Office of the Utah State Auditor Releases A Performance Audit of Utah’s Adult Felony Drug Courts [Hub Wire]

News Release
For Immediate Release
January 21, 2015

A Performance Audit of Utah’s Adult Felony Drug Courts

Program Could be Strengthened with Oversight Enhancements and
Greater Collaboration with Other State Agencies 

Salt Lake City, UTAH –

The Office of the Utah State Auditor (Office) recently completed a Performance Audit of Utah’s Adult Felony Drug Courts (audit). While there is much national data that points to the value of drug courts, Agencies responsible for Utah’s drug courts have not collected the specific and actionable data that is needed to drive continuous improvement. The program could be strengthened by enhanced oversight, stronger data collection, and coordination with other agencies to improve the success rate of drug court participants and reduce incarceration rates.  The audit includes four key recommendations to help further strengthen Utah’s Felony Drug Courts and improve outcomes for its participants.

  1. Improve collection of accurate and reliable state-specific data to determine the effectiveness of felony drug courts in the state.
  2. Improve coordination with the Department of Workforce Services’ job specialists and Medicaid eligibility specialists to help FDC clients learn job skills and find job placement, and to enroll eligible clients in Medicaid.
  3. Centralize oversight of the felony drug courts with the Administrative Office of the Courts to ensure consistency and use of best practices.  Ideally, law enforcement would administer a Risk and Needs Triage assessment to all non-violent offenders at the time of arrest which could improve individual treatment outcomes, reduce recidivism, and decrease incarceration costs.
  4. Conduct analysis on collected data to identify key variables that increase the likelihood of successful program completion.

The full Audit Report and accompanying Audit Brief may be found on the Office’s website, auditor.utah.gov, specifically at
http://financialreports.utah.gov/saoreports/2014/PA14-06UtAdultFelonyDrugCourtsAdministrativeOfficeoftheCourts.pdf.

About the Office of the Utah State Auditor

The Office of the Utah State Auditor provides Utah taxpayers and government officials with an independent assessment of financial operation, statutory compliance, and performance management for state and local government.

Specific activities of the Office include performing financial audits, conducting Federal funds compliance audits, providing local government oversight, conducting agency and program performance audits, performing fraud and compliance audits, and operating the State Auditor Hotline for citizens to report suspected financial issues or improprieties.  These capabilities strengthen Utah State Government and help taxpayers have confidence in the integrity of Utah’s government agencies.

The Utah State Auditor is a Constitutional Officer of the State of Utah, elected directly by the state’s citizens every 4 years.  The role of the Utah State Auditor is authorized in Article VII, Section 15 of the Utah Constitution. For more information, see auditor.utah.gov.

Contact:
Nicole Toomey  Davis

Public Information Officer

Office of the Utah State Auditor
801-678-4835
ndavis@utah.gov


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