen Jacobs with the State Legislative Auditor's Office said. "They need to modify their policies and procedures consider working on a new data system that would give them a global understanding of what's going on with offenders on a given day."

For months we've been requesting an interview with Corrections Secretary Jimmy Leblanc about all of the issues hilighted in WBRZ Investigative Unit reports. A spokesperson has repeatedly declined our requests. That spokesperson also did not make Leblanc available to interview today about the audit released by the State Legislative Auditor's Office.

In a written response, the Department of Corrections said it agreed with all of the State Legislative Auditor's Findings and said it would be making the appropriate changes to guidelines. It was currently in the process of trying to see if the system that went online for about a month was salvageable. 

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