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Texas Audit Parole Division Operations at the Dept of Crim Just Oct 2010

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John Keel, CPA
State Auditor

An Audit Report on

Parole Division Operations at the
Department of Criminal Justice
October 2010
Report No. 11-008

An Audit Report on

Parole Division Operations at the
Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008
October 2010

Overall Conclusion
The Department of Criminal Justice
(Department) used the tools available to it to
monitor parole officer caseloads, track drug
tests and offender contacts, and ensure that
parole offices had sufficient coverage for parole
officers on leave. The Department tracked 93
percent of the required drug tests and 96
percent of the required offender contacts in its
Offender Information Management System (OIMS)
for fiscal year 2009 and the first half of fiscal
year 2010.

Background Information
The Department of Criminal Justice’s Parole
Division (Division) supervises offenders on parole
and mandatory supervision. Offenders report to
a parole officer for supervision based on their
offender category. For fiscal year 2009 and the
first half of fiscal year 2010, the Division
supervised an average of 79,939 parolees. The
average number of parole officers during this
time period was 1,255.
On average, for fiscal year 2009 and the first half
of fiscal year 2010, the Division supervised
offenders in the following case categories:

ƒ 63,337 offenders classified as regular

offenders with minimum, medium, or

In addition, the Department reported its
maximum supervision levels.
caseload ratios to the Office of the Governor and
ƒ 4,802 offenders classified under the Special
Needs Offender Program, which includes
the Legislative Budget Board as required by the
mentally impaired, mentally retarded,
Texas Government Code and General
terminally ill, or physically handicapped
Appropriations Act (81st Legislature). However,
offenders.
the Department exceeded the caseload
ƒ 3,448 offenders classified as Therapeutic
Community, which is for offenders with
guidelines established in the Texas Government
substance abuse issues.
Code and the General Appropriations Act. Also,
ƒ 3,028 offenders classified as sex offenders.
the methodology used to calculate the caseload
ƒ 2,157 offenders classified as other/unknown
ratios in these reports understates the caseloads
for whom the supervision level had not been
when compared to the methodology established
identified in the Offender Information
Management System.
in the Department’s policies and procedures to
ƒ 1,677 offenders who were placed on
calculate caseload ratios. For example, in its
electronic monitoring and were monitored
April 2010 report to the Legislative Budget
using radio frequency equipment.
Board, the Department reported that it had an
ƒ 1,490 offenders classified under the Superoverall caseload ratio of 63.5 offenders per
Intensive Supervision Program. These
offenders were monitored using Global
parole officer. However, using the methodology
Positioning System (GPS) technology.
for calculating caseload ratios in the
Department’s policies, auditors determined that
the Department’s overall caseload ratio was 78.8
offenders per parole officer, which more accurately reflects the resources needed
to manage caseloads with offenders requiring differing levels of supervision.
The Department also should ensure that quality reviews used to monitor parole
officers’ caseloads are conducted within required time frames and tracked
appropriately.
This audit was conducted in accordance with Texas Government Code, Section 321.0132.
For more information regarding this report, please contact Nicole Guerrero, Audit Manager, or John Keel, State Auditor, at (512) 9369500.

An Audit Report on
Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008

Survey of Parole Officers and Supervisors
Auditors surveyed 1,234 parole officers and received responses from 537 (44
percent response rate) related to parole officer training, caseloads, job duties,
and the use of OIMS. Auditors also surveyed 243 unit supervisors and parole
supervisors (supervisors) and received responses from 168 (69 percent response
rate) related to supervisor training, caseload management, and the use of OIMS.
Survey responses generally aligned with the audit findings in this report. While
Parole Division supervisors generally reported that they had the necessary tools to
monitor parole officer caseloads, the parole officers expressed concerns about the
size of their caseloads and the overtime required to manage them.
Parole Officer Training
Generally, the Department ensured that parole officers completed required
training. Specifically:
¾

All new parole officers hired between July 2004 and January 2010 attended the
required six-week Parole Officer Training Academy.

¾

The majority of supervisors promoted since January 2004 and parole officers who
oversee specialized caseloads attended training as required.

However, the Department should improve the training it provides to parole officers
by:
¾

Updating its curriculum to ensure that it matches the requirements in the
Department’s policies and procedures.

¾

Providing training for supervisors and parole officers who oversee specialized
caseloads on a regular basis.

¾

Reviewing its policy and determining whether resources are available to provide
40 hours of in-service training biennially. None of the 883 parole officers
completed the required 40 hours of in-service training for the 2008-2009
biennium because the Department did not offer a sufficient amount of in-service
training during that time period. However, 91 percent of the parole officers who
were required to take in-service training in fiscal year 2009 completed at least
20 hours.

Prior Recommendations
The Department had fully or substantially implemented most of the prior State
Auditor’s Office recommendations in An Audit Report on Selected Parole Functions
at the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Pardons and Paroles (State
Auditor’s Office Report No. 08-036, June 2008) regarding offender contacts, drug
testing, and information technology improvements.

ii

An Audit Report on
Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008

Summary of Management’s Response
The Department agreed with the recommendations in this report.

Summary of Objectives, Scope, and Methodology
The objectives of the audit were to:
¾

Determine whether the training that the Department provides to parole officers
is consistent with Department policies and procedures.

¾

Determine whether the Department’s management of parole officer caseloads
and offender contacts complies with Department policies and procedures and
state law.

¾

Determine whether the Department has taken corrective actions to address
selected recommendations from An Audit Report on Selected Parole Functions at
the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Pardons and Paroles (State
Auditor's Office Report No. 08-036, June 2008).

The scope of the audit included reviewing and analyzing various Department
training data from July 2004 through February 2010 and parole supervision and
caseload data from September 2008 through February 2010. In addition, auditors
surveyed 1,234 parole officers and 243 unit supervisors and parole supervisors
(supervisors) and received survey responses from 537 parole officers (44 percent)
and 168 (69 percent) supervisors.
The audit methodology included collecting information and documentation,
performing selected tests and other procedures, analyzing and evaluating the
results of the tests, and conducting interviews with staff from selected parole
offices and the Department’s Parole Division. Information technology work was
primarily limited to following up on the information technology recommendations
from the previous State Auditor’s Office report (see Chapter 3).
Auditors also identified issues of a sensitive nature related to training and other
less significant issues that were communicated separately in writing to the
Department.

iii

Contents
Detailed Results 
Chapter 1 

While the Department Manages Parole Officer Caseloads
and Tracks Offender Contacts as Required, It Should
Improve Its Reporting of Caseload Ratios and Tracking of
Quality Reviews ........................................................ 1 
Chapter 2 

The Department Generally Ensured That Parole Officers
Completed Required Training; However, It Should
Improve Its Training by Updating Its Curriculum and
Offering In-service and Other Training on a Regular Basis..... 12 
Chapter 3 

The Department Has Fully or Substantially Implemented
Most Prior State Auditor’s Office Recommendations
Related to Offender Contacts, Drug Testing, and
Information Technology ............................................. 19 

Appendices 
Appendix 1 

Objectives, Scope, and Methodology .............................. 22 
Appendix 2 

Results of the State Auditor’s Office’s Survey of Parole
Officers and Supervisors ............................................. 25 
Appendix 3 

Average Number of Offenders and Parole Officers per
Region .................................................................. 28 
Appendix 4 

Assigned Weights for Each Category of Offender................ 35 
Appendix 5 

Recent State Auditor’s Office Work ............................... 36 

Detailed Results
Chapter 1

While the Department Manages Parole Officer Caseloads and Tracks
Offender Contacts as Required, It Should Improve Its Reporting of
Caseload Ratios and Tracking of Quality Reviews
The Department of Criminal Justice (Department) used the tools available to it
to (1) monitor parole officer caseloads on a daily or weekly basis, (2) track
drug tests and offender contacts, and (3) ensure that parole offices have
sufficient coverage while a parole officer is on leave. The Department
reported caseload ratios to the Office of the Governor and the Legislative
Budget Board as required by the Texas Government Code and General
Appropriations Act (81st Legislature). However, the Department exceeded
the caseload guidelines established in the Texas Government Code and the
General Appropriations Act. Also, the methodology the Department used to
calculate the caseload ratios in these reports understates the caseloads when
compared to the methodology established in the Department’s policies and
procedures to calculate caseload ratios. The Department should also improve
its quality review processes to ensure that the quality reviews used to monitor
parole officers’ caseloads are conducted within the required time frames and
tracked appropriately.
Chapter 1-A

The Department Managed Parole Officer Caseloads and Tracked
Drug Tests and Offender Contacts as Required; However, It Did Not
Always Ensure That Drug Tests and Offender Contacts Were
Recorded in a Timely Manner or Adequately Supported
The Department’s Parole Division used various tools, such as automated
caseload reports and data collected in the Department’s Offender Information
Management System (OIMS), to monitor parole officer caseloads on a daily
or weekly basis and to ensure that parole offices had sufficient coverage and
backup while a parole officer was on leave.
In addition, parole officers appropriately tracked the required offender drug
tests and offender contacts for the majority of the offenders tested; however,
the Department did not ensure that parole officers entered all drugs tests and
offender contacts into OIMS within the required three days. Further, the
Department did not always maintain supporting documentation for the drug
tests entered into OIMS.

An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008
October 2010
Page 1

The Department monitored parole officer caseloads on at least a weekly basis.
Parole Officer Allocations and
Turnover Rates
According to the Department, it is
currently authorized 1,313 Parole
Officer I and Parole Officer II (parole
officer) positions, 208 unit supervisor
positions, 33 parole supervisor
positions, and 12 assistant regional
director or regional director positions.
As of September 1, 2010, there were
41 (3 percent) vacant parole officer
positions. For fiscal year 2009, the
turnover rate for Parole Officer I
positions was 13.1 percent, and the
turnover rate for Parole Officer II
positions was 8.1 percent.

Each parole office is allocated a certain number of parole officers (see
text box for Department-wide allocations). As new offenders are
assigned to a parole office on a daily or weekly basis, unit supervisors
and parole supervisors (supervisors) are responsible for assigning them
to a parole officer. Supervisors at the 10 parole offices that auditors
visited used various reports from OIMS and the Department’s
mainframe computer to review parole officer caseloads and distribute
the assigned offenders in as equitable a manner as possible.

To do this, the supervisors must consider an offender’s case category
to determine the level of supervision that will be required (see Chapter
1-B for more information about case categories). In addition, the
offender’s assignment may depend on his or her home address because
the parole officer may be required to conduct home visits. When a parole
officer is on extended leave, the supervisors also must reallocate the caseload
among a parole office’s other parole officers.

The Department ensured that parole offices had sufficient coverage for parole
officers on short-term leave.

Auditors reviewed 10 parole offices’ backup plans and duty day schedules and
determined that all 10 offices had sufficient coverage when parole officers
were on short-term leave. Department policy requires parole offices to
provide trained backup officers for parole officers on short-term leave who
have Super-Intensive Supervision Program and electronic monitoring
offenders in their caseloads. Generally, these parole officers are the only
parole officers for whom official backups are provided in all parole offices. In
addition, all 10 offices visited relied on “duty officers” to provide backup for
regular parole officers on short-term leave by helping with office visits, drug
testing, or any other offender contacts needed.
The Department’s parole officers appropriately tracked drug tests and offender
contacts.

For the 300 offenders whom auditors tested, the Department’s parole officers
consistently tracked drug tests and offender contacts as required. The
Department’s OIMS showed that parole officers completed 1,111 (93 percent)
of 1,192 required drug tests and 7,589 (96 percent) of 7,931 required offender
contacts during fiscal year 2009 and the first half of fiscal year 2010.
The Department did not ensure that parole officers entered all drugs tests and
offender contacts into OIMS within the required three days.

The Department’s parole officers entered 141 (90 percent) of 157 drug tests
that auditors reviewed and 968 (80 percent) of 1,209 regular offender contacts
reviewed into OIMS within the required three days. For the 16 drug tests not
entered within 3 days, the entry into OIMS ranged from 4 days to 42 days
An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008
October 2010
Page 2

after the drug test was completed. The remaining 241 offender contacts
reviewed were entered into OIMS between 4 and 64 days after the offender
contact was completed.
Of the 537 parole officers who responded to auditors’ survey, 326 (61
percent) agreed that they had enough time during the work week to perform
required offender drug testing, and only 159 (30 percent) agreed that they had
enough time to perform all required offender contacts. In addition, 263 (49
percent) of 537 OIMS users surveyed stated that they did not have adequate
computer resources to enter offender drug testing and contact information into
OIMS within the required 3-day time frame (see Chapter 3 for more
information).
In addition, the Department’s policies do not specify time frames for entering
offender contacts into OIMS for case categories other than regular
supervision. Without up-to-date information in OIMS, the Department’s
ability to ensure that parole officers with specialized caseloads are completing
offender contacts as required is reduced. Establishing and enforcing time
frames for parole officers to enter this information into OIMS could help the
Department more effectively monitor offender contacts.
The Department did not consistently maintain supporting documentation for the
drug tests entered into OIMS as complete.

The Department could not provide auditors a signed drug test form for 75 (31
percent) of 240 drug tests that auditors reviewed at 8 parole offices visited. At
the other two offices auditors visited, parole officers sent the signed drug test
forms to the regional office, where a clerk was assigned to enter the
information from the drug test forms into a spreadsheet. The regional office
did not have drug test dates for 116 (25 percent) of 463 drug tests entered in
OIMS as completed. The Department’s record retention schedule requires the
Department to retain the drug test results for at least three years. Without a
signed drug test form, the Department’s ability to ensure that the drug tests
were actually conducted is reduced.
Recommendations

The Department should:
ƒ

Ensure that its parole officers update OIMS within the required time
frames for offender contacts and drug testing results.

ƒ

Update its policies and procedures to establish time frames within which
parole officers must enter offender contacts into OIMS for specialized
programs.

ƒ

Maintain all records related to drug testing in compliance with the
Department’s records retention schedule.
An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008
October 2010
Page 3

Management’s Response

The TDCJ agrees to continue taking steps to ensure the Offender Information
Management System (OIMS) contact and drug testing information is updated
timely. The Parole Division implemented processes to improve parole officer
performance in the completion of required offender contacts and drug testing,
which is noted in the audit report. The Parole Division modified the Contact
Standards for Regular Supervision Cases policy in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 on
the required timeframes to update the OIMS during the audit period, which
should improve performance.
The TDCJ agrees to update policies and procedures to establish timeframes
for entry of offender contacts. Policies relative to specialized caseloads will
be updated and additional processes to monitor parole officer compliance
with timeframes will be instituted.
The TDCJ agrees to review and, as necessary, revise policies and procedures
to ensure drug testing records are consistently maintained as outlined by
established retention schedules.

An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008
October 2010
Page 4

Chapter 1-B

The Department Accurately Classified Offenders to Reflect Special
Conditions; However, It Exceeded Caseload Guidelines in Fiscal
Year 2009 and Should Improve How It Reports This Information

The Department accurately classified offenders’ case categories to reflect the
special conditions imposed on the offenders by the Board of Pardons and
Paroles (see text box). Of the 300 offenders tested at 10 parole offices,
Classification Process
299 were accurately classified within OIMS. The accuracy of these
Each offender is assigned a parole
classifications is important because (1) different case categories require
officer who classifies the offender’s
different supervision levels by the parole officers and (2) the Department’s
case category in OIMS based on the
special conditions imposed by the
caseload guidelines establish differing caseload ratios based on the
Board of Pardons and Paroles
categories of cases assigned to a parole officer.
(Board). Any changes made to an
offender’s case category must
receive supervisory approval in
order to become active in OIMS.
Changes to certain conditions also
require approval from the Board.

The Texas Government Code and the General Appropriations Act (81st
Legislature) establish differing maximum caseload ratios for the
Department’s parole officers. The Department’s policies establish
maximum caseloads that comply with the maximum caseload ratios
established in the General Appropriations Act. However, the ratios in the
Department’s policies exceed the maximum caseload ratios required by Texas
Government Code, Section 508.1142 (see Table 1). For example, the Texas
Government Code establishes a maximum caseload of 60 regular offenders to
each parole officer, whereas the Department’s policy and the General
Appropriations Act set the maximum caseload at 75 regular offenders to each
parole officer.

Table 1

Maximum Caseload Ratios

Case Category

Maximum Ratio Set by the
Texas Government Code

Maximum Ratio Set by the
General Appropriations Act
(81st Legislature)

Maximum Ratio Set by
Department Policies

Regular

60 offenders to 1 parole officer

75 offenders to 1 parole officer

75 offenders to 1 parole officer

Therapeutic Community

35 offenders to 1 parole officer

Electronic Monitoring
(Intensive Supervision)

20 offenders to 1 parole officer

25 offenders to 1 parole officer

25 offenders to 1 parole officer

Super-Intensive Supervision
Program

11 offenders to 1 parole officer

20 offenders to 1 parole officer

14 offenders to 1 parole officer

Sex Offender

24 offenders to 1 parole officer

Not applicable

Special Needs Offender
Program

35 offenders to 1 parole officer

Not applicable

a

Not applicable

a

75 offenders to 1 parole officer

a

30 offenders to 1 parole officer

a

45 offenders to 1 parole officer

These caseload ratios were not specifically mentioned in the General Appropriations Act.

An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008
October 2010
Page 5

The Department reported caseload ratios as required to the Office of the
Governor and the Legislative Budget Board (see text box). However, the
methodology used to calculate the caseload ratios in these reports
understates the caseloads when compared to the methodology
Reporting Requirements
established in the Department’s policies and procedures to
Rider 31, page V-20, of the General
calculate caseload ratios. Because a parole officer’s caseload
Appropriations Act (81st Legislature)
requires the Department to maintain a
may consist of several categories of cases, the Department’s
ratio of 75 active offenders to one parole
policies and procedures provide a methodology for calculating
officer. If this ratio is not maintained,
the Department is required to file a
caseloads using assigned weights for each type of case (see
statement documenting the reasons for
Appendix 4 for a listing of these assigned weights).
noncompliance with the Governor and the
Legislative Budget Board.
Texas Government Code, Section
508.1142, requires the Department to
submit a report to the Legislative Budget
Board at the end of each fiscal year for
which it fails to meet the caseload
guidelines stating the amount of money
the Department needed to meet the
guidelines.

For example, in its April 2010 report1 to the Legislative Budget
Board, the Department reported an overall caseload ratio of 63.5
offenders per parole officer. Using the Department’s
methodology, auditors calculated that the Department’s overall
caseload ratio was 78.8 offenders per parole officer, which more
accurately reflects the resources needed to manage caseloads
with offenders requiring differing levels of supervision.

In addition, using the Department’s methodology, auditors calculated that the
Department’s average caseload for fiscal year 2009 was 77.2 offenders per
parole officer, which exceeded the guidelines.
Further, the Department did not submit its annual report to the Legislative
Budget Board in a timely manner. Specifically, the Department submitted its
fiscal year 2009 report to the Legislative Budget Board in April 2010 (eight
months after the fiscal year end).
Therapeutic Community Phase I-B
Program
The Therapeutic Community Phase I-B
Program is an alternative program for
offenders not housed in a transitional
treatment center. These offenders with
substance abuse issues, upon meeting
specific eligibility criteria, may reside in
an approved home and obtain vendorcontracted supportive outpatient
services, with additional group and
individual counseling and supervision.

1

The Department also implemented a new Therapeutic
Community Phase 1-B Program in July 2008 (see text box).
According to Department management, parole officers whose
caseloads include offenders in this program should have a
caseload ratio of 55 offenders to 1 parole officer, which is lower
than some of its other caseload guidelines; however, the
Department has not updated its policies to reflect this. The
Department’s policies also do not address offender contact
standards for offenders in the Therapeutic Community Phase IB program.

This report was based on caseload data for January 2010.
An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008
October 2010
Page 6

Recommendations

The Department should:
ƒ

Seek clarification and agreement on the caseload guidelines and related
reports required by the Texas Government Code and the General
Appropriations Act and reflect any changes in related internal policies.

ƒ

Report caseload ratios for the fiscal year to the Legislative Budget Board
in a timely manner following the fiscal year end (if caseload ratios do not
meet guidelines).

ƒ

Update its policies to include caseload ratios and offender contact
standards for offenders in the Therapeutic Community Phase I-B program.

Management’s Response

The TDCJ agrees to seek clarification and agreement on the case load
requirements as outlined in the Texas Government Code and the General
Appropriations Act, and reflect the agreed changes in related internal
policies. Once a methodology is agreed upon, the TDCJ agrees to use the
established methodology when calculating and reporting caseload ratios to
the Legislative Budget Board and the Governor's Office.
The TDCJ agrees to report caseload ratios to the Legislative Budget Board as
required in a timely manner, following the end of the fiscal year.
The TDCJ agrees to update policies and procedures to reflect caseload ratios
and contact standards for therapeutic community offenders on the Phase I-B
program. The Parole Division implemented the therapeutic community Phase
I-B program in July 2008 and trained employees on the specific requirements.

An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008
October 2010
Page 7

Chapter 1-C

The Department Should Ensure That Quality Reviews Are
Conducted within Required Time Frames
Quality Reviews
Reviews are performed on each parole officer
to ensure that offenders receive appropriate
services, to identify general or specific areas
that require additional training, and to monitor
parole officers’ performance for evaluation
purposes. Department policies require a
regional director or designee to maintain a
tracking system for the completion of quality
reviews and follow-up reviews.
The quality reviews must be completed within
the following time frames:

The Department did not consistently ensure that quality reviews
conducted by parole officers’ supervisors from August 2008
through June 2010 were completed within the required time
frames (see text box for details about the quality reviews and
their required time frames). Of the 289 quality reviews tested,
209 (72 percent) were completed on time. In addition, of the 267
quality review follow-ups tested:
ƒ

207 (78 percent) were completed within 30 workdays
following quality review completion or within 45 days if
given an extension.

ƒ

40 (15 percent) lacked documentation showing that the
quality review follow-ups had been performed.

ƒ

20 (7 percent) were completed between 32 and 84 workdays
following the completion of the original quality reviews.
Department policy states that follow-up reviews must be
completed with 30 workdays following the completion of the
original quality review.

ƒ Training quality reviews: Must be

completed within two months of the date a
parole officer completes the Parole Officer
Training Academy.

ƒ Regular quality reviews: Must be completed
within four months of the training quality
review and every six months from the date
of the last regular quality review.

ƒ Special quality reviews: Must be completed
either (1) within four months of a parole
officer’s transfer from another district
parole office or (2) before a parole officer
leaves a position for any reason and more
than three months have elapsed since the
last quality review. Special quality reviews
may also be conducted at management’s
discretion.

ƒ Extensions: If a postponement is granted,

the subsequent quality review shall be
conducted within one month of the originally
scheduled quality review.

In addition, the Department did not ensure that its regional
management adequately tracked the quality reviews and
maintained adequate supporting documentation. Specifically:
ƒ

Two regions did not record follow-up dates in their tracking
systems as required by Department policy.

ƒ

At one region, information for 6 (10 percent) of 63 parole
officers was missing from the tracking systems. This limited
auditors’ ability to ensure the accuracy of the tracking
systems. In addition, auditors determined that the tracking
systems at two offices in this region did not include all the
quality reviews performed in fiscal year 2009 and the first
half of fiscal year 2010.

ƒ Quality review follow-ups: Must be

completed by the 30th workday following
the completion of the original quality
review. The parole officer may request
additional time to prepare for the follow-up.
The follow-up may not be extended for more
than 45 days from the date on which the
quality review was signed by the parole
officer.

Source: Department policy and operating
procedures.

Department policies do not address quality review requirements when a parole
officer is on extended leave for more than 30 days. For example, if a parole
officer is on leave for Family and Medical Leave Act reasons for more than 30
days, the Department’s policies do not state when a quality review should take
place. The policies state only that the subsequent quality review should be
conducted within one month of the originally scheduled quality review.

An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008
October 2010
Page 8

Recommendations

The Department should:
ƒ

Ensure that supervisors conduct quality reviews within the required time
frames.

ƒ

Ensure that regional management maintains tracking systems and quality
review documentation as required by Department policy.

ƒ

Revise its policies to address quality review requirements for parole
officers taking extended leave.

Management’s Response

The TDCJ agrees and will continue to develop and implement procedures for
the timely completion of quality reviews. Since 2007, the Parole Division has
been working with the TDCJ's Information Technology Division to automate a
case and caseload review process utilizing OIMS to replace the current
quality review process which is manual and time consuming. Additional
processes will be put in place to address the challenges with the current
procedures until a more automated system is developed.
The TDCJ agrees to continue to develop and revise management oversight
tracking reports and maintain documentation of quality reviews.
The TDCJ agrees to update policies and procedures to address timeframes for
completion of quality reviews for officers on extended leave. Related policies
will be updated accordingly.

Chapter 1-D

Supervisors Generally Reported They Have the Necessary Tools to
Monitor Parole Officer Caseloads; However, Parole Officers
Expressed Concerns About Caseloads and Overtime
Auditors surveyed 243 unit supervisors and parole supervisors (supervisors)
regarding caseload management and available monitoring tools. Of the 168
supervisors who responded:
ƒ

2

70 percent agreed they are given the tools necessary to properly monitor
the completion of offender contacts; only 13 percent disagreed with this
statement.2

The remaining respondents were either “neutral” regarding the survey statement or responded that the survey statement was
“not applicable.”
An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008
October 2010
Page 9

ƒ

65 percent agreed they have the tools necessary to properly monitor parole
officer caseload levels; only 21 percent disagreed with this statement.3

ƒ

38 percent agreed that regional management is responsive to changes in
staffing needs in the area that they supervise; 38 percent disagreed with
this statement.3

ƒ

56 percent agreed they are able to make necessary adjustments to parole
officer caseloads in a timely manner; 26 percent disagreed with this
statement.3

Auditors surveyed 1,234 parole officers regarding their job duties and
caseloads. Of the 537 parole officers who responded:
ƒ

21 percent agreed that their caseload allowed them to effectively perform
their job responsibilities.

ƒ

41 percent agreed that concerns they have regarding caseload size or
offender contacts are addressed by their supervisor in a timely manner.

ƒ

18 percent agreed that their caseload is adjusted when it exceeds the
standard set by Department policy.

Of those parole officers who provided written comments, 15 percent had
concerns about requesting and reporting overtime and 20 percent stated that
their caseloads were too high.
Auditors noted that the survey responses were consistent with audit results.
See Appendix 2 for full survey results.
Additional monitoring tools are available to monitor parole officers’ voice mails.

Auditors noted that only 4 of the 10 district parole offices visited had voice
mail installed so that offenders could leave messages; the remaining offices
had a central number available that offenders could call during business hours.
At the four offices with voice mail, the system can provide a report that
supervisors could use to track each parole officer’s new and total messages in
their in-boxes; however, several supervisors were not aware of this monitoring
tool.

3

The remaining respondents were either “neutral” regarding the survey statement or responded that the survey statement was
“not applicable.”
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October 2010
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Recommendations

The Department should:
ƒ

Review the survey results and make any necessary changes based on its
analysis.

ƒ

Ensure that parole offices are aware of reports that can be used to monitor
voice mails.

Management’s Response

The TDCJ values input from parole officers on division operations and agrees
to review survey results. For several years the Parole Division has conducted
parole officer focus groups on broad topics, such as, OIMS and procedures
for specialized programs in an attempt to obtain input similar to the State
Auditor's Office survey results. Further, the Parole Division staffs all policy
revisions to regional management and parole officers prior to
implementation. The Parole Division investigated and implemented a limited
e-learning program for parole officers attending the training academy. The
Parole Division is currently reviewing electronic survey methods in order to
increase operational input from parole officers and supervisors. Lastly, the
Parole Division conducts regular monthly videoconferences with regional
management.
The TDCJ agrees to ensure parole offices are aware of the capability of
available monitoring reports in locations where voicemail is being utilized.

An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
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October 2010
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Chapter 2

The Department Generally Ensured That Parole Officers Completed
Required Training; However, It Should Improve Its Training by
Updating Its Curriculum and Offering In-service and Other Training on
a Regular Basis
Generally, the Department ensured that parole officers completed required
training (see text box). Specifically:
ƒ

All new parole officers hired between July 2004 and January
2010 attended the required Parole Officer Training Academy.

ƒ

The majority of unit supervisors and parole supervisors
(supervisors) promoted since January 2004 and parole officers
who oversee specialized caseloads attended training as required.

Training Overview
The Parole Division offers four types of
training for its parole officers and
supervisors:

ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ

Parole Officer Training Academy.
Specialized Officer Supervision School.
In-service training.
Supervisory classes.

The Parole Division has tracked the
attendance at these classes in its Personnel
and Payroll System (training database) since
September 2004.

However, the Department should improve the training it provides to
parole officers by:
ƒ

Updating its curriculum to ensure that it matches the
requirements in the Department’s policies and procedures.

ƒ

Providing training for supervisors and parole officers who oversee
specialized caseloads on a regular basis.

ƒ

Reviewing its policy and determining whether resources are available to
provide 40 hours of in-service training biennially.

Chapter 2-A

Training Is Provided to New Parole Officers as Required; However,
the Department Should Improve the Training Curriculum
Parole Officer Training Academy
Department policy requires all new parole
officers to complete the Parole Officer
Training Academy (POTA), which is a six-week
course. Participants must pass several tests
throughout the course to graduate. The
classes are located in Beeville, Texas and are
taught by Parole Division training instructors.
Classes offered through POTA include:

ƒ Department and policy overview.
ƒ Offender supervision (contacts, substance
abuse, case categories, schedules, and
other topics).

ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ

Use of OIMS.
Officer safety.

The Department’s training database shows that all 778 active parole
officers who were hired from July 2004 through January 2010
attended the Department’s Parole Officer Training Academy
(POTA) as required (see text box). In addition, for all 30 new
parole officers tested, the Department had documentation
confirming that they attended POTA in fiscal year 2009 or the first
half of fiscal year 2010 and passed the tests necessary to graduate.
However, the Department has not updated the POTA training
curriculum related to offender contacts and drug testing since it
revised its policies in these areas. As a result, the training may not
provide parole officers with the most updated information needed
to perform their job duties.

Hearings processes.
Quality reviews.

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October 2010
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Survey results indicated that the POTA curriculum could be improved.

Of the 537 parole officers that responded to auditors’ survey, 254 (47 percent)
stated that POTA training overall did not sufficiently prepare them for their
parole officer responsibilities, and 202 (38 percent) stated that the POTA
training on OIMS did not sufficiently prepare them for using the system.
However, 293 (55 percent) stated that the POTA training on contact standards
was useful, and 253 (47 percent) stated that the POTA training on drug testing
procedures was useful.
When asked to rank the type of training on which POTA should place more
emphasis, the parole officers’ most common response was training on OIMS,
followed by training on offender contacts and drug testing. In addition, 24
percent of the parole officers who provided written comments in the survey
stated that more hands-on or on-the-job training would be helpful.
Recommendations

The Department should:
ƒ

Regularly update the POTA training curriculum as needed to align with
Department policies, including those for offender contacts and drug
testing.

ƒ

Consider modifying the POTA curriculum to address the areas needing
improvement identified by parole officers in auditors’ survey. This could
include increasing training on OIMS, drug testing, and offender contacts,
as well as increasing hands-on or on-the-job training.

Management’s Response

The TDCJ agrees to update policies and procedures and ensure curriculum
updates are timely and coincide with the posting of updated or developed
policies.
The TDCJ values input from parole officers on division operations and agrees
to review survey results. Survey information will be analyzed to determine
potential modifications to Parole Officer Training Academy (POTA) or inservice training. The Parole Division strives to provide the most current
TDCJ policy information to affected staff, to include timeframes to enter
offender contacts and maintaining drug testing documents at the Parole
Officer Training Academy. The Parole Division will also determine the need
for increasing hands-on or on-the-job training.

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October 2010
Page 13

Chapter 2-B

Training Provided to Officers Who Oversee Specialized Caseloads
Generally Occurs as Required and Is Consistent with Department
Policy; However, the Department Should Improve Its Therapeutic
Community Training
The Department’s training database shows that most parole officers who
oversee a specialized caseload have completed the required Specialized
Officer Supervision School (SOSS) training. Auditors reviewed
Specialized Officer Supervision
the training completed by the specialized officers as of March
Schools (SOSS)
2010 (see text box for more information about SOSS training) in
SOSS training consists of one-week courses
the training database. Specifically:
that all parole officers who oversee
specialized caseloads are required to
complete according to Department policy.
As of March 2010, the Department offered
the following SOSS courses:

ƒ Special Needs Offender Program

training. This included training for
mentally impaired, mentally retarded,
terminally ill, or physically
handicapped offenders.

ƒ Sex offender training.
ƒ Super-Intensive Supervision

ƒ

Ninety (97 percent) of 93 parole officers tested who supervised
sex offenders had completed the required SOSS training.

ƒ

Sixty-three (98 percent) of 64 Special Needs Offender Program
parole officers tested had completed the required SOSS
training.

ƒ

Seventy-nine (98 percent) of 81 Super-Intensive Supervision
Program/electronic monitoring parole officers tested had
completed the required SOSS training.

ƒ

Forty-seven (96 percent) of 49 Therapeutic Community parole
officers tested had completed the required SOSS training.

Program/electronic monitoring
training.

ƒ Therapeutic Community training. This
included training for officers who
oversee offenders with substance
abuse issues.

Participants must pass a class test to
graduate. The classes are taught by
individuals in the Parole Division’s
Specialized Programs Department and
Warrants Section.

In addition, for all 30 parole officers tested who had attended
SOSS training, the Department had documentation confirming
their attendance and graduation from the required SOSS class.

While Department policy states that parole officers who oversee a specialized
caseload should take the next available SOSS class related to the category of
offender being supervised, the Department did not consistently offer these
classes on a regular basis. For example, during fiscal year 2009, there was a
gap of more than five months between SOSS classes for Therapeutic
Community officers and a gap of nearly nine months between SOSS classes
for Super-Intensive Supervision Program/electronic monitoring officers.
Auditors reviewed the Department’s curriculum for all four SOSS classes
offered as of March 2010 and determined that the curriculum aligns with the
related policies for caseload ratios, offender contacts, and drug testing.
Survey results indicated that parole officers find SOSS training to be useful.
Of the 347 specialized parole officers who responded to the auditors’ survey
statement on overall SOSS training, 190 (55 percent) agreed that SOSS
training overall prepared them for their responsibilities as a parole officer with
a specialized caseload. A total of 235 (67 percent) of the 350 specialized
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October 2010
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Experiential Training and
Immersion Training
Courses
Experiential Training and
Immersion Training courses are
3 to 3.5 days each and offered
to Therapeutic Community
parole officers by the
Department’s Rehabilitation
Programs Division. These
classes teach participants what
it is like to be an active
member of the therapeutic
community process.

parole officers who responded to the auditors’ survey statement on
SOSS contract standards training agreed that the SOSS training on
contact standards was useful.
The Department did not ensure that Therapeutic Community officers
completed all required training.

Department policy requires parole officers whose caseloads include
Therapeutic Community offenders to complete Experiential Training
and Immersion Training courses (see text box). However, as of March
2010, only 2 (4 percent) of 49 parole officers with Therapeutic
Community offenders in their caseloads had completed this training
since fiscal year 2008, according to the courses’ instructor.

Recommendations

The Department should:
ƒ

Ensure that it offers SOSS training classes on a regular basis.

ƒ

Ensure that Therapeutic Community parole officers attend Experiential
Training and Immersion Training courses as required by Department
policy.

Management’s Response

The TDCJ agrees to offer Specialized Officer Supervision School's on a
regular basis and enhance policies and procedures to ensure a consistent
schedule is maintained with exceptions consistently documented.
The TDCJ agrees to enhance policy and procedures to ensure Experiential
Training and Immersion Training courses are provided to therapeutic
community officers on a regular basis and oversight procedures are in place
to ensure required staff attend.

Chapter 2-C

Training Provided to Newly Promoted Supervisors Is Conducted as
Required and Is Generally Consistent with Policies; However, the
Department Should Ensure That It Offers This Training on a
Regular Basis
According to the Department’s training database, 139 (87 percent) of 159 unit
supervisors and parole supervisors (supervisors) promoted between January 1,
2004, and February 28, 2010, completed the Human Resources Topics for
Supervisors training within 180 days of their promotion dates, as required by
Department policy. An additional 13 (8 percent) supervisors completed this
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October 2010
Page 15

training but not within the required 180-day time period. Overall, 96 percent
(152 of 159) of the supervisors had taken this required class.
Unit Supervisor and Parole
Supervisor Training Courses
These two courses are one week
each and taught by the
Department’s In-Service
Training Department and various
staff members in the
Department’s Central Office in
Austin. The courses include the
following topics:

ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ

Leadership skills.

The Parole Division has also developed additional training classes for its
supervisors (see text box). While the Department’s policies do not
require supervisors to complete these additional training classes,
Department management stated that they encourage supervisors to
complete this additional training. However, the Department has not
offered these additional classes on a regular basis. For example, it did
not offer Parole Supervisor training for nearly two years from April 28,
2008, to March 15, 2010. In addition, the Department did not offer the
Unit Supervisor training class for about one year.

Reporting tools.

Further, the Department’s Unit Supervisor training curriculum generally
aligns with Department policies related to quality reviews, job duties,
offender contacts, and specialized caseloads. Auditors communicated
Overview of the specialized
programs.
some minor inconsistencies separately to Department management. For
example, Department policy requires that a parole officer be present
during a training quality review, whereas the curriculum only suggests that the
parole officer be present.
Case reviews.

Performance evaluations.

According to the Department’s training database:
ƒ

112 (83 percent) of the 135 unit supervisors promoted from January 1,
2004, through February 28, 2010, had completed the Unit Supervisor
training course.

ƒ

19 (79 percent) of the 24 parole supervisors promoted from January 1,
2004, through February 28, 2010, had completed the Parole Supervisor
training course.

It should be noted that auditors were not able to verify the accuracy of the data
in the Department’s training database because the Department did not
consistently retain supporting documentation. The Department provided
signed rosters for 14 (54 percent) of the 26 unit supervisors who, according to
the training database, attended a Unit Supervisor training course in fiscal year
2009 or the first half of fiscal year 2010. Auditors did not have any
supporting documentation to test for the Parole Supervisor training course
because the Department did not offer a class during this audit’s scope from
September 1, 2008, through February 28, 2010.

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October 2010
Page 16

Recommendations

The Department should:
ƒ

Update its policy to identify the training required for newly promoted unit
supervisors and parole supervisors and establish a time frame for
completing the training.

ƒ

Provide Parole Supervisor and Unit Supervisor training classes on a
regular basis and maintain documentation for all attendees.

Management’s Response

The TDCJ agrees to update policy to identify training requirements for newly
promoted unit supervisors and parole supervisors and establish timeframes
for completion.
The TDCJ agrees to maintain documentation, offer the training on a regular
basis, with any exception consistently documented.

Chapter 2-D

The Department’s Parole Division Did Not Provide In-service
Training as Required during the 2008-2009 Biennium
None of the 883 parole officers required to complete 40 hours of in-service
training during the 2008-2009 biennium completed the required 40 hours of
training (see text box for information about in-service training). The
In-Service Training
maximum number of in-service training hours completed by a parole
According to Department
officer during this time period was 28 hours, and the average number of
policy, all parole officers are
required to complete 40
in-service training hours completed by parole officers was 20 hours.
hours of Parole DivisionOverall, 830 (94 percent) of the 883 parole officers hired before
recognized in-service training
per fiscal biennium. Classes
September 1, 2007, completed at least some in-service training during the
are developed and taught by
biennium.
program specialists located
in each of the regions from
the Parole Division’s InService Training Department.

The Parole Division’s In-Service Training Department offered one 8-hour
class in fiscal year 2008 and one 20-hour class in fiscal year 2009, which
is less than the 40-hour biennial requirement. Only 222 (25 percent) of
the 883 parole officers hired before September 1, 2007, completed the 8-hour
class in fiscal year 2008. However, 970 (91 percent) of the 1,066 parole
officers hired before September 1, 2008, completed the 20-hour Parole
Violation and Revocation course in fiscal year 2009.
Survey results indicated that parole officers find in-service training to be
useful. Of the 537 parole officers and 168 supervisors responding to auditors’

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October 2010
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survey, 221 (41 percent) of parole officers and 82 (49 percent) of supervisors
agreed that in-service training was useful as it relates to their job duties.
Recommendation

The Department should review its in-service training policy and determine its
available resources and ability to provide all employees 40 hours of in-service
training biennially.
Management’s Response

The TDCJ agrees to review its in-service training policy and determine
available resources and ability to consistently provide all employees 40 hours
of in-service training biennially.

An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
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October 2010
Page 18

Chapter 3

The Department Has Fully or Substantially Implemented Most Prior
State Auditor’s Office Recommendations Related to Offender
Contacts, Drug Testing, and Information Technology

Implementation Status Definitions
Fully Implemented – Successful development
and use of a process, system, or policy to
implement a prior recommendation.
Substantially Implemented – Successful
development but inconsistent use of a process,
system, or policy to implement a prior
recommendation.
Incomplete/Ongoing – Ongoing development of
a process, system, or policy to address a prior
recommendation.
Not Implemented - Lack of a formal process,
system, or policy to address a prior
recommendation.

Overall the Parole Division has made significant progress in
implementing recommendations in An Audit Report on Selected
Parole Functions at the Department of Criminal Justice and the
Board of Pardons and Paroles (State Auditor’s Office Report
No. 08-036, June 2008). Of the 10 recommendations auditors
reviewed, 7 were substantially or fully implemented (see Table
2). While the Department has made progress in implementing
most of the prior audit recommendations, it should continue its
efforts to improve its Offender Information Management
System (OIMS).

Table 2

Status of Implementation of Audit Recommendations

Recommendation

Implementation
Status

Details

The Department should establish minimum
documentation standards for recording violations
and interventions in OIMS. These standards
should ensure significant events, such as the
issuance of arrest warrants and parole officer
interventions, are clearly documented in OIMS.

Fully Implemented

The Parole Violation and Revocation module in OIMS, which was
implemented in January 2010, was designed to document
interventions, violations, warrants, and hearings in OIMS. The
Department’s Parole Division established minimum
documentation standards for reporting violations and
interventions as of December 4, 2008. Training for the Parole
Violation and Revocation module was conducted in fiscal year
2009 for 91 percent of current parole officers who had been
employed since September 1, 2008.

The Department should ensure parole officers'
compliance with required contacts and drug
testing is tracked and reported to management
on a regular basis.

Substantially
Implemented

Auditors found that management implemented a report to track
offender drug tests statewide and is currently developing a
report to track contacts due, which is scheduled for
implementation on November 1, 2010.
Auditors tested offender records from fiscal year 2009 and the
first half of fiscal year 2010 and determined that 93 percent of
the required drug tests and 96 percent of offender contacts
were tracked in OIMS. (See Chapter 1-A for more information on
drug testing and offender contacts.)

The Department should use industry-standard
processes and methodologies for information
technology project management, in particular to
obtain documented user acceptance by the Board
and Department to complete the OIMS project by
the target date of July 2008.

Incomplete/
Ongoing

The Department has not obtained a certification of the OIMS
project completion. A key user group, the Board of Pardons and
Paroles, has not signed off on completion. Also, data has not
been fully loaded into the pre-release module of OIMS.

The Department should work with the State
Quality Assurance Team to clarify the reporting
for the OIMS Project.

Fully Implemented

The Department updated the State Quality Assurance Team
about the OIMS project completion status to more clearly
identify remaining work.

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October 2010
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Status of Implementation of Audit Recommendations

Recommendation

Implementation
Status

Details

The Department should determine and use
optimal personal computer configurations for
OIMS.

Substantially
Implemented

As of April 2010, auditors found that 85 percent of the personal
computers used for OIMS have documented memory and speed
specifications that meet the minimum configuration
requirements established by the Department. Documentation of
specifications for the remaining 15 percent is missing from this
inventory; therefore, auditors could not determine whether
those personal computers met minimum configuration
requirements. Of 72 computers inspected, 79 percent met the
minimum specifications and 47 percent matched what was listed
in the Department’s inventory.

The Department should maintain and use
information to improve OIMS performance,
including:

Fully Implemented

The Department uses software to monitor the response time of
OIMS at the user level. A consultant’s study used historical
monitoring data to evaluate OIMS performance, and the
Department implemented a help desk system to assist in
tracking and resolving OIMS problems.

The Department should complete any
Department-approved technical changes
suggested by third-party analyses.

Fully Implemented

Department-approved recommendations for improvements to
OIMS performance were implemented as of March 2008.

The Department should help users avoid having
to re-enter data when OIMS automatically logs
them off the system.

Incomplete/
Ongoing

Auditors determined that OIMS has been reprogrammed to warn
users prior to a 30-minute time-out; however, users now remain
logged on indefinitely. The Department is addressing this issue.
Of the 537 OIMS users responding to auditors’ survey, 238 (44
percent) stated that they had lost significant data in the past
year.

The Department should work with Board and
Department users to improve OIMS performance
during periods of heavy usage.

Incomplete/
Ongoing

Auditors determined that the Department made numerous
changes to monitor and improve OIMS performance; however,
263 (49 percent) of 537 OIMS users surveyed stated that they did
not have adequate computer resources to enter offender drug
testing and contact information into OIMS within the required 3day time frame. In addition, 35 (19 percent) of 186 respondents
who provided written comments complained about the slowness
of OIMS.

The Department should coordinate with IBM and
Team for Texas to document the responsibility
for performance monitoring.

Fully Implemented

The Department is responsible for the local area network (LAN),
wide area network (WAN), and desktop support. Staff at the
San Angelo data center, monitors the performance of the
hardware. OIMS application performance monitoring is a dual
responsibility because of the interaction of the hardware and
the application.

ƒ Performance targets.
ƒ Historical performance monitoring data.
ƒ Help desk calls of user problems.

Recommendations

The Department should:
ƒ

Obtain project sign-off from the Board of Pardons and Paroles for the
OIMS project and obtain certification of project completion as required by
the Legislature.

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October 2010
Page 20

ƒ

Ensure that the inventory list of personal computer equipment is complete
and accurate and that all equipment meets Department-established
minimum requirements.

ƒ

Continue to monitor OIMS performance, including data loss.

Management’s Response

The TDCJ agrees to obtain project sign-off from the Board of Pardons and
Parole. The Information Technology Division has continued to work diligently
with both the Parole Division and the Board of Pardons and Parole to
complete the user requirements in the areas of both functionality and
reporting. To date, the functional programming of the OIMS system has been
completed; however, several reports requested by the Board of Pardons and
Parole remain to be finished. The Information Technology Division staff is
working closely with the Board of Pardons and Parole to complete these
reports so the project sign-off and certification can be completed.
The TDCJ agrees and will continue to update all inventory records to contain
a sufficient level of information to provide a complete and accurate
description of the equipment. The Information Technology Division will also
continue to work with parole staff to ensure that all equipment meets the
TDCJ’s established minimum requirements.
The TDCJ agrees to continue to monitor OIMS performance to ensure the
system is functioning and the end users are able to complete their work
without loss of data. The current system has a thirty minute time-out feature
which provides a two minute warning prior to user logoff. In addition, the
Information Technology Division has redesigned several screens which allow
free-form text entry into 12 smaller screens to capture data in smaller
increments and thereby reduce the risk of significant data loss upon logout.
All screens have a "save" button available to the user. The Information
Technology Division continues to instruct users to use the "save" feature prior
to session timeout. The Information Technology Division also monitors help
desk call levels for OIMS and has not seen a significant amount of data loss
reporting by users in FY 2010.

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Page 21

Appendices
Appendix 1

Objectives, Scope, and Methodology
Objectives
The objectives of the audit were to:
ƒ

Determine whether the training that the Department of Criminal Justice
(Department) provides to parole officers is consistent with Department
policies and procedures.

ƒ

Determine whether the Department’s management of parole officer
caseloads and offender contacts complies with Department policies and
procedures and state law.

ƒ

Determine whether the Department has taken corrective actions to address
selected recommendations from An Audit Report on Selected Parole
Functions at the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of
Pardons and Paroles (State Auditor's Office Report No. 08-036, June
2008).

Scope
The scope of the audit included reviewing and analyzing various Department
training data from July 2004 through February 2010 and parole supervision
and caseload data from September 2008 through February 2010. In addition,
auditors surveyed 1,234 parole officers and 243 unit supervisors and parole
supervisors (supervisors) and received survey responses from 537 parole
officers (44 percent) and 168 (69 percent) supervisors.
Methodology
The audit methodology included visiting two parole offices in each of the five
regions. Auditors visited parole offices in Houston4, Dallas, Fort Worth, San
Antonio, Georgetown, Tyler, Athens, Midland, and Odessa.
Information collected and reviewed included the following:

4

ƒ

Department policies and procedures related to offender contacts, offender
drug testing, parole officer training, parole officer quality reviews, and the
Department’s caseload guidelines.

ƒ

State statutes regarding parole caseloads and training requirements.

There were two district parole offices that auditors visited in Houston.
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ƒ

Training curriculum and rosters for various classes offered by the
Department’s Parole Division.

ƒ

Offender data from the Department’s Offender Information Management
System (OIMS) and training records from the Department’s Payroll and
Personnel System.

ƒ

Department documentation, including organizational charts, caseload
reports, monitoring tools, quality review tracking systems, drug testing
forms, and inventory listings.

ƒ

Interviews with supervisors, regional management, and key staff at
individual parole offices regarding caseload management, parole officer
staffing, quality reviews, and training.

ƒ

Interviews with staff from the Specialized Programs Department and the
Warrants Section, and interviews with the Parole Division’s deputy
directors.

ƒ

Internal audit documentation and published internal audit reports.

Procedures and tests conducted included the following:
ƒ

Tested documentation of offender contacts and drug tests to determine
compliance with Department policies and procedures.

ƒ

Observed training courses, tested training documentation, and reviewed
class curriculum to determine compliance with Department policies and
procedures.

ƒ

Analyzed training data from the Department’s training database.

ƒ

Tested quality reviews and follow-up reviews to determine whether they
were completed within the required time frames.

ƒ

Inspected computers and inventory records at individual parole offices.

ƒ

Surveyed parole officers, unit supervisors, and parole supervisors.

ƒ

Followed up on audit findings and recommendations from a previous State
Auditor’s Office report.

ƒ

Analyzed caseload data from the Department’s automated systems.

ƒ

Analyzed caseload reports that the Department submitted to the Office of
the Governor and the Legislative Budget Board.

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Page 23

Criteria used included the following:
ƒ

Texas Government Code, Chapter 508.

ƒ

Rider 31, page V-20, of the General Appropriations Act (81st Legislature).

ƒ

Department policies and procedures.

Project Information
Audit fieldwork was conducted from February 2010 through August 2010.
We conducted this performance audit in accordance with generally accepted
government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and
perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a
reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit
objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis
for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives.
The following members of the State Auditor’s staff performed the audit:
ƒ

Jennifer Wiederhold, CGAP (Project Manager)

ƒ

Sajil Scaria, CFE (Assistant Project Manager)

ƒ

Lindsay Johnson

ƒ

Brian Jones, CGAP

ƒ

Cain Kohutek

ƒ

Marlen Kraemer, MBA, CISA, CGAP

ƒ

Cecilia Miglicco, CPA

ƒ

Lisa M. Thompson

ƒ

Leslie Ashton, CPA (Quality Control Reviewer)

ƒ

Nicole Guerrero, MBA, CIA, CGAP, CICA (Audit Manager)

An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
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October 2010
Page 24

Appendix 2

Results of the State Auditor’s Office’s Survey of Parole Officers and
Supervisors
The State Auditor’s Office surveyed 1,234 parole officers—and received
responses from 537 (44 percent response rate)—and asked the respondents to
rank their level of agreement or disagreement with 16 statements related to
parole officer training, caseloads, job duties, and the ease of use of the
Department of Criminal Justice’s (Department) Offender Information
Management System (OIMS). Table 3 lists the survey results.
Table 3

Survey Results Related to Parole Officer Training, Caseloads, Job Duties, and Use of OIMS

Survey Statement

Respondents
Who Agreed
with Survey
b
Statement

Respondents
Who Were
Neutral about
Survey
Statement

Respondents
Who Disagreed
with Survey
c
Statement

a

Survey
Statement Not
Applicable to
Respondent

1. I have enough time during the work week
to perform offender drug testing as
required.

61%

15%

23%

1%

2. I have enough time during the work week
to perform all offender contacts as required.

30%

19%

51%

1%

3. I have adequate computer resources
(hardware, software, technical support,
etc.) to do my job, including entering
offender drug testing and contact
information into OIMS within the required
three-day time frame.

34%

17%

49%

0%

4. OIMS is accessible to me at all times from
my desktop computer.

28%

18%

53%

1%

5. In the past year, I have used OIMS without
losing a significant amount of data.

37%

19%

44%

1%

6. The quality reviews (QR) provide useful
feedback to help me perform my job.

49%

24%

25%

2%

7. The number of offenders on my caseload
allows me to effectively perform my job
responsibilities.

21%

16%

63%

0%

8. Adjustments are made to the number of
offenders on my caseload when the current
number of offenders exceeds the standards
set by Department policy.

18%

17%

63%

2%

9. Any concerns I have regarding caseload
size or offender contacts are addressed by
my supervisor in a timely manner.

41%

24%

33%

2%

10. I find in-service training useful as it
relates to my job duties.

41%

28%

29%

2%

11. Parole Officer Training Academy (POTA)
training sufficiently prepared me for my
responsibilities as a parole officer.

25%

26%

47%

1%

An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008
October 2010
Page 25

Survey Results Related to Parole Officer Training, Caseloads, Job Duties, and Use of OIMS

Survey Statement

Respondents
Who Agreed
with Survey
b
Statement

Respondents
Who Were
Neutral about
Survey
Statement

Respondents
Who Disagreed
with Survey
c
Statement

a

Survey
Statement Not
Applicable to
Respondent

12. The training I received at POTA on
contact standards was useful.

55%

26%

18%

1%

13. The training I received at POTA on drug
testing procedures was useful.

47%

26%

23%

4%

14. The training I received at POTA on OIMS
sufficiently prepared me for using the
system.

24%

24%

38%

15%

15. Specialized Officer Supervision Schools
(SOSS) training has sufficiently prepared me
for my job responsibilities as a parole officer
with a specialized caseload.

35%

15%

14%

35%

16. The training I received at SOSS on
contact standards was useful.

44%

15%

7%

35%

a
b

Percentages may not sum to 100 percent due to rounding.
Respondents who agreed or strongly agreed with an individual survey statement were grouped together in the “Agree” column.

c

Respondents who disagreed or strongly disagreed with an individual survey statement were grouped together in the “Disagree”
column.

Parole officers were also asked to rank areas in which they felt they needed
additional training. The largest percentage chose OIMS as the top area in
which they wanted additional training. Training on offender contacts was
ranked the second most frequently cited area, followed by training on drug
testing, defensive tactics training, and firearms training.
The State Auditor’s Office also surveyed 243 unit supervisors and parole
supervisors (supervisors)—and received responses from 168 (69 percent
response rate)—and asked the respondents to rank their level of agreement or
disagreement with 10 statements related to supervisor training, caseload
management, and the use of OIMS. Table 4 on the next page lists the survey
results.

An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008
October 2010
Page 26

Table 4

Survey Results Related to Supervisor Training, Caseload Management, and the Use of OIMS

Survey Statement

Respondents
Who Agreed with
Survey
b
Statement

Respondents
Who Were
Neutral about
Survey
Statement

Respondents
Who Disagreed
with Survey
c
Statement

a

Survey
Statement Not
Applicable to
Respondent

1. I am given the tools necessary to properly
monitor the completion of offender contacts
for the officers that I supervise.

70%

15%

13%

1%

2. The quality reviews are a useful tool for
monitoring parole officers’ completion of
required offender contacts.

39%

17%

44%

0%

3. I have adequate computer resources
(hardware, software, technical support, etc.)
to do my job.

60%

11%

29%

0%

4. OIMS is accessible to me at all times from
my desktop computer.

61%

12%

27%

0%

5. In the past year, I have used OIMS without
losing a significant amount of data.

67%

13%

20%

1%

6. I am given the tools necessary to properly
monitor officer caseload levels.

65%

13%

21%

1%

7. Regional management is responsive to
changes in staffing needs in the area that I
supervise.

38%

24%

38%

0%

8. I am able to make necessary adjustments
to officer caseloads in a timely manner.

56%

18%

26%

0%

9. I find in-service training useful as it relates
to my job duties.

49%

24%

26%

1%

10. I am given opportunities to receive
additional training to develop useful
knowledge and skills for my position.

38%

24%

39%

0%

a
b
c

Percentages may not sum to 100 percent due to rounding.
Respondents who agreed or strongly agreed with an individual survey statement were grouped together in the “Agree” column.
Respondents who disagreed or strongly disagreed with an individual survey statement were grouped together in the “Disagree” column.

An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008
October 2010
Page 27

Appendix 3

Average Number of Offenders and Parole Officers per Region
Table 5 lists the average number of offenders and parole officers in each of
the Department of Criminal Justice’s 65 District Parole Offices, 5
Intermediate Sanction Facilities, 5 Pre-Revocation Task Units, and 3 Resource
Centers during fiscal year 2009 and the first half of fiscal year 2010. Auditors
conducted site visits at the following district parole offices:
ƒ

Athens District Parole Office.

ƒ

Dallas III District Parole Office.

ƒ

Fort Worth III District Parole Office.

ƒ

Georgetown District Parole Office.

ƒ

Houston IV District Parole Office.

ƒ

Houston VI District Parole Office.

ƒ

Midland District Parole Office.

ƒ

Odessa District Parole Office.

ƒ

San Antonio III District Parole Office.

ƒ

Tyler District Parole Office.

Table 5

Average Number of Offenders and Parole Officers
Fiscal Year 2009 and First Half of Fiscal Year 2010

a

Average Number of Offenders by Offender Category

Region/Parole
Facility

Regular

b

Electronic
Monitoring

Special
Needs
Offender
Program

Therapeutic
Community

Sex
Offender

SuperIntensive
Supervision
Program

Other

c

Total

Average
Number
of Parole
Officers

Region I
Athens District
Parole Office

572

9

54

25

19

16

2

697

10

1,224

81

110

125

153

112

32

1,836

35

Bryan/College
Station District
Parole Office

677

18

36

52

27

22

1

831

13

Conroe District
Parole Office

992

20

63

48

40

27

2

1,191

18

Beaumont District
Parole Office

An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008
October 2010
Page 28

Average Number of Offenders and Parole Officers
Fiscal Year 2009 and First Half of Fiscal Year 2010

a

Average Number of Offenders by Offender Category

Therapeutic
Community

Sex
Offender

SuperIntensive
Supervision
Program

0

0

0

0

0

665

3

5

42

18

19

7

0

462

7

556

16

37

28

28

22

1

687

12

Longview District
Parole Office

609

7

39

34

20

9

1

719

11

Marshall District
Parole Office

401

5

38

20

10

8

0

483

7

Mount Pleasant
District Parole
Office

368

3

17

21

12

7

1

428

7

Nacogdoches
District Parole
Office

503

9

34

19

27

6

1

598

9

Orange District
Parole Office

342

8

30

19

15

7

1

421

7

Paris District Parole
Office

417

5

35

26

17

6

1

507

8

Texarkana District
Parole Office

440

6

32

16

18

5

1

516

8

1,709

31

145

78

63

28

5

2,059

32

9,842

225

711

528

466

282

47

12,099

187

Region/Parole
Facility

b

Electronic
Monitoring

East Texas
Intermediate
Sanction Facility

663

1

Greenville District
Parole Office

371

Huntsville District
Parole Office

Tyler District Parole
d
Office
Region I Totals

Regular

Special
Needs
Offender
Program

Other

c

Total

Average
Number
of Parole
Officers

Region II
Dallas I District
d
Parole Office

827

1

2

30

0

0

14

875

12

Dallas II District
Parole Office

2,251

31

108

90

84

46

73

2,682

41

Dallas III District
Parole Office

1,250

50

34

2

111

48

49

1,543

29

Dallas IV District
Parole Office

1,618

39

326

85

95

86

24

2,274

43

Dallas V District
Parole Office

1,162

1

92

7

53

44

14

1,373

22

661

0

0

1

0

0

1

664

10

Dallas Pre-Rev Task
Unit

An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008
October 2010
Page 29

Average Number of Offenders and Parole Officers
Fiscal Year 2009 and First Half of Fiscal Year 2010

a

Average Number of Offenders by Offender Category

Therapeutic
Community

Sex
Offender

SuperIntensive
Supervision
Program

1

214

111

1

248

962

17

8

70

33

20

8

7

837

13

1,359

21

30

26

77

28

205

1,746

27

Fort Worth II District
Parole Office

1,882

63

390

121

92

73

69

2,689

45

Fort Worth III
District Parole
Office

1,495

107

34

168

121

42

85

2,052

31

Fort Worth Pre-Rev
Task Unit

326

0

0

1

0

0

2

330

5

Mineral Wells
District Parole
Office

920

16

54

42

39

10

18

1,100

16

North Texas
Intermediate
Sanction Facility

405

0

0

0

0

0

0

406

2

Sherman District
Parole Office

492

14

19

17

19

5

2

567

8

Waxahachie District
Parole Office

701

12

72

25

37

7

14

867

13

16,379

413

1,234

860

858

399

825

20,968

333

Region/Parole
Facility

b

Electronic
Monitoring

Dallas Resource
Center

337

51

Denton District
Parole Office

692

Fort Worth I District
e
Parole Office

Region II Totals

Regular

Special
Needs
Offender
Program

Other

c

Total

Average
Number
of Parole
Officers

Region III
Angleton District
Parole Office

707

14

67

18

20

8

2

835

13

Dayton District
f
Parole Office

321

7

22

17

27

6

1

400

7

Houston I District
Parole Office

1,949

62

222

84

1

17

140

2,474

33

Houston II District
Parole Office

1,956

32

75

71

3

51

5

2,193

35

Houston III District
Parole Office

1,879

40

108

83

212

41

4

2,367

37

Houston IV District
Parole Office

1,999

65

105

206

7

88

9

2,479

39

Houston V District
Parole Office

1,571

30

87

64

6

22

4

1,786

27

An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008
October 2010
Page 30

Average Number of Offenders and Parole Officers
Fiscal Year 2009 and First Half of Fiscal Year 2010

a

Average Number of Offenders by Offender Category

Therapeutic
Community

Sex
Offender

SuperIntensive
Supervision
Program

0

36

312

31

1

1,446

29

74

390

86

76

96

168

2,629

47

191

0

0

0

0

0

1

193

3

Rosenberg District
Parole Office

739

19

61

29

24

9

2

883

13

South Texas
Intermediate
Sanction Facility

426

0

0

0

0

0

0

426

2

Webster District
g
Parole Office

838

25

48

37

22

9

6

985

15

15,326

424

1,185

731

710

378

342

19,096

299

Region/Parole
Facility

b

Electronic
Monitoring

Houston VI District
d
Parole Office

1,011

55

Houston VII District
Parole Office

1,740

Houston Pre-Rev
Task Unit

Region III Totals

Regular

Special
Needs
Offender
Program

Other

c

Total

Average
Number
of Parole
Officers

Region IV
Austin I District
Parole Office

740

68

136

1

6

67

7

1,024

22

Austin II District
Parole Office

1,397

55

1

145

108

0

240

1,947

28

249

0

0

0

0

0

0

250

3

1,357

24

85

117

60

25

48

1,715

24

Del Rio District
Parole Office

168

2

16

6

7

3

1

203

4

Georgetown District
Parole Office

715

13

58

21

32

9

7

854

13

Harlingen District
Parole Office

616

13

30

25

26

6

1

717

11

Laredo District
Parole Office

332

6

6

11

7

2

1

365

6

McAllen District
Parole Office

1,029

19

75

34

30

11

17

1,217

18

San Antonio I
District Parole
d
Office

1,596

0

1

4

168

0

10

1,779

27

San Antonio II
District Parole
Office

1,946

5

498

12

0

0

20

2,481

34

Austin Pre-Rev Task
Unit
Corpus Christi
District Parole
Office

An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008
October 2010
Page 31

Average Number of Offenders and Parole Officers
Fiscal Year 2009 and First Half of Fiscal Year 2010

a

Average Number of Offenders by Offender Category

Therapeutic
Community

Sex
Offender

SuperIntensive
Supervision
Program

1

236

0

0

1

412

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

149

1

187

69

0

2

11

90

234

594

17

Sequin District
Parole Office

514

6

37

25

28

7

4

621

11

Temple District
Parole Office

882

24

73

57

44

13

2

1,094

16

Victoria District
Parole Office

447

13

33

40

23

8

2

565

9

Waco District Parole
Office

1,326

22

65

51

53

21

17

1,555

22

Region IV Totals

13,817

344

1,115

786

602

263

613

17,540

271

Region/Parole
Facility

b

Electronic
Monitoring

San Antonio III
District Parole
Office

169

6

San Antonio Pre-Rev
Task Unit

149

San Antonio
Resource Center

Regular

Special
Needs
Offender
Program

Other

c

Total

Average
Number
of Parole
Officers

Region V
Abilene District
Parole Office

859

18

78

74

41

18

11

1,099

17

1,182

28

62

79

65

24

22

1,462

23

Big Spring District
Parole Office

166

2

10

7

6

2

3

197

3

Brownwood District
Parole Office

212

2

23

15

14

2

1

269

4

El Paso I District
Parole Office

793

58

112

19

48

62

48

1,141

27

El Paso II District
h
Parole Office

267

48

10

1

50

4

15

395

8

Lubbock District
Parole Office

1,261

39

87

136

49

14

161

1,748

26

Midland District
d
Parole Office

448

11

26

19

31

10

3

548

9

82

3

6

4

4

2

0

101

2

Odessa District
Parole Office

624

26

28

94

18

9

14

812

14

Pampa Intermediate
Sanction Facility

357

0

0

0

0

0

0

358

2

Amarillo District
Parole Office

Monahans District
Parole Office

An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008
October 2010
Page 32

Average Number of Offenders and Parole Officers
Fiscal Year 2009 and First Half of Fiscal Year 2010

a

Average Number of Offenders by Offender Category

Therapeutic
Community

Sex
Offender

SuperIntensive
Supervision
Program

31

13

17

6

4

365

7

14

37

39

26

5

5

690

12

274

0

0

0

0

0

0

274

1

Wichita Falls District
Parole Office

551

12

45

42

23

12

8

692

11

Region V Totals

7,931

267

555

541

390

169

296

10,149

165

Region/Parole
Facility

b

Electronic
Monitoring

Plainview District
Parole Office

290

6

San Angelo District
Parole Office

565

West Texas
Intermediate
Sanction Facility

Regular

Special
Needs
Offender
Program

Other
Other
Total Offenders and
Parole Officers
a
b

Other

c

Total

Average
Number
of Parole
Officers

i

43

3

2

2

3

0

34

87

Not
Applicable

63,337

1,677

4,802

3,448

3,028

1,490

2,157

79,939

1,255

Totals do not always sum precisely due to rounding.
This includes in-custody offenders.

c

This includes offenders on a District Re-Entry Center caseload and offenders identified in the Offender Information Management System as
“other/unknown.”
d
The Regional Director is based in this District Parole Office.
e
Includes the Fort Worth Resource Center.
f
Includes the Liberty District Parole Office.
g
Includes the Galveston District Parole Office.
h
The El Paso II District Parole Office has been in operation since June 2009.
i
Includes the Central Coordination Unit, Extradition Unit, and other officers and offenders not specifically assigned to a District Parole Office.
Source: Department of Criminal Justice.

An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008
October 2010
Page 33

Figure 1 shows the offenders’ categories during fiscal year 2009 and the first
half of fiscal year 2010.
Figure 1

Offender Categories in Fiscal Year 2009 and First Half of Fiscal Year 2010
Super-Intensive
Supervision
Program, 2%
Therapeutic
Community, 4%

Sex Offender, 4%

Other, 3%

Special Needs
Offender Program,
6%

Electronic
Monitoring, 2%

Regular, 79%

Source: Department of Criminal Justice.

An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008
October 2010
Page 34

Appendix 4

Assigned Weights for Each Category of Offender
Because a parole officer’s caseload may consist of several categories of cases,
the Department of Criminal Justice’s (Department) policies and procedures
provide a methodology for calculating caseload ratios using assigned weights
for each type of case. Table 6 shows the weights that should be applied to
each category of offender on a parole officer’s caseload, according to the
Department’s policies and procedures.
Table 6

Weighting That Should Be Applied to Calculate Maximum Caseload Ratios
Type of Case

Weighting To Be Applied

Number Courtesy Supervision Cases

x .25

Number on Therapeutic Community

x 1.0

Number on Regular Supervision

x 1.0

Number on Special Needs Offender Program

x 1.66

Number on Electronic Monitoring Program

x 3.0

Number on Sex Offender Program

x 2.5

Number on Super-Intensive Supervision

x 5.5

Source: Department’s Parole Division Policy 3.15.1.

An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008
October 2010
Page 35

Appendix 5

Recent State Auditor’s Office Work
Recent SAO Work
Number

Product Name

Release Date

10-025

An Audit Report on the Department of Criminal Justice’s Oversight of Selected
Providers That Deliver Residential Services and Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

March 2010

09-004

An Audit Report on the Department of Criminal Justice’s Complaint Resolution and
Investigation Functions

September 2008

08-036

An Audit Report on Selected Parole Functions at the Department of Criminal Justice
and the Board of Pardons and Paroles

June 2008

07-026

An Audit Report on Selected Rehabilitation Programs at the Department of Criminal
Justice

March 2007

An Audit Report on Parole Division Operations at the Department of Criminal Justice
SAO Report No. 11-008
October 2010
Page 36

Copies of this report have been distributed to the following:

Legislative Audit Committee
The Honorable David Dewhurst, Lieutenant Governor, Joint Chair
The Honorable Joe Straus III, Speaker of the House, Joint Chair
The Honorable Steve Ogden, Senate Finance Committee
The Honorable Thomas “Tommy” Williams, Member, Texas Senate
The Honorable Jim Pitts, House Appropriations Committee
The Honorable Rene Oliveira, House Ways and Means Committee

Office of the Governor
The Honorable Rick Perry, Governor

Department of Criminal Justice
Members of the Board of Criminal Justice
Mr. Oliver J. Bell, Chairman
Mr. Tom Mechler, Vice Chairman
Mr. Leopoldo “Leo” Vasquez III, Secretary
Mr. John “Eric” Gambrell
Pastor Charles Lewis Jackson
Ms. Janice Harris Lord
Mr. R. Terrell McCombs
Mr. J. David Nelson
Ms. Carmen Villanueva-Hiles
Mr. Brad Livingston, Executive Director

This document is not copyrighted. Readers may make additional copies of this report as
needed. In addition, most State Auditor’s Office reports may be downloaded from our Web
site: www.sao.state.tx.us.
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, this document may also be requested
in alternative formats. To do so, contact our report request line at (512) 936-9880 (Voice),
(512) 936-9400 (FAX), 1-800-RELAY-TX (TDD), or visit the Robert E. Johnson Building, 1501
North Congress Avenue, Suite 4.224, Austin, Texas 78701.
The State Auditor’s Office is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the
basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability in employment or in the
provision of services, programs, or activities.
To report waste, fraud, or abuse in state government call the SAO Hotline: 1-800-TX-AUDIT.

 

 

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