Skip navigation

Ut Doc, Performance Audit, 2006

Download original document:
Brief thumbnail
This text is machine-read, and may contain errors. Check the original document to verify accuracy.
REPORT TO THE
UTAH LEGISLATURE

Number 2006-12

A Performance Audit
of the
Utah Department of Corrections

December 2006

Audit Performed By:
Audit Manager

Tim Osterstock

Audit Supervisor

Kade Minchey

Audit Staff

Leah Blevins
David Pulsipher

Table of Contents
Page
Digest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i
Chapter I
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Correctional System Is Growing Rapidly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Staff Salaries Are Not Competitive with Local Salaries . . . . . . . . . . . 2
The Department’s Personnel Problems Go Beyond the
Work Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Audit Scope and Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Chapter II
UDC Personnel Practices Are a Continuing Concern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Concerns at UDC Have Been Previously Documented . . . . . . . . . . 6
Internal Data Suggest Concerns with Personnel Practices . . . . . . . . 12
Chapter III
Appearance of Favoritism and Concerns with Management
Decisions Exist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Favorable Treatment Seemingly Given to Select Individuals . . . . . . 16
Administrators and Supervisors Should Be Held to a Higher
Standard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Chapter IV
UDC Needs Improved Management Oversight and Controls . . . . . . . 41
UDC Is Not Compliant with Training Statute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
UDC Lacks Adequate Oversight for Commute Vehicles . . . . . . . . 49

Table of Contents (Cont.)
Page
Department Does Not Follow Other Select Policies . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Chapter V
Increased Independence of Internal Review Functions Needed . . . . . . 57
The Internal Audit Bureau Needs More Independence . . . . . . . . . . 57
Investigations by Internal Affairs Need to Be Equitable
Among Employees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Appendix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Agency Response . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

– iii –

Digest of
A Performance Audit of
The Utah Department of Corrections
The Utah Department of Corrections’ (UDC or department) mission
of protecting the public is carried out through two primary functions:
first, fulfilling court orders by incarcerating those members of society who
have been convicted of a crime, and second, fulfilling Board of Pardons
orders by supervising those offenders who have been released on
probation or parole.
We were asked to audit the personnel practices of the Department of
Corrections in order to address concerns raised by employees at the
department. We also reviewed other areas where management oversight
needs improvement. Lastly, we recommend that changes be made in the
internal review functions at the department.
Chapter I:
Introduction

The Department’s Personnel Problems Go Beyond the Work
Environment. UDC’s mission of housing and supervising a growing
offender population, by itself, creates a stressful, unpleasant work
environment for the department’s employees. Unfortunately, the
department’s personnel problems go beyond the obvious difficulties of the
work and extend into a deep-rooted staff belief of management favoritism.

Chapter II:
Concerns
At UDC Have Been
Previously
Documented

Concerns at UDC Have Been Previously Documented. Many
UDC employees believe there is an underlying culture of unfairness and
favoritism within the department. This belief has been noted throughout
the recent history of the department in various reports. Evidence of this
culture is documented in the Governor’s Transition Reports. The latest
transition report states:
Some witnesses and others who have made gratuitous contact with
members of our Transition Team have pointed out that the upper
level management in the department is self-perpetuating, lacks
vision and innovation and that indiscretions that would normally
receive significant punishment, if not termination, if engaged in by
line employees, go unpunished or are otherwise overlooked. In
reviewing [former] Corrections transition reports, it appears that
this issue was common at the time and appears to be chronic in
nature. . .The Transition Team recommends that whoever the new
director might be must address these issues and resolve them once
and for all.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

–i–

We do not believe that the executive director or department management
have sufficiently resolved the personnel concerns at the department.
Internal Data Suggest Concerns with Personnel Practices. Not
only do external, independent entities comment on the problems and
culture believed to be found in the department, internal data and
information also point to personnel problems and questionable
management decisions. In fact, a former executive director indicated in a
UDC report that misbehavior was institutionalized in the department.
Further, employee surveys by the department have indicated that
employees believe favoritism is a significant concern.
Chapter III:
Appearance of
Favoritism and
Concerns with
Management
Decisions Exists

Favorable Treatment Seemingly Given to Select Individuals.
Favorable treatment has seemingly been given to some select
administrators and employees. As well, management’s decisions in some
of these cases are concerning. In some cases, it appears that UDC
administrators have not held themselves and some select employees to a
higher standard. We believe that this bending of rules has fueled
employee allegations and leads to questionable management decisions.
Chapter III details several cases that appear to demonstrate favorable
treatment and/or questionable management decisions for the benefit of
specific administrators, supervisors, and select line staff.
For example, we found some administrators and supervisors who were
not investigated for wrongdoing while other employees were investigated
and disciplined for similar wrongdoing. We also found cases where it
appears management is not treating all employees equitably. We believe
that the evidence suggests that department administration has not
completely fulfilled the Governor’s Transition Team’s recommendation to
“address these [inequitable and favorable treatment of management]
issues and resolve them once and for all.”
Administrators and Supervisors Should Be Held to a Higher
Standard. Specific cases illustrate that some administrators and
supervisors at the department are apparently receiving favorable treatment
more often than line staff. This practice is directly contradictory to
department policy, which states that administration and supervisors
should be held to a higher ethical standard. This concern was also
addressed by the Governor’s Transition Report; the report states:
[Individuals] view corrections management as “incestuous, selfprotective and having created an atmosphere of intimidation and
extremely disparate discipline when it comes to issues involving
administrators versus line employees.”

– ii –

A Performance Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

Of the cases discussed above, 6 of the 10 dealt with administrators or
supervisors.
1. We recommend that UDC management follow the recommendations of
the Governor’s Transition Team.
2. We recommend that UDC management ensure that employees,
inclusive of administrators, are treated equitably in investigations and
discipline.
3. We recommend that UDC management apply department standards
and policies equitably among all employees throughout the
organization, inclusive of administrators.

Chapter IV: UDC
Needs Improved
Management
Oversight and
Controls

UDC Is Not Compliant with Training Statute. Six percent (107) of
the department’s peace officers and correctional officers did not meet
training requirements for fiscal year 2005. Additionally, 25 of those
officers have not received the required training for at least the last two
years. The lack of proper training increases the liability to the state and
creates a safety risk for employees and inmates. We are concerned that
department management has not implemented proper controls to ensure
that officers receive the training required by law.
UDC Lacks Adequate Oversight for Commute Vehicles. The
UDC does not follow its own policy or state policy governing the use of
commute vehicles. We found instances in which management of the
department appears to treat commute vehicles as perks for certain
positions rather than for state business. If commute vehicles are used as
perks, the department may be in violation of Internal Revenue Service
(IRS) Publication 15-B. However, department management no longer
requires its officers who are assigned commute vehicles to track individual
emergency calls (call-outs) for which they use their commute vehicles.
This violation of department policy makes it difficult for us to justify the
actual need for commute vehicles.
Department Does Not Follow Other Select Policies. UDC is also
not compliant with its own policies over reserve officers and disciplinary
actions. Poor tracking of reserve officers may lead to increased state risk
exposure. The discipline filing policy inconsistencies involve
noncompliance by the Human Resources (HR) office.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-iii-

– iii –

1. We recommend that the executive director develop a control in which
supervisors and officers can track training hours.
2. We recommend that employees who do not receive 40 hours of training
be prohibited from exercising officer duties, as outlined in the Utah
Code.
3. We recommend that UDC employees who do not fulfill the training
required for certification receive the standard public employees’
retirement instead of public safety retirement.
4. We recommend that the UDC management implement a tracking
mechanism for commute vehicles.
5. We recommend that the executive director review the actual need for
commute vehicles after the department has begun tracking actual callout usage.
6. We recommend that the department discontinue providing commute
vehicles for employees who do not have the need.
7. We recommend that the department require each region to follow the
approved reserve officer policy in order to limit the state’s liability and
facilitate tracking of reserve’s activities.
8. We recommend that filing of discipline records be brought up to date
and maintained in order to restrict incentive awards and promotions in
a timely fashion.

Chapter V:
Increased
Independence of
Internal Review
Functions Needed

The Internal Audit Bureau Needs More Independence.
Historically, UDC’s internal affairs office has had a reputation of being
unable to conduct independent investigations of employee related
problems. Our review of more recent times indicates that problems
continue. We believe that a major restructuring of the office is necessary
to ensure high-quality, independent investigation.
Investigations by Internal Affairs Needs To Be Equitable
Among Employees. Internal affairs has not investigated some
administrators accused of wrongdoing. We believe that some
investigations have been held up by administration. We believe that some
investigations have been delayed by department administration while
some allegations of administrative personnel have gone without
investigation. The internal affairs function at the department needs
greater independence to ensure that investigations are equitable among
employees.

– iv –

A Performance-ivAudit of the Utah Department of Corrections

1. We recommend the audit director report functionally to an audit
committee or the executive director and administratively to the
executive director, as required by statute.
2. We recommend that management follow up to ensure that audit
recommendations are implemented.
3. We recommend that the Legislature direct the department to conduct a
feasibility study to decide how to best ensure the independence and
quality of the internal affairs function. The department should report
their findings back to the Legislature. Points that should be considered
are:
a) Combining the criminal and personnel functions into one bureau.
b) Creating greater independence by restructuring the reporting
relationship of internal affairs to either the executive director
or another independent person or group.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-v-

–v–

This Page Left Blank Intentionally

– vi –

A Performance-viAudit of the Utah Department of Corrections

Chapter I
Introduction
The Utah Department of Corrections’ (UDC or department) mission
of protecting the public is carried out through two primary functions:
first, fulfilling court orders by incarcerating those members of society who
have been convicted of a crime, and second, fulfilling Board of Pardons
orders by supervising those offenders who have been released on
probation or parole. In order to accomplish its mission, UDC is currently
approved for 2,457 positions and has over 2,200 active employees.
UDC Employees face
unique work
situations.

These employees face a unique work situation that is made more
difficult by increasing prison populations, an increasingly difficult
clientele, salaries lower than those of county jails, and a frequently
changing physical and attitudinal work environment. The increased
pressure on staff has, over the years, resulted in the continuing staff beliefs
of inequitable standards, favoritism, and concerns with management
decision making. These concerns have created an unpleasant working
environment for some staff.

Correctional System
Is Growing Rapidly
In the last 20 years
the prison
population has
increased nearly 450
percent.

Rapid growth of the number of inmates and parolees has taxed Utah’s
correctional system and its employees. A nearly 450 percent increase in
the prison population over the last 20 years has created logistical
difficulties for the department, including a need for increased bed space,
increased numbers of officers, and increased funding.
The department’s Division of Institutional Operations (DIO)
maintains control of the Draper prison, Gunnison prison, and state
inmates in county jails. The continuous growth of the inmate population
over the last 20 years forced the construction of the Gunnison facility and
the use of county jails for the state’s inmates. In fiscal year 2006, DIO’s
staff of 1,278 supervised approximately 6,400 inmates. Twenty years ago
the total inmate population of about 1,900 was supervised by a staff of
380.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-1-

–1–

Figure 1.1 20-Year Prisoner Count. The number of prisoners has
steadily increased for the last 20 years.
7000
6000
5000
4000
3000
2000
1000
2006

2005

2003
2004

2002

2001

2000

1998
1999

1997

1996

1994
1995

1993

1991
1992

1990

1989

1988

1986
1987

1985

0

Source: UDC

This same growth has taken place in the supervision of Board of
Pardons released offenders. Adult Probation and Parole (AP&P)
supervises offenders who have been released on probation or parole.
They conduct home visits, as well as work with prisoners who are
required to check in to community offices. In fiscal year 2006, AP&P’s
staff of 570 supervised approximately 14,600 offenders.
The Legislature has
increased UDC’s
budget in recent
years.

In answer to this growth, the Legislature has increased UDC’s budget
in recent years. From fiscal year 2003 to fiscal year 2007, UDC’s annual
budget increased by $42 million to $240 million (including Utah
Correctional Industries (UCI) and jail reimbursement). This is an
increase of 21 percent over the last five years. The budget increase
includes funding for increased staffing, salary increases, inmate growth,
and increased bed space.

Staff Salaries Are Not Competitive
With Local Salaries
While funding has increased in recent years, the rapid growth of the
inmate population has resulted in less funding for salary increases. Hiring
of UDC officers has been difficult, as starting salaries at the department

–2–

A Performance-2Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

are lower than those of many county facilities. Figure 1.2 below
demonstrates the current salary discrepancy between the department and
county jails.

Figure 1.2 State and County Employee Starting Salaries.
Department starting salaries are lower than some larger county jail’s
salaries.
$14.73

$15.81
$14.46

$14.62

$14.79

Salt Lake
County

Weber
County

Tooele
County

$13.96

$12.14

Department
of
Corrections

County
Average

Utah County

Davis County

Source: UDC

As the figure shows, starting salary for state correctional officers is $2.59
less per hour than the average county jail starting salary. Recruiting staff
to work with a more difficult offender population at roughly 82 percent
of the county average continues to be a reason for departmental staffing
difficulties.

The Department’s Personnel Problems
Go Beyond the Work Environment

Many UDC
employees believe
favoritism is a
concern at the
department.

UDC’s mission of housing and supervising a growing offender
population, by itself, creates a stressful, unpleasant work environment for
the department’s employees. Unfortunately, the department’s personnel
problems go beyond the obvious difficulties of the work and extend into a
deep-rooted staff belief of management favoritism.
The staff belief of favoritism is not a new or limited phenomenon.
Allegations of favoritism and inequitable treatment of staff have existed

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-3-

–3–

for a number of years and are widespread in the organization. There is
sufficient evidence to support that outside oversight groups have
acknowledged the problems associated with allegations of favoritism as
real and in need of corrective action. Internally, the department has
surveyed staff and has found that staff consider favoritism problems as
significant as their salary level, but more needs to be done at the
department level to address the allegations. Additionally, along with
favoritism concerns, we question some of management’s decisions in
regards to discipline. Chapters II and III outline these concerns.

Audit Scope and Objectives
Audit scope and
objectives included
a review of
employee
allegations.

We were asked to audit the personnel practices of the Department of
Corrections in order to address concerns raised by employees at the
department. The scope of our audit was to review the following areas:
• Determine if hiring, discipline and other personnel practices
indicate any favoritism toward friends, family, or associates.
• Identify whether any illegal or unethical behavior exists on the part
of management.
• Determine if individuals selected for management positions are
qualified and have sufficient experience and discipline to lead.

Chapter II contains a history of past reports on personnel practices and
favoritism at the department, as well as historical examples of cases that
appear to be favoritism. Chapter III provides examples of perceived
favoritism that have occurred during the current administration.
In addition to addressing the above issues, we also discuss some
management and oversight issues that we discovered during the course of
the audit. Chapter IV shows a need for greater control and management
oversight in the department. Chapter V examines the need for oversight
in the internal audit and internal affairs bureaus.

–4–

A Performance-4Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

Chapter II
UDC Personnel Practices Are
A Continuing Concern

The Governor’s
Transition Report
directed the current
executive director to
resolve favoritism
issues once and for
all.

Concerns with
favoritism continue
to exist.

Examples of
continuing
favoritism will be
given in Chapter III.

Many Utah Department of Corrections (UDC or department)
employees believe there is an underlying culture of unfairness and
favoritism within the department. This belief has been noted throughout
the recent history of the department in various reports. The belief is so
ingrained that a past executive director declared gender-based
discrimination by an employee as institutionalized within the department
and consequently not worthy of harsh discipline. Further, evidence of this
culture is documented in the Governor’s Transition Reports. The latest
transition report states:
Some witnesses and others who have made gratuitous contact with
members of our Transition Team have pointed out that the upper
level management in the department is self-perpetuating, lacks
vision and innovation and that indiscretions that would normally
receive significant punishment, if not termination, if engaged in by
line employees, go unpunished or are otherwise overlooked. In
reviewing [former] corrections transition reports, it appears that
this issue was common at the time and appears to be chronic in
nature. . . . The Transition Team recommends that whoever the
new director might be must address these issues and resolve them
once and for all.
We do not believe that the executive director or department
management have sufficiently resolved these issues. Issues raised by the
transition team continue, as evidenced by a relatively large number of
continuing and current complaints that far exceed those of any other
department. UDC management must begin resolving issues in a way that
clearly signals to employees that favoritism will not be allowed. If not
addressed, the perceived culture of favoritism may jeopardize the
department’s mission to “protect the public though institutional care and
confinement.”
This chapter outlines evidence of concerns with the department’s
practices through both outside, independent sources and UDC internal
data and information. The next chapter, Chapter III, discusses these

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-5-

–5–

concerns in the terms of specific cases uncovered in the course of the
audit. Chapter III cases deal with current cases of apparently favorable
and/or inequitable treatment of administrators and some select employees
tied to administration, as well as questionable management decisions.

Concerns at UDC Have Been
Previously Documented
Independent reports and data illustrate employees’ beliefs of unfairness
and favoritism at UDC. Grievance data, Career Service Review Board
(CSRB) hearings, Governor’s Transition Reports, and a past legislative
audit all indicate that concerns at the department have existed for many
years.
Governor’s Transition Team Gave UDC
Management a Directive to Resolve Favoritism

The Governor’s
Transition Report
outlined specific
concerns raised by
employees and
recommended that
UDC management
resolve the issues.

The most recent Governor’s Transition Report, dated December
2004, provided UDC management with a clear directive to “address these
[inequitable and favorable treatment of management] issues and resolve
them once and for all.” The report further declares that employees
contacted them frequently to point out the negative culture that exists at
the department. These concerns were primarily about management—
specifically that management:
• Is self-perpetuating
• Holds their behavior to a lower standard than line staff
The negative culture of favoritism that existed during the time of the
past transition reports can be evidenced by many examples. A sample of
these examples includes:

Past examples exist
that coincide with
transition report
concerns.

–6–

• A UDC internal affairs investigator, and son of a former UDC
administrator, was charged with a sex crime. UDC does not have
documentation of discipline.
• A supervisor was caught by his/her staff viewing pornography.
The supervisor’s discipline was held in abeyance; consequently, the
supervisor was never required to take leave without pay. The
department just recently implemented a zero tolerance policy for
A Performance-6Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

pornography; however, other state departments have had this
policy for some time.
We found that concerns like these are still in existence today. Refer to
Chapter III for examples.

The transition team
recommended that
the deputy director
position be filled
from outside the
department to
correct personnel
problems.

Because of the frequency of the complaints, coupled with the
frequency of the allegations shown above, the transition team
recommended immediate action take place to correct the concerns. The
transition team recommended:
Whoever the new director might be must address these issues and
resolve them once and for all. The Transition Team feels that [the
deputy director] should be filled from [someone] outside the
Department. . . . Whoever the Director is, he or she must be
strong enough and capable of making changes where necessary to
resolve some of the issues that have been raised by various
witnesses and have been detailed in this report.
The executive director did not fill the deputy director position from
outside the department; nevertheless, this appointment was accepted by
the transition team. Additionally, the executive director did appoint an
employee to assistant director who was directly related to and involved
with many of the favoritism concerns. Even more, as discussed in
Chapter III, we believe that the concerns raised in the transition report
dealing with favoritism and inequitable treatment of employees have not
been fully resolved.
Grievance Data and Reports
Indicate Concerns at UDC
Grievance reports and data reemphasize concerns with the
department’s direction similar to those found in the Governor’s Transition
Reports. These independent documents once again elevate the concerns
that the Governor’s Transition Team encountered. Further, these
documents show that many departmental problems continue, although
improvement in department grievance numbers has been noted.

UDC grievances are
significantly higher
than any other state
agency.

UDC Grievances Highest in the State. Employee grievances are
broad indicators of concerns and dissatisfaction by employees. UDC’s
grievances, filed under Utah Code 67-19a, Grievance and Appeal

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-7-

–7–

Procedures, are typically significantly higher than the grievances reported
by other similarly sized agencies. Figure 2.1 illustrates grievances for each
of the state agencies with the highest number of employees.

Figure 2.1 Employee Grievance Comparison. UDC has the
highest percent of employees filing grievances, averaged over a
three-year period (FY 2004 - FY 2006).

Percent of Employees
Filing Grievances

Agency
Corrections

1.90%

Natural Resources

1.13

Education

0.60

Human Services

0.56

Workforce Services

0.47

Health

0.39

Transportation

0.30

Tax Commission

0.25

Public Safety

0.09

Source: CSRB Annual Reports

UDC has the highest
percent of
employees filing
grievances.

–8–

The average employee grievance rate at UDC is significantly higher
than that of any other state agency. UDC’s three-year average grievance
rate is 1.7 times higher than the Division of Natural Resources (DNR),
the agency with the closest grievance rate. On the other end of the
spectrum is the Department of Public Safety (DPS), the agency most
often compared to UDC, with an average rate that is one-twentieth that
of UDC. A three-year average was used to smooth any abnormalities that
may have occurred in a single year. Figure 2.2 shows the percentage of
total state grievances filed by each agency.

A Performance-8Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

Figure 2.2 Employee Grievance Comparison. The three-year
average (FY 2004 - FY 2006) percent of total state grievances filed
by Utah’s largest state agencies.
40%

35%

30%

Even factoring out
benefit grievances,
UDC has 15 more
grievances than the
next-highest
department.

25%

20%

15%

10%

5%

0%
Corrections

Human Serv.

Natural Res.

Workforce Serv

Education

Dept of Health

Transp.

TaxComm.

Public Safety

This figure shows that UDC files a significantly higher percentage of
the state’s total grievances than other departments. This number is
affected, but not defined, by a significant spike in employee dissatisfaction
in 2005. Changes in state employee retirement benefits apparently
dissatisfied many more UDC employees than employees of other
departments. In fact, 25 of the 65 grievances filed at UDC in 2005
concerned benefits; no other state department filed a grievance over
benefit changes in 2005. However, even factoring out the grievances over
benefits, UDC still had 15 more grievances than the next-highest state
department in fiscal year 2005.
DPS, the agency
most similar in
function to UDC, had
significantly lower
grievances than
UDC.

Of note, the other agency most similar in function to UDC, DPS, had
one grievance in fiscal year 2005. This is an important distinction, as
correction officials state that grievances are naturally higher in law
enforcement.
Grievance numbers from the department significantly dropped in
2006. Where there were 65 grievances filed in fiscal year 2005, there
were 19 filed in fiscal year 2006. In fact, for the first time since 1998,
UDC did not lead the state in grievances. DNR, with 20 grievances,
surpassed UDC; however, 18 of these grievances were unique to a DNR
compensation issue. Due to the 2006 decrease, as well as the spike in

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-9-

–9–

2005, the grievance numbers were averaged to even out these outlying
years.
The Department’s Grievance Rates Are Higher Than Corrections
Departments in Other States. We were told by UDC management that
a primary explanation for UDC’s higher grievance rates is the unique
nature of law enforcement in a prison environment. However, the
grievance data shows that UDC has higher grievance rates than all other
corrections departments in western states. This could indicate that the
department’s grievances are indicative of a problem more extensive than
the nature of the prison environment.

Comparing each
state correction
department within
its own system
shows that Utah
corrections has a
higher grievance
rate.

Comparison among states was difficult due to differences in grievance
resolution methods in each state. Therefore, we compared each state’s
department of corrections within its own grievance resolution system. We
then averaged the data to smooth out any data abnormalities found in a
given year. The data in Figure 2.3 shows that UDC, on average, has a
higher complaint rate than other correction departments in western states.

Figure 2.3 Grievance Data Indicates That UDC Has More
Complaints Than Other States. Utah Corrections grievances, as a
percentage of total state grievances, are high in comparison to other
state’s percentages. (Average 2004 to 2006)
40%
35%
30%
25%
20%
15%
10%
5%
0%
Utah

F our-State
Average

Arizona

Nevada‡

Colorado

W yoming*

* Wyoming data is in calendar years. 2006 data includes everything up to September 12, 2006.
‡
¥

– 10 –

Nevada tracks only aggregate data that would be considered steps 2 through 4 in the Utah
system; their data is for six years.
Idaho’s data was not available for all years, so an average could not be completed.

A Performance-10Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

The figure shows that, as a percentage of total state grievances, Utah
Corrections’ grievances account for a higher percentage of total grievances
in Utah than the percentage that other state departments of corrections
average in their respective states. In fiscal years 2004-2006, UDC
averaged 38 percent of total state grievances. Arizona’s Department of
Corrections, with the next-highest average, comprised only 29 percent.
When compared on a per employee basis, Utah continues to have the
highest grievances rates. The average grievance rate per employee for
Utah is 1.9 percent followed by Colorado (1.65 percent), Nevada (0.74
percent), Wyoming (0.41 percent), and Arizona (0.24 percent).

Nevada, with a lower
grievance rate than
Utah, is alarmed by
their own numbers.

Although Nevada Corrections has a lower grievance rate than Utah
Corrections, some Nevada officials are concerned by their own grievance
rates. With 26 percent of grievances in their state, Nevada considers their
numbers alarming enough that they are planning on visiting the problem
of their corrections grievances/morale in their next legislative session. We
believe Utah correction officials should also be concerned.
Independent Reports Indicate Negative Culture at UDC. Two
reports in the last 18 months have made mention of a negative culture at
the department. A report commissioned by the department to understand
why their grievances were so abnormally high indicated that “bad
feelings” appear to be widespread in the organization. The report stated:
Responses are very negative and the bad feelings seem to be
pervasive throughout the organization among all ages,
departments, etc.
Further, a recent Career Service Review Board (CSRB) hearing
relating to a grievance by a department employee also discussed the
negative culture that appears to be present at the department. The
hearing officer stated in the report:

A hearing officer
recommends the
culture of
misconduct be
reined in.

[Grievant’s] conduct appears to have been, to the Hearing
Officer's mind, unfortunately a part of a "culture," both past
and present in existence at the Department. . . . It is suggested
that such culture at a minimum needs to be “reined in” if not
ideally totally quashed for the benefit of the taxpaying public.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-11-

– 11 –

A 1990 legislative
audit reported
instances where
rules were violated
to benefit a relative
or friend.

Such claims are not new to our own work with UDC. A legislative
audit in 1990 indicated that practices at the department led to an
impression of favoritism. The audit identified “several recruitments for
permanent positions where personnel rules were violated or where the
recruitment appeared to favor a relative or friend.” The report advises,
“By using a more competitive process, the department would be better
able to avoid the appearance of favoritism.” The report also advises
against disciplinary and management leave practices that would leave the
department open to criticism. If not corrected, this culture may
eventually jeopardize the department’s ability to effectively accomplish
their mission of protecting the public.

Internal Data Suggest Concerns
With Personnel Practices
Not only do external, independent entities comment on the problems
and culture believed to be found in the department, internal data and
information also point to personnel problems and questionable
management decisions. In fact, a former executive director indicated in a
UDC report that misbehavior was institutionalized in the department.
Further, employee surveys by the department have indicated that
employees believe favoritism is a concern.
Internal Reports and Surveys
Indicate Personnel Concerns

Departmental
reports indicate
problems with
behavior and
morale.

Because bad
behavior was
institutionalized, a
former executive
director mitigated a
punishment.
– 12 –

Some of the department’s own reports and data indicate that
favoritism is a concern within the department. Specifically, a report
written by a past executive director states that bad behavior is
institutionalized in the department. Further, employee surveys conducted
by the department indicate concerns of favoritism and inequitable
treatment.
Former UDC Executive Director Indicated That Inequities and
Disrespectful Treatment Are Institutionalized. A recent former
executive director responded to an issue of gender-based discrimination by
an employee by calling it “institutionalized.” The executive director
states:

A Performance-12Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

Once again, this misbehavior appears to be more institutionalized
within the department, rather than a situation occurring only in
[employee’s] staff meetings. While this does not justify his
conduct, it does serve to mitigate it to a degree. If there were no
mitigating circumstances, and this was an ongoing situation that
only [employee] and his staff were involved with—this misconduct
is serious to the degree I would strongly consider much harsher
disciplinary action, up to demotion or termination of [employee’s]
employment.
Instead of demotion or termination because of the so-called mitigating
factors, the employee never had to take any days off, an action the current
executive director approved.

In 2003, 76% of
employees felt
favoritism existed
within the
department.

UDC Employee Surveys Indicate Some Personnel Concerns.
Employees’ belief in favoritism is evidenced in two employee surveys
conducted in 2003 and in 2006. The 2003 survey, conducted among
Division of Institutional Operations (DIO) employees in 2003, found
that 76 percent of respondents felt that favoritism exists in the
department. Figure 2.4 demonstrates some of the concerns that were
raised in the 2003 survey.

Figure 2.4 Favoritism Indicators. An employee survey conducted
in 2003 demonstrates employees’ concern with unequal treatment.
76% believed favoritism existed.
30% felt the department was concerned about giving everyone a chance to
get ahead.
81% felt frustrated by their employment.
Source: UDC 2003 Employee Survey

A follow-up survey
neglected questions
of favoritism.

A follow-up survey conducted in 2006 did not ask the same questions
or address the same concerns. Instead, the 2006 survey addressed
concerns with employees’ level of satisfaction with their personal life,
which appeared to improve. Due to employee concerns over favoritism
and inequitable treatment, as well as the results of the last survey, it is
surprising that the most recent survey did not ask more direct questions
about favoritism and department culture.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-13-

– 13 –

34% of employee
responses
concerned needed
management
improvements.

However, employees did find a way to voice concerns about
management. The 2006 survey allowed for open-ended responses to the
question, “If DIO could do one thing to make the quality of work
experience improve, what would it be?” Thirty-four percent of written
responses indicated that management could make various improvements.
Some responses dealt with concerns such as: ending favoritism,
terminating administrators, increasing morale, receiving fair promotions
and treatment, and ending the “good old boys” system.
These comments are concerning given national data supporting the
need for correctional employee satisfaction. The National Institute of
Corrections, commenting on employee satisfaction, has said:
One of the major findings resulting from interviews with staff in
the nine institutions was that their overall satisfaction with their
agency employment was as much due to overall satisfaction with
what they perceived to be the quality of management as with their
salaries or other “incentives.”

Management
concerns appear to
carry equal weight
with compensation
concerns.

These findings appear to hold true for the department. Answers to the
open-ended question showed that employees were as equally concerned
with management practices as they were with their compensation (35
percent commented on compensation). The equality in comments over
management concerns and compensation is striking because the
department has said in the past that morale problems can be explained by
low salaries. According to the survey, management practices are an
equally significant concern.
Even with this evidence and the directive from the Governor’s
Transition Team, it does not appear that UDC administration has
corrected the problems (discussed further in the next chapter). In fact, in
May 2006 the Legislative Auditor General indicated to the executive
director that the preliminary issues discovered in the audit could be
corrected, and the audit process expedited, if management would
implement the transition team’s recommendations. However, the
executive director made no attempt to meet with the Auditor General to
mitigate these issues.

– 14 –

A Performance-14Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

Favorable treatment
is seemingly given to
select administrators
and employees.

Chapter III
Appearance of Favoritism and Concerns
With Management Decisions Exist
It appears that favorable treatment has seemingly been given to some
select administrators and employees. As well, management’s decisions in
some of these cases are concerning. In some cases, it appears that UDC
administrators have not held themselves and some select employees to a
higher standard. We believe that this bending of the rules and/or relaxed
application of the rules has fueled employee allegations, leading to
questionable management decisions.

Typically, we have
termed an action as
favoritism when
policy, or standards
were not applied
consistently or
equitably.

Evidence suggests
that department
administration has
not fulfilled their
charge from the
Governor’s
Transition Team.

Favoritism can be as simple as an individual action or as complex as
the generalized attitude of a group or an organization. Numerous UDC
employees believe an attitude of favoritism exists. This chapter is our
independent review of several cases where favoritism is alleged. We were
specifically asked by the Legislature to review and audit these allegations.
It is our opinion that administrators have demonstrated various degrees of
favoritism and/or poor decision making in these cases. Typically, we have
termed an action favoritism when policies, or standards were not applied
consistently or equitably. Our review of these cases represents months of
work. Other cases have been referred to us, which we have been unable
to pursue because of time constraints.
In regards to favoritism, when does the preponderance of actions
actually demonstrate an attitude of favoritism? Since there is no clear
criteria for such, we can only render the opinion that we believe an
attitude of favoritism exists among certain members of the UDC
administration. This attitude is manifest when certain employees are not
held to the same standards. This chapter is divided into two sections.
The first section outlines cases where favorable treatment appears to be
occurring and/or there is a need for better decision by management. The
second section details favorable treatment occurring more frequently for
administrators and supervisors. Consequently, we believe the evidence
suggests that department administration has not completely fulfilled the
Governor’s Transition Team recommendations to “address these
[inequitable and favorable treatment of management] issues and resolve
them once and for all.”

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-15-

– 15 –

Favorable Treatment Seemingly
Given to Select Individuals

Management’s
response to these
cases is concerning.

Six of these cases
deal with
administrators or
supervisors.

– 16 –

Without clear criteria as to what actually constitutes a favorable act, we
reviewed multiple allegations from employees in an attempt to understand
their concerns. The number and severity of the allegations was by itself a
concern. However, we found that some of the cases we reviewed did
appear to indicate favorable treatment for some select administrators,
supervisors, and employees. As well, management’s action and response
to these cases is concerning. The appearance of favorable treatment is
concerning because it fosters a negative culture among employees that is
not healthy for the department. Further, in some cases favorable
treatment resulted in disregard for administrative rules and department
policy. The following examples highlight some of the cases we reviewed,
which demonstrate favorable treatment.
• A supervisor in the prison who was using an illegal substance was
put on what appears to be extensive administrative leave after an
investigation; this allowed the supervisor to retire.
• A supervisor in internal affairs was not investigated or formally
disciplined for lying to another police officer for personal gain,
which is a UDC policy violation.
• UDC internal affairs investigators were not investigated or
disciplined for a policy violation.
• A security breech occurred in the prison. The consequences to the
officer who reported the breech seemed to be more harsh than
those to the wrongdoer.
• UDC management hired an employee with questionable
credentials, apparently as a favor to the employee.
• An administrator was seemingly protected during the latest
governor transition period by receiving a merit position for the
duration of the transition.
• Department policy for investigating alleged wrongdoing was not
followed for a department administrator.
• The department did not conduct a full investigation on an
administrator.
• The department did not formally investigate allegations brought to
light in a consultant’s report. This lack of investigation appeared
to some as favoritism.
• An employee was promoted to supervisor while being investigated,
which is against UDC practice.
A Performance-16Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

The seemingly favorable treatment that occurred in the above instances
leads some department employees to believe that all perceived occurrences
of favoritism are justified. This creates an unhealthy work environment
for employees. UDC management must not allow some select employees
favorable or inequitable treatment. With the negative culture at the
department, even one occurrence of favorable treatment is detrimental to
the organization. These cases are discussed in greater depth throughout
the remainder of this chapter.
Supervisor Seemingly
Favored and Protected

Employees felt
management
favored an employee
by placing her on
administrative leave
until retirement.

Many employees believed a senior correctional officer in a position of
authority was being favored by management. First, employees believed
that the supervisor was favored when he/she did not receive discipline for
being stopped for driving under the influence (DUI). Second, employees
believed that an investigation into unlawful harassment and drug use took
abnormally long so the supervisor could earn required years of service to
retire. This action, discussed in detail below, appeared to employees as
favorable because of the treatment given to the employee.
About a year after the supervisor was investigated for a DUI, this
senior officer was accused of unlawful harassment and erratic behavior
tied to addiction to an illegal drug. This allegation was investigated by the
department and again sustained. However, it appeared to employees that
the department administration again favored the supervisor by leaving the
employee on paid administrative leave for five months after the internal
affairs investigation concluded so that the supervisor could receive a full
retirement. Figure 3.1 shows the timeline of events that allowed the
supervisor to retire.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-17-

– 17 –

Figure 3.1 Timeline of Events. The supervisor was on paid
administrative leave for seven months and then retired.
Dec 04 - Jul 05
September 2004

Seven Months Employee
Placed on Paid
Administrative Leave

First Accusation
of Unlawful
Harassment and
Drug Use

Oct-04 - Jan-05

May 2005
October 2004

Additional Accusations of
Unlawful Harassment
and Drug Use

December 2004

Four Month
Investigation Period
For Unlawful
Harassment and Drug Use

The supervisor was
maintained on paid
administrative leave
until eligible for
retirement.

Settlement Agreement
Allowing Employee
to Retire
July 05

Employee
Retires

Five months after the investigation ended, while the supervisor was
getting paid administrative leave, the department drafted a settlement
agreement with the supervisor. The settlement agreement essentially
stated that if the supervisor retired, the department would not enact
discipline against him/her. The following is a section of that settlement
agreement:
[The senior officer], who will be eligible for full retirement on. . .
having put in twenty years of continuous employment service with
UDC, does hereby agree to retire from UDC effective. . . . UDC
and [the senior officer] further mutually agree that [the officer]
will, up until the date of [his/her] agreed upon retirement, remain
a full-time employee of the [department], and that [the officer] will
remain on Administrative Leave with Pay status until [date of
retirement].

The captain
committed a crime
while the
correctional officer
committed a policy
violation.
– 18 –

This employee spent nearly seven months on paid administrative leave,
five months of which occurred after the investigation ended. Further, the
department did not consult State Risk Management or the Attorney
General’s Office on the agreement.
The Department Responded That This Case Is Not Unusual. The
department believes that it is important to be staff friendly, and said that
A Performance-18Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

they have done this for another employee and would continue to do it in
the future. They provided another example of this situation where a
correctional officer became involved with a motorcycle group, which the
department classifies as a criminal organization. This employee signed a
settlement agreement that allowed five months of administrative leave pay
so the supervisor could receive full retirement.
We do not see these cases as comparable. The example provided by
the department concerns a correctional officer, while the other is a
supervisor, with far more influence and access in the organization. In
addition, the supervisor tested positive for methamphetamine, a crime,
while the correctional officer was guilty of a policy violation.
We question the practice of allowing employees to be placed on
administrative leave for a lengthy period in order to allow them to retire.
The department feels that this is the right thing to do because, in addition
to being staff friendly, situations of terminations often become drawn out
battles of appeals in the Career Service Review Board. They state,
“Sometimes we just have to cut our losses and settle to be free of a
problem employee.” We feel this does not send the impression to other
employees that the department is fair and even-handed in discipline.
Other surveyed state public safety entities believe that an employee
further than 30 days from retirement should be disciplined the same as
any other employee.
Employees Frequently Commented That the Supervisor Was
Favored by Administration. Employees pointed out that other
employees were disciplined for committing similar infractions.
Management at the department should seek to create a more fair
environment. The National Institute of Corrections states:
From commissioners on down the line, managers have the ability
to reinforce or undermine the department’s mission. Fairness,
strength of purpose, respect, and humanity go a long way toward
creating loyalty to the agency among line-level employees.
Favoritism, weakness, and “kissing up to top brass” destroy it.
Management should seek to curtail all instances of favoritism so the
department’s mission is never undermined. This case appeared as
favoritism to employees because of the lengthy administrative leave given
Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-19-

– 19 –

to a specific employee. It is a questionable management decision to allow
employees to remain on administrative leave for months at a time waiting
for them to be eligible for retirement.
No Investigation or Discipline
After Supervisor Violated Policy

The supervisor
violated policy but
was not disciplined.

A supervisor in internal affairs committed a clear policy violation but
was not investigated or disciplined even though the information was
known at the department. Further, this employee’s violation is
exacerbated because of the position the supervisor holds investigating
other employees for policy violations. This is an example where
department discipline policy was not equitably administered by UDC
management, thereby demonstrating favorable treatment for this
supervisor.
The policy violation occurred when the employee was pulled over by
the Highway Patrol for speeding. Upon being pulled over, the employee
in question turned on the emergency lights in his/her vehicle, and told the
officer that he/she was responding to an emergency. The highway patrol
provided a copy of the dash cam video to the department. The dash cam
video records the following conversation between the employee and the
officer.
UHP Officer:
Supervisor:
UHP Officer:
Supervisor:
UHP Officer:

Supervisor:
UHP Officer:
The employee
should have been
held to a higher
standard because of
his/her position as a
supervisor in
internal affairs.
– 20 –

Supervisor:
UHP Officer:

Have you got an emergency?
I’m going to Gunnison [Central Utah Prison]
for an investigation.
What’s the investigation on?
A stabbing.
I just stopped four other officers who flashed us
doing over 90 miles per hour and I’m tired of it, so
are you going to a shoot [shooting range] or are you
going to an investigation?
I’m doing the shoot too.
You withheld the information you were going for
the shoot. Am I correct?
Yes.
We should not use our position to influence our
situation. . . . I know it was done here with the
lights.

A Performance-20Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

Incident reports for the time period in question verified that no stabbing
event occurred. Further, this supervisor’s assignment with the internal
affairs bureau at the time did not include investigating criminal matter,
such as a stabbing. The supervisor’s conduct was unprofessional and
against UDC policy, which states:
Members shall not use their official position, official identification
cards, or badges to avoid the consequence of their acts.
The Department Believes a Verbal Warning Was Sufficient
Discipline. The department’s response to an internal affairs supervisor
lying to another officer for personal gain is that it is often handled
“without formal discipline, but rather with verbal admonishment or
mediation of the officers involved.”
Department management claims that this supervisor was verbally
warned, and that the supervisor’s performance evaluation clearly
reprimands this individual. However, the supervisor’s performance
evaluation, which occurred eight months later, only makes a side reference
at the end of the evaluation. The single reference to the supervisor’s policy
violation states:
[Employee] learned that he would be held to a higher standard
that line staff at the department. Miner [sic] incidents or
infractions will bring a great deal of review and action will be taken
to address any shortcomings.
We are concerned
that the department
gave the supervisor
a successful
performance
evaluation after
his/her clear policy
violation.

The supervisor was given a successful rating on the performance
evaluation for ensuring that he/she “operate under the [department’s]
policies and procedures.” The supervisor was also given a successful
rating for “conduct both on and off the job complying with the
[department’s] code of conduct.”
We found other departmental employees who had been disciplined for
violating a policy that was at least partially similar. These employees
received discipline, ranging from one to several days off without pay, and
were ineligible for promotion for one year following the disciplinary
action. We also found that a police officer in another local police
department was terminated for a similar misuse of position. As well,
other police chiefs and sheriffs responded that they could act in a similar
manner. It appears questionable to leave this internal affairs supervisor in

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-21-

– 21 –

a position of great trust after an incident where his/her trustworthiness
was called into question. Investigations and reports submitted by this
employee would also be suspect.
Further, the executive director made a note on this supervisor’s
evaluation, stating, “[His/Her] work has improved the image of the
UDC.” Again, this is another unlikely comment considering the
supervisor’s action and the UHP officer’s belief that the supervisor’s action
had in fact hurt the image of the UDC.
Internal Affairs Investigators
Not Investigated for Policy Violations

Skepticism of
management
increases when
employees in
favorable positions
are treated
differently.

When employees in positions of authority in the organization appear
to be treated favorably, other employees become even more skeptical of
department management. Some internal affairs investigators (who
investigate employees for policy or criminal violations) were never
investigated or disciplined for violating department policy. Management
seemed to be aware of the policy violations, yet no action was taken
against the investigators. Again, the inconsistent application of
department policy appears to be favorable treatment.
The Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) pulled over a car with four internal
affairs investigators for speeding. According to dash cam video of the
incident, the investigators pulled their badges to ID themselves as officers.
It is a violation of department policy for employees to use their position as
law enforcement officers to get personal gain. In dash cam video of the
incident, the highway patrol officer explains why he believes the internal
affairs investigators were in the wrong. The officer states to another
UDC employee (mentioned in the case above):

Investigators used
their position as law
enforcement officers
to avoid a speeding
ticket, which is
against department
policy.

I was a little bit disgusted. . .I look up and I have four badges
thrown in my face. That is just not real professional. We’re all
doing the same thing, basically. Professional courtesy is not letting
other officers go and not having the officer put the other officer in
that situation. . .We should not use our position to influence our
situation. That is what I felt was done there. . . .
When those charged with investigating employees for wrongdoing are
themselves caught in wrongdoing and not disciplined or investigated, it

– 22 –

A Performance-22Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

sends a message to employees and the public that management is not
equitable and fair with discipline.
When those in
favorable positions
are not disciplined, it
sends a message
that management is
not equitable and
fair with discipline.

UDC Management Did Not Inform Internal Affairs Director Of
Investigators Wrongdoing. According to the assistant director, the
administrator overseeing the directors of the two internal affairs bureaus
was notified that a UHP dash cam video existed. However, he/she
declined the offer to view the tape, stating, “I didn’t think there was
anything in dispute as to the facts of what occurred.” However, as shown
above, the tape clearly captures the UHP officer’s belief that the
investigators inappropriately used their badges for their personal gain. It
is unclear if the employee(s) who viewed the tape could directly notify the
assistant director; however, from the written comments made by the
assistant director, it appears he/she knew what content was on the tape.
We were also told that information of this badging incident was
passed up the chain of command to management, which seems plausible
since the investigators’ infractions were known among some in the
department. Nevertheless, internal affairs, apparently, was not made
aware of the full impact of the investigators actions. The deputy director
of internal affairs stated:
It should be noted no one from an outside agency or within
Corrections notified LEB administrators that the investigators
behavior was either inappropriate, aggressive, an abuse of authority
or made any other negative references.
Consequently, the investigators were never disciplined. The apparent
breakdown in communication and oversight of this case is very
concerning. As previously noted, other employees have been disciplined
for somewhat similar policy violations. In fact, UDC management told us
of a case where they severely disciplined an employee because the
employee displayed his/her badge during a DUI arrest. It appears that
either management needs to improve the way they communicate and
handle discipline matters, or the information was not communicated to
favor and protect the investigators.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-23-

– 23 –

Seemingly Inequitable Treatment Against
Officer Who Reported a Policy Violation
Unfair or inequitable treatment of an employee is concerning because
it signals favorable treatment by management. Employees commented to
us that inequitable treatment leads them to believe in a negative
department culture. Several employees made allegations of inequitable
treatment. The following case is an example of what appears to be
inequitable treatment.

A senior officer
coerced other
officers to allow an
unauthorized person
into the prison.

A corrections officer reported a policy violation involving a security
breach against a more senior officer in the prison. The senior officer
coerced other officers to allow an unauthorized citizen into an inmate
center of the prison. Department policy is clear that only authorized
individuals should enter the prison. Department policy allows:
only authorized persons access to the secure facilities . . . to prevent
contraband from entering the facilities. All visitors applied for by
the inmates shall be cleared through background checks such as
BCI, NLETS, and NCIC.
This policy exists to protect the public, staff, and offenders. Department
policy indicates, “The primary mission of the department is public safety,
[and] public safety involves protecting . . . inmates/offenders under the
supervision and control of the department.”

The senior officer
received modest
discipline, while the
reporting officer was
transferred, and
reportedly told to
“get thicker skin.”

It appeared to some that the senior officer was favored in the
disciplinary process. The senior officer received a modest discipline, but
the officer reporting the policy violation was immediately transferred,
against protest from the officer’s direct superior. The officer’s superior
indicated that other corrections staff were upset because the officer
reported the incident; the officer’s superior then said he/she was instructed
to reassign the employee. In UDC records, the officer’s superior stated:
It was one of the hardest things that I have done with my job
because I don’t think [that officer] did anything wrong.

The reporting officer
vowed never to
again report
wrongdoing.

– 24 –

Further, an administrator at UDC reportedly later told the officer who
reported the policy violation to get thicker skin. After this experience the
officer vowed to never report another employee’s wrongdoings.

A Performance-24Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

Department management should not reinforce any form of a “code of
silence” or send any other negative message to employees about reporting
wrongdoing by fellow employees. The California Legislature recently
took on this issue with the California Department of Corrections. The
California Legislature passed a bill into law which stated:
Department of Corrections and the Department of Youth
Authority must adopt a code of conduct that would provide
uniform guidance to all workers at these departments, including
their duty to report wrongdoing at their workplace.
UDC should consider adopting a similar provision. If corrections officers
continue to be hesitant to report the wrongdoing of certain officers, the
department’s mission of safety would be compromised. A provision
concerning reporting of wrongdoing reinforces the importance of
departmental openness to both line staff and management.
The Department Does Not Consider a Transfer As Discipline.
Because one of the employees involved in this case has a fear of retaliation,
we were not able to reveal the specifics of this case to the department.
The department has stated that a transfer should not be considered a
disciplinary action. However, the employee believes the transfer is related
to his/her previous action to report a violation and thus follow UDC
policy. In our opinion, the transfer could easily be misconstrued and the
department should not have made the transfer.
UDC Management Apparently
Favored Employee in Hiring Process
It appears UDC
management
favored a retired
employee in the
hiring process.

UDC management apparently favored a retired employee in the hiring
process, and/or made a questionable decision to not follow UDC policy
when certifying the employee to Peace Officer Standards and Training
(POST). The retired employee did not have proper law officer credentials
to be rehired because he/she had not completed the statutorily required
training while away from law enforcement. This was a fact that should
have been known to UDC management, and does appear to have been
known by them. UDC policy clearly requires all training hours to be
certified by UDC. Further, POST policy also requires certification hours
to be reported through a law enforcement entity. Training hours cannot
be self-reported to POST, though this appears to be what occurred.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-25-

– 25 –

Further, a UDC administrator wrote what appears to be a misleading
memo to POST verifying that the employee signed a reserve officer
agreement while absence from the department. Even more, the executive
director was notified in an e-mail by the department’s training director
that the employee had delinquent training hours. Employees cannot be in
a police officer position without the statutorily required training hours.
However, the executive director has not corrected the concern.
Further, before this employee retired, he/she was involved in
questionable investigative practices that resulted in a lawsuit and a
settlement of nearly a half-million dollars (by three law enforcement
entities). The questionable investigation was handled by the supervisor
and the previously mentioned administrator who wrote the misleading
memo for the supervisor. Figure 3.2 shows a timeline of the above
events.

Figure 3.2 Timeline of UDC Employee. This timeline shows
critical events pertinent to the employee’s hiring.
January 2004

Apparent False Memo
from Administrator
Claiming Employee’s
Reserve Status.
October 1998

Apr 04 - Aug 04

Approximate Time Frame of When
Executive Director Was Notified
Employee Had
Delinquent Training Hours

Retired from UDC
January - March

Out of Active Law Enforcement 4 years 3 months

Jan 00 - Feb 04

No Training Hours
Recorded at UDC

Memo by UDC
administrator
appears misleading
because we could
not validate the facts
in the memo.

– 26 –

August 2005
March 2004

Rehired and
Recertified by
UDC as
Law Enforcement Officer

Promoted to
Internal Affairs
Supervisor

Numerous UDC employees had concerns when the employee was
rehired at the department. Employees were extremely concerned when
they learned that an administrator (and former investigations partner) at
the department seemingly falsified a document in behalf of the employee.
The UDC administrator sent a memo to the Utah Peace Officer Standards
and Training Academy (POST) stating that the employee in question had
signed a reserve officer agreement with Adult Probation and Parole
A Performance-26Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

(AP&P) Region IV, thereby implying that he/she had maintained law
enforcement credentials. We believe the memo to be misleading because
we could not locate the agreement at the department. Further, AP&P
Region IV has no record of this employee performing reserve officer
duties in the region. We were told that the employee alone kept the
reserve officer agreement and later produced a copy of it. We were unable
to independently verify that the employee was indeed a reserve officer at
AP&P Region IV. Administration of Region IV had no information on
this employee.
We believe the memo to be misleading because we could not
independently locate the agreement at the department. Further, AP&P
Region IV had no record of this employee performing reserve officer
duties in the region. Finally, the employee claims he kept the reserve
officer agreement but when we asked him for all information regarding
this allegation he never produced the agreement. After all of the work by
the auditors and in the face of the allegation of a misleading memo, the
employee has produced the agreement.
Department Places All Culpability for Employee’s Certification
With POST. The department’s response to this case was that POST is
responsible for certifying the individual, and their records were solely
relied on when making decisions about this individual. The assistant
director states, “[Employee’s] training hours obtained from POST. . .
These are the records that were and are relied on for verification of
[employee’s] training hours and eligibility for being hired back.”
Law enforcement
entity must approve
training hours.

However, this is not entirely true. According to UDC policy and
POST policy, employees must obtain approval of their training hours
from a law enforcement entity. UDC policy mandates that all training
hours be approved and accepted through the department, then forwarded
to POST for filing. UDC policy states:
Members shall be granted hour-for-hour credit for attendance at
training conducted outside the department. Members must
complete and submit an “Application for Training Credit” form. . .
Members shall not conduct or sponsor any training without prior
approval from the training director. Members shall submit lesson
plans and/or a copy of the curriculum before approval can be
granted.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-27-

– 27 –

Self-reported hours
are not acceptable; a
law enforcement
entity must certify
them.

The POST director said that the correct process for receiving training
credit is that, first, the officer must receive or report training hours to a
law enforcement entity. Second, the training hours must be approved and
accepted by the law enforcement entity. Lastly, the law enforcement
entity, not the individual, reports the hours to POST. According to
POST, UDC was the only law enforcement entity recognizing the
employee when he/she was away from law enforcement.
The POST director said that if the hours were accepted directly from
the employee (which appears to be the case), then it was a mistake and
they should not have been accepted. The POST director said that they
have recently implemented new controls to prevent this from occurring in
the future. It is the department’s responsibility to ensure that this
employee is current with training. The department is inadequate in this
area, as will be discussed in Chapter IV.
UDC records show that this employee was delinquent in training
hours and consequently should not have been certified. An e-mail notified
the executive director that the individual was delinquent in training hours
from UDC, yet no action has been taken to correct or resolve these
concerns. In fact, it has been alleged that management openly refused to
address the concerns with the former employee.

The employee’s
training hours were
delinquent.

We validated that this employee’s training was delinquent during
his/her absence from law enforcement through UDC training records and
original training sign-in rosters. Without proper training during his/her
absence from law enforcement, the employee was not certified to hold a
certified peace officer position. Utah Code 53-6-208(2)(a) states, “The
certificate of a peace officer lapses if he has not been actively engaged in
performing the duties of a peace officer for four continuous years.” POST
policy goes along with the law by stating:
A person who has not been employed as a Utah peace officer in the
last four years is ineligible for reactivation and must successfully
complete a basic academy before he/she will be certified.

This case
demonstrates either
favoritism or
shortcoming by
management.

– 28 –

To employees this case demonstrated favoritism because an employee
closely associated with an administrator was hired without the proper
credentials. Further, the hiring and certification of the employee was
supported by what appears to be a misleading memo from a current
administrator and former partner of the employee. If this action was not
A Performance-28Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

favoritism, as the department maintains, then it shows a degree of
shortcoming by department management for either not knowing
department and POST policy, or choosing not to follow it.
Administrator Protected
During Governor Transition

Employees believe
an administrator
was given a merit
position as
protection during
the governor’s
transition.

Employees alleged that a nonmerit administrator was given a merit
position, for which he/she had no formal experience, during the latest
governor transition. This looks to be favorable treatment because HR
rules were violated in this transfer to a merit position. After the transition
occurred, the individual was appointed back to a nonmerit administrator.
Not only does this action appear to be favorable treatment, but the
salary given the administrator when transferred to the merit position
violated state human resource (HR) rules. According to the Department
of Human Resource Management (DHRM), who reviewed this case, a
violation of human resource administrative rules occurred when
management transferred the employee. The rules allow management to
move an exempt employee into a vacant merit position, but only if the
merit position is a lesser grade than the last competitively held merit
position. In this case, the administrator was given two grades higher than
his last merit position. The following figure shows the administrative rule
and the misapplication of the rule.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-29-

– 29 –

Figure 3.3 HR Administrative Rules Not Followed. UDC did not
follow administrative rules while transferring an administrator from an
exempt position to a merit position during the last governor transition
period.
What Rule Stipulates

How Rule Was Applied

The employee can be transferred to
a merit position if:
The current salary range of a vacant
position is equal or lesser than the
employee’s previous merit position.

The salary range of the new merit
position was not equal, and the
administrator was paid more than
allowed by administrative rules.

Or
If the maximum step of the position
previously held by the employee
has moved upward, the new range
can be used.

A new range for the position was
not in effect when the transfer
occurred.

Source: DHRM Rules

When we talked to the department about this concern, we were told
that the administrator did receive a lower salary because of the transfer. A
downgrade in salary did occur, but not to the extent that state policy
requires. In addition, the administrator had no formal experience for the
new merit position, although the department felt he/she was “one of the
most knowledgeable members of the staff about all our operations.”
Nevertheless, this position is unique in the department and requires skills
not obtained through POST and correctional officer certification.

The administrator
made about $20,000
more than the
position incumbent.

– 30 –

Further, the incumbent in the position, who was filling it on a interim
basis, was transferred with a salary increase to make room for the
administrator. Even more, the salary the administrator received in the
merit position was about $27,000 (including longevity steps) more than
the incumbent was making in the merit position. Even removing
longevity steps, the administrator was still paid about $20,000 more.
Finally, the incumbent was again placed in the position after the
administrator was promoted back to an exempt position but was again
paid less than what the administrator was making in that position.

A Performance-30Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

The Department Believed the Initial Transfer Was in Accordance
with HR Rules. However, this transfer, as shown above, not only
appeared as favoritism, but did in fact violate HR rules. The department
must be more careful not to violate state HR rules, especially when it
appears to be for the benefit of an administrator.
Shortly after the new
governor took office,
the administrator
was moved back to a
nonmerit position by
the current
executive director.

Employees commented that it appeared to them the administrator was
treated favorably. If UDC management desires to follow the Governor’s
Transition Team’s recommendation, which stated, “Address these issues
[inequitable and favorable treatment for management] and resolve them
once and for all,” they should be more careful when transferring
administrators at the department.
Administrator Treated Favorably
In Investigation Process

UDC policy was not
followed for the
investigation of an
administrator.

An administrator at the department was accused of serious infractions.
The allegations were serious enough that if found accurate, a violation of
federal and state law would have occurred. Department policy is clear
that conduct alleged to be in violation of federal, state, or municipal
ordinance must be investigated by the department’s internal affairs office.
It appears this administrator received favorable treatment because the
department did not follow their policy and conduct a full investigation
through internal affairs. This inconsistent application of department
policy for an administrator is another example of management not
applying the same standard to all employees.
UDC policy is clear that certain conduct must be referred to the
department’s internal affairs bureau (see Appendix A for full list of
conduct requiring referral). UDC policy states:
Agency Management shall perform the investigative functions in all
suspected and/or reported misconduct except. . . conduct in
violation of Federal or State law, municipal ordinance, excluding
minor traffic violations. . .In cases where one or more of the above
[cases involving infraction of federal or state law] is alleged. . .
agency management shall promptly notify the Division Director
for referral of the matter to the Assistant to the Executive
Director/designee.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-31-

– 31 –

Administrator
bypassed
department policy
by telling internal
affairs not to
conduct a full
investigation.

The assistant to the executive director was made aware of the case;
however, an investigation was never opened by internal affairs. The case
was not opened by internal affairs because an administrator at the
department had a note written to internal affairs requesting that a full,
independent investigation not be conducted. Instead the administrator
had his/her staff, who works closely with the employee alleged of
wrongdoing, conduct their own investigation. The separate investigation
not only violated UDC policy but also lacked the independence and depth
of an internal affairs investigation.
Management Believes the Administrator Was Innocent of the
Allegation; Consequently, They Believe Issue Is Moot. It was
indicated to us that the research completed on this issue cleared the
administrator of all wrongdoing. While we have no clear evidence to the
contrary, we believe the administrator should not be cleared until
department policy is followed and a full investigation is completed.

Other employees
were investigated for
similar infractions.

Citizens believed that the administrator received favorable treatment
and question department management’s ability to properly manage and
communicate. The belief by citizens of favorable treatment was
aggravated because they believe the department did not take their
concerns seriously, and they had to threaten a lawsuit to gain recognition.
The administrator should have been dealt with in strict accordance to
department policy because of his/her position of authority and close
association with the senior administrator who thwarted an internal affairs
investigation.
Full Investigation Not Completed
on Administrator
It was alleged that UDC management favored an administrator most
recently after allegations of impropriety surfaced against him/her, but
again, management did not conduct a full investigation. The
administrator was transferred, but no connection was made between the
transfer and the allegation. Also, the administrator was put into a lowergrade merit position without a competitive recruitment. Even though
state rules allowed for this transfer, an official at DHRM expressed some
concern because of the unique nature of the transfer. Even more, a full
investigation was not completed on what, if proven, are possibly serious
infractions by the administrator.

– 32 –

A Performance-32Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

The only record of
investigation on the
administrator is a
brief memo.

It appears the administrator was favored in the investigations process
because the investigation did not contain standard details of the
investigation process, including records of interviews conducted, or
conclusions regarding policy violation. The only record was a brief memo
written to management discussing some steps taken in the investigation
process and a brief statement dealing with the allegations. The memo
states:
Because some of the allegations against [administrator] involved
conduct not on department time or on department property and
are several years old; allegedly occurring before [administrator]
was in an appointed position; it would not be appropriate for the
department to delve into these matters.

If the conduct were
proven, it would
have violated
department policy.

As shown above, the memo says that only some of the allegations would
be inappropriate. The memo does not discuss the other allegations that
possibly could have been a violation of department policy. A review of
the allegations does allude to conduct that, if possible to prove, may have
violated department policy. For example, it appears that the administrator
may have violated the following department policy:
Members of the department are officials/employees of government
and as such must avoid even the appearance of conflicts of interest
to ensure public confidence. Engaging in conduct that involves
conflicts of interest undermines public confidence and trust in the
department, Utah state government, and the members of each
entity.
Management Says That These Type of Allegations Would Not
Have Been Investigated on Any Staff Member. However, the
employee in question was not a line staff member, but rather was a
member of executive management. Further, department management
indicated that they determined no policy violation occurred. However,
the investigation done by the department made no mention of what
specific policy violations could have been violated. It was not until we
asked management that they produced information on specific policy
violations and details with the case. These details previously did not exist.
The department could have been more diligent in investigating the
allegations that may have violated UDC policy. If UDC wants to fulfill
their policy of holding administrators to a higher standard, they should

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-33-

– 33 –

have conducted a full investigation on this individual. Otherwise, as this
case illustrates, employees will continue to believe that administrators are
treated favorably.
UDC Did Not Follow Up on Allegations
Reinforcing Impression of Unequal Treatment

An independent
consultant
concluded the
department failed to
investigate in a
timely or appropriate
manner.

The department received allegations from an employee ranging from
disrespectful treatment, to falsifying documents, to questionable treatment
of inmates. The department hired an independent consultant to
investigate the employee’s claims. The consultant concluded that the
department had failed to properly and timely resolve the grievances of the
employee. The consultant stated, “The grievances were strong enough
that . . . UDC should have taken an aggressive stance to resolve this as
quickly and as thoroughly as possible.” The consultant reviewed the
allegations and found them serious enough to recommend that the
department take action. The consultant said:
The department will have to determine which of the allegations it
feels has been substantiated and which have not. I have listed
above those which have sufficient evidence as to be probable or
definite.
However, we could find no evidence that the department ever
investigated the allegations of falsifying documents or questionable
treatment of inmates. When we asked department officials, they were not
able to tell what action the department had taken. The lack of action from
the department alarmed some employees and led them to question if the
department was favoring or protecting certain individuals. It also leads us
to question management’s judgement regarding the relative importance of
accusations.
Department Responded That Employee Personnel Actions Were
Resolved. While it appears that the department has indeed investigated
the personality conflicts between the employees, we could find no record
of investigation into the accusations of inmate abuse and falsifying
documents. We asked several administrators and employees in the
department and no one could produce any information that indicates they
looked into these concerns.

– 34 –

A Performance-34Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

By ignoring these allegations, the department reinforces the
impression given to employees that wrongdoing is not always
investigated, and certain employees are not held accountable. Further, the
message sent to employees is one of unequal treatment and favoritism.
The National Institute of Corrections states:

“Staff who feel . . .
lied to tend to sense
a hidden agenda.”

Staff who feel excluded or lied to tend to sense a hidden agenda
behind every action.
The department must be more diligent to resolve issues in a timely and
effective manner for staff to trust management and feel comfortable with
their decisions.
Employee Promoted
Against UDC Practice
In 2005, an employee was under investigation for a policy violation.
This investigation took place over approximately two months. During the
time the investigation was occurring, the employee was promoted to
supervisor. This case was reported to us by employees as a violation of
policy by the department and an example of management favoring an
employee.

An employee under
investigation was
promoted against
department practice.

We asked three members of department administration if promoting
employees while under investigation is against policy, and each of these
administrators believed it was. However, further research by us and the
administrators showed that it is department practice and not formal
policy. Nevertheless, it appears clear that the employee should not have
been promoted. Indeed, it appeared to employees as favoritism.
The Department Responded That in the Future They Would
Further Document Such an Action. The department claimed that an
AP&P secretary called the investigators to ask if the investigation was
completed, and the investigators said that they had finished the
investigation, with the exception of the actual report being written. The
investigators told AP&P that the investigation had concluded that he was
not guilty of the accusations against him. The department feels that
promoting him was the fair thing to do.
We believe that in order to eliminate the impression of favoritism and
bad management decisions, the department should follow the letter of the

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-35-

– 35 –

law without interference by management in investigations. Instances like
these lead employees to believe that management treats people
inequitably. Again, management should be more careful to follow
department practice so concerns with inequities among employees can be
resolved.

Administrators and Supervisors Should
Be Held to Higher Standard
It appears that some administrators and supervisors at the department
are receiving favorable treatment more often than line staff. This practice
is directly contradictory to department policy, which states that
administration and supervisors should be held to a higher ethical standard.
This concern was also addressed by the Governor’s Transition Report.
The report states:
[Individuals] view corrections management as “incestuous, selfprotective and having created an atmosphere of intimidation and
extremely disparate discipline when it comes to issues involving
administrators versus line employees.”
Of the cases discussed above, 6 of the 10 dealt with administrators or
supervisors. Further, it appears that management is also being favored in
the retirement process. A performance audit of the reemployment
practices at the department (Legislative Audit #2006-11) reports that
management is more likely to get favorable treatment in the retirement
process than line staff.
Policy Holding Management to
Higher Standard Not Being Followed

Those in positions
of authority are not
disciplined with the
same severity.

– 36 –

UDC policy holds administrators and supervisors to a higher standard,
but as previously stated it appears in some cases that the opposite is true.
Instances of favoritism appear to occur more often with employees in
positions of authority. It was indicated by line employees that
administrators or others in positions of authority were either not
disciplined or not disciplined with the same severity. Employees also
indicated that past attempts (e.g., Governor’s Transition Report) had
been made to clean up the inequitable treatment, but instead, the
inequality has currently grown to equal, if not greater, proportions.
A Performance-36Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

The executive director indicated to us that management at the
department disciplines administrators and supervisors more harshly. In
fact, it is department policy to hold supervisory employees to a higher
standard. UDC policy states:

Policy holds
supervisory
employees to a
higher standard. In
practice, the
opposite appears to
be true.

Supervisory and administrative staff are held to higher standards
than non-managerial members, [and] greater sanctions may be
imposed on supervisory and administrative staff.
However, it appears that management is receiving more favorable
treatment and is sometimes being held to a lower standard than line
employees.
Employees’ concerns with management receiving more favorable
treatment than line staff was also addressed in the Governor’s Transition
Report. The transition team received information from individuals who
stated that UDC management is “incestuous, self-protective and [has]
created an atmosphere of intimidation and extremely disparate discipline.”
To correct this concern and to become compliant with policy, UDC
management must begin to consistently discipline administrators and
supervisors more stringently.
UDC Management Favors Professional
Level Employees In Reemployment Process

UDC administrators
are treated
differently than line
staff when retiring.

A performance audit of the reemployment practices of the department
also highlighted concerns of inequitable treatment of professional staff
over line staff. Specifically, the audit brought up concerns with
administrators, supervisors, and other professional staff, being favored in
the retire then rehire process. This practice shows inequitable treatment
of employees by UDC management. Many employees we spoke with
were upset with the pattern of reemployment after retirement, which they
believe appears to favor management. The following chart illustrates that
professional staff at UDC is more likely to get favorable treatment in the
retirement process than line staff. The chart also shows that these
positions are more likely to get rehired into a favorable position without
being required to take a six-month leave of absence.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-37-

– 37 –

Figure 3.4 Retirement Data. This figure shows the percent of
positions in UDC (including board of pardons) that completed the sixmonth leave of absence for calendar years 1995-2006. Professional
staff generally are not required to take the six-month leave of
absence.
Did Not Meet
Statutory Six Month
Waiting Period

Percent
of Total

Met
Statutory
Intent

Percent
of Total

Professional
Staff

25

71%

4

31%

Line Staff

10

29

9

69

Total

35

100%

13

100%

Position
Retired To

Source: Audit #2006-11

Management at UDC is favored in the retirement process because
generally they are not required to take the six-month leave of absence
required in Utah law. The following examples are segments taken from
Legislative Audit #2006-11. These points illustrate in more detail how
select employees received favorable treatment in the retirement process.
The audit found that a board of pardons employee (also a former
UDC employee) transferred back to UDC for about month. In that
month, while back at UDC, he/she was paid an $8,000 retirement bonus
by UDC and then retired from UDC. This employee was then hired back
by the board of pardons in his/her same position.
Another instance of favorable treatment in retirement occurred with a
UDC administrator who was given a higher salary after retiring than a
line employee, who also retired and returned in a similar position. The
audit found that the UDC management reclassified a position for the
senior administrator and made it an exempt position. This allowed the
administrator to retire and take the new position without going through a
competitive recruitment process. This action appeared to employees as
favoritism. The appearance of favoritism increased when a line employee
who had seven more years of service than the administrator also retired,
but was required to go through a competitive recruitment process while
rehiring, and was paid about $9.00 less for the same position at the same
time. These cases further illustrate practice by UDC management of
inequitable and favorable treatment for some administrators and
– 38 –

A Performance-38Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

employees. For more detail on the above cases, refer to Legislative Audit
#2006-11.

Recommendations
1. We recommend that UDC management follow the
recommendations of the Governor’s Transition Team.
2. We recommend that UDC management ensure that employees,
inclusive of administrators, are treated equitably in investigations
and discipline.
3. We recommend that UDC management apply department
standards and policies equitably among all employees throughout
the organization, inclusive of administrators.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-39-

– 39 –

This Page Left Blank Intentionally

– 40 –

A Performance-40Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

Chapter IV
UDC Needs Improved Management
Oversight and Controls
The Department of Corrections (UDC or department) lacks sufficient
management oversight for a number of administrative functions.
Insufficient management in some areas has affected departmental
performance and governance. This chapter deals with other departmental
functions that could benefit from improved management oversight, which
include: training, commute vehicle use, and compliance with internal
policy.
Specifically, several employees have not received statutorily required
training. Deficient training by employees increases the state’s liability and
loss control, which can translate into higher settlements for the state. The
department has not followed its own policy justifying the use of commute
vehicles. Finally, UDC does not consistently follow internal policies
governing reserve officer use and discipline filing. The department should
increase management oversight in these areas.

UDC Is Not Compliant
With Training Statute

Six percent (107) of
officers did not
obtain statutorily
required training in
FY 2005.

25 officers have not
obtained statutorily
required training for
at least two years.

Six percent (107) of the department’s peace officers and correctional
officers did not meet training requirements for fiscal year 2005.
Additionally, 25 of those officers have not received the required training
for at least the last two years. The lack of proper training creates two
major problems for the state. First, the state has an increased liability and
loss control risk. Second, if an officer does not receive the required
training, peace officer or correctional officer certification is terminated
until the training deficiency is corrected, and the officer should not receive
public safety retirement during this time period. Termination of public
safety certification should result in reassignment from any position
requiring certification to a non-certified position. UDC must then choose
between greater strain on their staff or leaving uncertified staff in place
and increasing the state’s risk.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-41-

– 41 –

Management was
not aware that
officers were not
receiving required
training.

We are concerned that department management has not implemented
proper controls to ensure that officers receive the training required by law.
By statute, the executive director is responsible for ensuring all officers
receive 40 hours of training per year. However, UDC management was
not aware that officers were not receiving their training and has not
enforced disciplinary action for any officers who have not received
training. Management needs to immediately develop controls to ensure
all certified staff receive the required training. Further, in order to reduce
liability to the state, employees who do not receive 40 hours of training
per year should be prohibited from exercising officer duties. According to
Utah Retirement Systems policy, officers who have not received the
required training should not receive public safety retirement benefits.
Lack of Training Puts
The State at Risk

Training deficiencies
increase the
department’s liability
and loss control,
which can translate
to higher
settlements for the
state.

In failing to fully train officers, the state increases the risk of potential
lawsuits because officers are not legally qualified to hold their positions.
State Risk Management states that the lack of control for training
increases the liability and loss control for the state. This also creates a
safety risk for other officers and inmates. If an undertrained officer were
to make a mistake, the state could be held responsible for consequences
that occur due to the lack of training, resulting in higher settlements the
state would be required to pay out.
The law requires that all correctional and peace officers receive at least
40 hours of in-service training each fiscal year. However, at least 107 of
the 1,926 officers employed by the department during the entire 2005
fiscal year did not receive the full required training. Additionally, 25 out
of the 107 employees who did not receive their training in fiscal year
2005 did not receive the necessary training in fiscal year 2004. Figure 4.1
shows the statutory requirements for training of correctional and peace
officers.

– 42 –

A Performance-42Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

Figure 4.1 State Law Requires All Peace and Correctional
Officers to Obtain at Least 40 Hours of Training per Year.
Almost six percent of the officers in the department did not meet this
standard, increasing the state’s liability and loss-control risk.
All officers are
required to receive
40 hours of training
per year.

Peace Officer (Utah Code 53-6-202(4))
“All peace officers must satisfactorily complete . . . annual certified training of not
less than 40 hours as the director, with the advice and consent of the council
directs. A peace officer who fails to satisfactorily complete the annual training shall
automatically be prohibited from exercising peace officer powers until any
deficiency is made up.”

Correctional Officer (Utah Code 53-13-104(4))

Undertrained
officers should not
perform officer
duties.

“The Department of Corrections of the state shall establish and maintain a
correctional officer basic course and in-service training programs as approved by
the director of the division with the advice and consent of the council. The inservice training shall consist of no fewer than 40 hours per year.”

Figure 4.1 shows that state statute requires all peace and correctional
officers to obtain at least 40 hours of in-service training per year. We
reviewed the list of training hours from the department and compared
that list to the officers who were employed during the entire fiscal year
2005 and found that 107 officers did not receive the required 40 hours of
training during the year. According to State Risk Management, Peace
Officer Standards and Training (POST), and the director of training for
the department, correctional officers and peace officers should be held to
the same standard. They all agree that any officer who does not receive
40 hours of training should not be allowed to exercise officer duties until
the officer obtains the required training. Lack of training creates safety to
risk to all people involved, officers and inmates.
One of the missions of the UDC is to invest in training their
employees in order to help them do a difficult job well. Further, a welltrained officer reduces the liability to the state. In order to best fulfill
their mission and follow statute, the department should ensure that all
correctional and peace officers receive at least 40 hours of training per
year. We recommend that the executive director develop a control in
which supervisors and officers can track training hours.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-43-

– 43 –

UDC Management Must Ensure
Employees Receive Training

The executive
director is
responsible for
ensuring that all
officers receive
training.

UDC management, specifically the executive director, is responsible to
ensure officers receive training. Utah Code 53-6-212(2) “requires an
agency head to certify that a member has completed required training.”
However, department management was not aware that 107 employees are
delinquent in their training. Furthermore, it appears that employees have
not been disciplined if they fail to obtain their training as required by
statute. Figure 4.2 shows some of the evidence of the lack of proper
control by the executive director.

Figure 4.2 Management Has Failed to Implement Proper
Controls. Several employees have gone several years without
proper training and do not appear to have been disciplined. The
following includes some examples of lack of management controls.
Employee
Some officers have
not received
mandatory training
for several years.

Position

Training Deficiency

Employee A

Division Director

Delinquent 4 years

Employee B

Correctional Captain

Delinquent 6 years

Employee C

Correctional Officer

Delinquent 5 years; Has never
received 40 hours of training since
re-employed by the department

Employee D

Correctional Officer

Delinquent 1 year, same training
class entered twice to bring officer
above 40 hours

Source: OLAG Analysis of UDC Training Records

Figure 4.2 shows that a few employees have not received adequate
training and have not been disciplined by the department. Department
management is required to ensure that all officers are properly trained;
however, management was not aware that officers were not obtaining
required training.
One supervisor
specifically stated
that an undertrained
employee had
received 40 hours of
training.
– 44 –

Some supervisors do not verify training hours. Employee B in Figure
4.2, a correctional captain, has not recorded sufficient training for six
years. At the beginning of the 2006 fiscal year, this employee set a goal
on his/her performance evaluation to obtain 40 hours of training during
the year. During the annual performance evaluation at the end of the
A Performance-44Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

fiscal year, the employee, the supervisor, and the division director stated
that the employee had successfully achieved the goal of receiving 40 hours
of training for the year, yet the records show only 24 hours of training for
the year. This is an example of how supervisors do not regularly verify
training hours. Figure 4.3 shows the training hours for Employee B for
the last six years.

Figure 4.3 A Correctional Captain Has Gone Six Years Without
Receiving 40 Hours of Training. It does not appear that the
employee has ever been disciplined for not receiving proper training.
Fiscal Year Ending

Hours of Training

2001

23.0

2002

35.0

2003

16.0

2004

13.0

2005

20.5

2006

24.0

Source: Utah Department of Corrections Training Records

An employee has
not been disciplined
even though he/she
has not received
training for six
years.

Employee B failed to receive the required 40 hours of training for six
consecutive years. According to State Risk Management, employees who
have not received adequate training should not perform officer duties
because they present an increased liability to the state. There has been no
supervisory discipline for not receiving 40 hours of training, and the six
years have been inappropriately credited to the employee’s public safety
retirement account.
Most performance evaluations do not have a section that specifically
mentions training; however, they do contain a section that states whether
the officers are in compliance with POST orders and whether they are in
compliance with department policies and procedures. It appears that
supervisors do not verify training hours before completing performance
evaluations.

Training data is not
readily available for
supervisory review.

Management may not know if their subordinates receive training
because of the unavailability of training data. The department does not

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-45-

– 45 –

utilize a cental database in which management can verify training data.
Additionally, employees at all levels within the department do not know
who should be responsible for verifying training data. Department
employees have told us they think the following entities are responsible
for tracking training hours:
•
•
•
•

The training academy
Human resources
Line supervisors
Individual officers

We recommend that department management develop controls in
which supervisors and officers will know how many training hours they
have at any given time. Additionally, officers who are delinquent in
training hours should be notified and reassigned until they receive the
required training.

A correctional
officer has never
received required
training.

Management has not disciplined a correctional officer who has never
received required training. Employee C, in Figure 4.2, was rehired in
2000 and has failed to receive 40 hours of training over the last five years.
There is no evidence that management has taken any disciplinary action
against this employee, even though he presents a liability to the
department and the state because he/she is a safety risk to other officers
and inmates.
Undertrained Officers Should Not
Receive Public Safety Retirement

Certification lapses
if an officer does not
receive required
training.

Certified officers
receive public safety
retirement benefits.

– 46 –

Officers cannot be actively engaged in officer duties if they are not
certified. According to the statute cited in Figure 4.1, officers cannot be
certified unless they obtain 40 hours of training per year. Thus, if an
officer fails to receive 40 hours of training in a year, that officer’s
certification should become inactive and, as a result, public safety
retirement benefits should not be earned for the inactive time period. If
an officer fails to receive training for four consecutive years, his/her
certification has lapsed.
Certified officers within the department are eligible to receive public
safety retirement. Public safety retirement allows officers to retire with a
pension of 50 percent of the average of their three highest-earning years
after 20 years of service. The standard public employee retirement plan
A Performance-46Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

allows employees to retire after 30 years of service with a 60 percent
pension. In order to receive public safety retirement benefits, the
employee’s life or personal safety must be at risk and the employee must
be one of the following:
• Law enforcement officer
• Correctional officer
• Special functions officer, if approved by the POST Council
When an officer fails to receive 40 hours of training, the officer can no
longer maintain his/her certification and is no longer an officer. Utah
Code 53-6-208 states:

Officers who are
delinquent in
training should not
receive public safety
retirement benefits.

The certificate of a peace officer who has not been actively engaged
in performing the duties of a peace officer for one year shall be
designated “inactive”. . . . the certificate of a peace officer lapses if
he has not been actively engaged in performing the duties of a
peace officer for four continuous years.
State Risk Management and the director of training for the department
believes that the rule was intended to hold peace officers and correctional
officers to the same standard.
A Certified Officer Still Receives Public Safety Retirement While
Delinquent in Training. Employee A, in Figure 4.2, retired in 2005 and
was rehired in a position that required certification. He/she has since
been promoted to a division director position in the department and no
longer requires certification to perform his/her job requirements. Statute
allows officers to continue on the public safety retirement track even if
they are in noncertified positions as long as they fulfill the requirements of
their certification, such as fulfilling the training requirements.

Retired officers who
are rehired by the
department in a
certified position
receive a higher
401(k) contribution.

The last two years of this employee’s public safety retirement should
not have been accepted because he/she was delinquent in training hours.
Further, since this employee was delinquent in training hours, he/she
should not have been rehired into a position requiring certification. Since
this employee retired, he/she is no longer accumulating years of service for
retirement; however, he/she is getting a higher 401(k) contribution. If a
public safety officer retires and is later rehired by the state, the state
matches 23.46 percent of the employee’s salary into a 401(k) account
instead of adding to or creating an additional pension. Public employees

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-47-

– 47 –

with the standard retirement benefit would only receive a 14.22 percent
match for fiscal year 2006. Employee A has received the public safety
retirement 401(k) match since he/she retired, yet he/she has not received
the required training for four years. Thus, this employee is no longer a
certified officer. Therefore, this employee should receive the regular
public employees’ retirement instead of that of a public safety officer.
Based on Employee A’s salary for fiscal year 2006, the state overpaid
almost $7,000 into a 401(k) account. Figure 4.4 shows the difference
between Employee A’s public safety and nonpublic safety match rates.

Figure 4.4 Employee ‘A’ Received Almost $7,000 More Than
He/She Should Have Received. This employee is not certified
because he/she has not received 40 hours of training for four years.

Salary
$74,700

Public Safety
401(k) Contribution
(26.75% of Salary)
$17,500

State Employee
401(k) Contribution
(14.22% of salary)
$10,600

Amount
Overpaid
$6,900

Source: Division of Finance Data Warehouse

Figure 4.4 shows that the state overpaid this employee by almost
$7,000 in fiscal year 2006. As an administrator, this employee reports to
UDC management. UDC management should have known of the
division director’s training delinquency and should have taken disciplinary
action. This management oversight has cost the state about $7,000.
There is no record in the employee’s recent personnel file that would
indicate any disciplinary action.

107 officers who
should have lost
their certification
due to training
delinquency should
not receive public
safety retirement
benefits for FY 2005.

– 48 –

We are concerned that the 107 employees who did not receive
statutorily required training received public safety retirement credit for
fiscal year 2005. We recommend that UDC set up an internal control to
ensure that employees who do not fulfill the training required for
certification receive the standard public employees’ retirement instead of
public safety retirement.

A Performance-48Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

UDC Lacks Adequate
Oversight for Commute Vehicles

UDC management
does not track callout use for commute
vehicles.

The department may
be violating IRS
Publication 15-B.

The UDC does not follow their own policy or state policy governing
the use of commute vehicles. Management of the department no longer
requires officers who are assigned commute vehicles to track individual
emergency calls (call-outs) for which they use their commute vehicles.
This violation of department policy makes it difficult for us to justify the
actual need for commute vehicles. We recommend that the department
immediately resume tracking the use of commute vehicles.
We have also found instances in which management of the department
appears to treat commute vehicles as perks for certain positions rather
than for state business. If commute vehicles are used as perks, the
department may be in violation of Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Publication 15-B. We recommend that the department either eliminate or
reallocate several commute vehicles. We also recommend that the
department review the actual need for commute vehicles after six months
of tracking actual call-out usage.
UDC Policy Is Not Being Followed

The UDC is not
following their own
policy regarding
commute vehicles.

UDC is not following their policy on the use of commute vehicles.
Specifically, they are not tracking and monitoring the use of commute
vehicles. The department policy states:
If emergency response is the sole purpose of the commute
privilege, each driver is required to submit a complete list of all
call-outs on the monthly DF-61 form, and to send copies to the
Division of Fleet Operations.
The Division of Fleet Operations discontinued using the monthly DF-61
form several years ago. At that point, the UDC management also decided
to discontinue the use of the form.
Without tracking commute vehicle usage, the department cannot say
for certain the actual number of call-outs during a given time span. This
makes it difficult for management of the department to justify the use of
commute vehicles. In order for an officer to qualify for a commute
vehicle, the officer must meet one of the following criteria:

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-49-

– 49 –

• Must be on 24-hour “on-call.”

Most officers with
commute vehicles
claim they are on
call 24 hours.

• Must “clearly demonstrate that (he/she) is required to work at
home or out of a vehicle a minimum of 80 percent of the time and
the assigned vehicle is required to perform critical duties in a
manner that is clearly in the best interest of the state.”
• The agency must “clearly demonstrate that it is most practical for
the employee to go directly to an alternative work-site rather than
report to a specific office to pick-up a state vehicle.”
• “Duties performed before or after normal working hours and,
because the vehicle supports special equipment, it is not feasible for
the member to use a personal vehicle.”

The executive
director must
approve requests for
commute vehicles.

The department
cannot prove if
officers are needed
to be on call 24
hours.

The majority of the officers we surveyed justified the use of a
commute vehicle by saying they were on call 24 hours. The executive
director of the department is responsible for appropriate commute vehicle
approval. Without proper documentation for commute vehicle usage,
UDC management cannot justify commute vehicle usage. If a commute
vehicle cannot be properly justified, it may be considered to be a fringe
benefit and would thus violate IRS Publication 15-B, which requires the
employee to pay taxes on fringe benefits. Only two employees at the
department pay taxes on their vehicles, and they are not used for
emergency call-outs.
We recommend that the department follow state and department
policy and reinstate the use of the monthly DF-61 to track the use of
commute vehicles. This form should document the number of call-outs to
which each officer responds and should be used to justify the appropriate
number of commute vehicles for the ensuing year.
Management Oversight of Commute
Vehicles Can Improve
Without proper documentation we could not verify that all use of
commute vehicles is justified. Each commute vehicle costs the department
approximately $5,700 per year, depending on the type of vehicle assigned.
UDC management has approved the use of 192 commute vehicles in
fiscal year 2006. This translates into a $1.1 million expense that is not
clearly documented.

– 50 –

A Performance-50Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

The department
should reassess the
need for some
commute vehicles.

The department may also be able to eliminate other commute vehicles
by properly tracking commute car usage. As mentioned previously, the
department discontinued the use of form DF-61 which tracks commute
car usage for call-outs. We recommend that the executive director review
the actual need for commute vehicles six months after the department
starts tracking actual call-out usage.
Allegations of Favoritism
Exist with Commute Vehicles
Some employees believe that select administrators and supervisors
have commute vehicles even though their job functions do not require the
use of a commute vehicle. Employees commented that these
administrators and supervisors receive vehicles because they are favored by
UDC management, and the vehicles are provided as a perk of their
position.

Several employees
do not appear to
need commute
vehicles.

We identified a sample of these vehicles and question the use of some
of these vehicles based on job descriptions of those who are assigned the
vehicles. However, since no documentation of need exists, we were
unable to positively justify vehicles were needed. Nevertheless, based on
our review of job descriptions, it appears that some employees who have a
commute vehicle do not have a clear need for such. UDC management
should begin tracking and documenting the need of all those with
commute vehicles.

Department Does Not Follow
Other Select Policies
UDC’s noncompliance with its own policies over reserve officers and
disciplinary actions are also concerning. Poor tracking of reserve officers
may lead to increased state risk exposure. Also, failure to adequately track
disciplinary actions can lead to the staff equity problems discussed
throughout this report. The reserve officer policy violation results from
Adult Probation and Parole (AP&P) regions’ inconsistent compliance
with the tracking and reimbursement requirements. The discipline filing
policy inconsistencies involve noncompliance by the Human Resources
(HR) office with tracking of disciplinary actions.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-51-

– 51 –

Reserve Officer Policy
Is Inconsistently Followed

Most of the AP&P
regions follow their
own practices
governing reserve
officer use.

Only Region III
reimburses reserve
officers according to
policy.

Although there is a clear policy regarding the use of reserve, or
uncompensated officers in AP&P offices, each of the seven regional offices
follows its own practices for maintaining reserve officers. The volunteer
reserve officer program policy sets forth the way in which reserve officers
are to be tracked and supervised. Based on our discussions with the seven
regions of AP&P, it appears that despite this policy, they all handle their
reserves differently, if they are used at all.
In addition to how reserve officers are tracked, the regions differ
regarding reimbursement of volunteer officers. The policy states, “It is
the policy of the Department that volunteer reserve officers receive a
monthly equipment reimbursement. . . . The amount of the monthly
reimbursement shall be twenty dollars for all volunteer reserve officers.”
It appears that Region III is the only region that reimburses officers
according to this schedule. The following figure shows the differences in
policy compliance among the regions, as well as the number of reserves
currently utilized.

Figure 4.5 Region Reserve Practices. Only two of the seven
AP&P regions track their reserve officers’ hours worked.

Region

Number Active
Reserves

Reserves
Reimbursed

Hours Tracked

I

3

No

No

II

5

Inconsistent

Yes

IID

1

No

No

III

8

Yes

Yes

IV

1

No

Yes

V

1

No

No

VI

0

NA

NA

Source: UDC AP&P Regions

– 52 –

A Performance-52Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

If hours worked or
trained are not
tracked, it is
impossible to
determine an
officer’s certification
status.

Not tracking reserve
officer hours could
increase risk and
liability to the state.

Inconsistency in policy compliance within the department causes
tracking of reserve officers and their hours to be unclear. Reserve officers
are required to be POST certified or certifiable, and they “shall annually
complete a minimum 40 hours of POST approved training as taught by
UDC staff or other approved agencies in order to maintain their POST
certification.” If the hours worked and trained are not tracked, it is
impossible to determine whether they are POST certifiable.
The lack of tracking for reserve officers could increase risk and liability
to the state. State Risk Management believe that reserve officers would be
covered under the state Volunteer Workers Act (Utah Code 67-20).
However, Risk Management points out that, because of the nature of the
work, extra care should be taken to limit any liability. The regions must
be careful to follow department policy and track training and hours
worked meticulously. At a minimum, Risk Management points out that
the regions should track names, social security numbers, training hours,
and on-the-clock time.
Policies for Filing Disciplinary
Actions Not Followed

Disciplinary actions
are not being
appropriately
documented in HR
files.

When a corrections employee is disciplined for either a violation of
policy or an unlawful act, a final order is written to be placed in the
employee’s personnel file; a discipline file is also created specifically for the
incident requiring discipline. The separate discipline file, although a
department practice, does not appear to be department policy. We found
that many files do not contain proper documentation of disciplinary
action. The following figure demonstrates the results of a sample of
disciplinary files examined over the course of the audit.

Figure 4.6 Discipline File Search Results. The majority of the
cases we researched had no record of disciplinary action in the
appropriate file
Description of Finding

Percent

No Record of Disciplinary Action in Either File

62%

No Record in Personnel File

15

No Record in Disciplinary File

15

All Information Present

8

Source: UDC Files

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-53-

– 53 –

Corrections policy is
violated when
disciplinary actions
are not documented
in personnel files.

Department policy states that the personnel filing is to be kept. The
staff disciplinary policy states, “The Department shall maintain copies of
any documents or records affecting an employee’s conduct, status or salary
in the employee’s personnel file including all disciplinary actions.”
Department policy regarding staff personnel records states:
Entries in personnel files serve to . . . document disciplinary
actions and other incidents to aid the Department in avoiding
liability for actions of members. . .It is therefore, the policy and
practice of the Department to retain file documents for as long
as they continue to serve one or more of the purposes described
above.

If disciplinary
actions are not
documented, it is
difficult to
appropriately restrict
incentive awards.

Violation of the filing policy facilitates further violation of other
department policies. Another department policy lays out restrictions on
incentive awards. It restricts employees who are under investigation or
who have been disciplined in the past six months from receiving awards.
In addition, many final orders restrict employees from being promoted for
six months to a year from the time of their discipline. This cannot be
appropriately implemented if the record of discipline is not in their file.

Recommendations
1. We recommend that the executive director develop a control in
which supervisors and officers can track training hours.
2. We recommend that employees who do not receive 40 hours of
training be prohibited from exercising officer duties, as outlined in
the Utah Code.
3. We recommend that UDC employees who do not fulfill the
training required for certification receive the standard public
employees’ retirement instead of public safety retirement.
4. We recommend that the UDC management implement a tracking
mechanism for commute vehicles.
5. We recommend that the executive director review the actual need
for commute vehicles after the department has begun tracking
actual call-out usage.

– 54 –

A Performance-54Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

6. We recommend that the department discontinue providing
commute vehicles for employees who do not have the need.
7. We recommend that the department require each region to follow
the approved reserve officer policy in order to limit the state’s
liability and facilitate tracking of reserve’s activities.
8. We recommend that filing of discipline records be brought up to
date and maintained in order to restrict incentive awards and
promotions in a timely fashion.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-55-

– 55 –

This Page Left Blank Intentionally

– 56 –

A Performance-56Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

Chapter V
Increased Independence of
Internal Review Functions Needed
The Department of Corrections (UDC or department) needs to
elevate the level of independence of both the internal affairs and internal
audit functions. Both functions struggle with inefficiencies because they
report too low in the organizational structure. The Internal Audit Bureau
reports to a division director, which is not consistent with statute. In
addition, the finding and effect of both functions are compromised
because of the lack of independence.
UDC should bolster departmental oversight functions by requiring
that the internal oversight functions report directly to the executive
director. A feasibility study should also be completed to determine how
to best increase the independence and quality of the internal affairs
function.

The Internal Audit Bureau
Needs More Independence
The audit bureau
cannot be
considered
independent.

The Internal Audit Bureau does not currently have sufficient
organizational status and independence to provide effective oversight.
The audit bureau currently and historically reports to a low level in the
organization, while state law requires them to report to the agency head
or an independent audit committee. Further, the department implements
a relatively low percent of the auditors’ recommendations, which has
recently cost the state nearly a half-million dollars. We recommend the
audit director report functionally to an audit committee or the executive
director and administratively to the executive director, as required by
statute.
The Audit Bureau Is Not Compliant
With State Law or Auditing Standards

The audit bureau
has told
management that it
is out of compliance.

The Internal Audit Act, codified in Title 63, Chapter 91 of the Utah
Code, sets forth specific requirements for internal audit bureaus in the
state. The department’s audit bureau is not compliant with all of the

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-57-

– 57 –

code’s provisions. In fact, for the last several years, the department’s own
annual compliance review has concluded that the audit bureau is out of
compliance with the law. The latest compliance review stated:
Audit is out of compliance with statute 63-91-302 in (the
following) areas: An Internal Audit Director does not run the
bureau; the chain of command is not connected directly to the
executive director.
The audit director
reports to a division
director, which is
contrary to the law.

The department just recently bolstered the audit manager position to
an audit director position and, on paper, moved the audit director to
report to the deputy director. However, in actual practice, a division
director is still functionally and administratively over the audit director.
Consequently, the audit director does not have sufficient organizational
status and is not fully independent of all the functions it audits. Figure
5.1 shows particular provisions of state law and auditing standards as they
relate to the department’s internal audit function.

Figure 5.1 Criteria for Internal Audit Bureau. UDC has not
organized their internal audit bureau according to state law and
auditing standards.

The audit director
should report to the
executive director or
an audit committee.

Utah Code 63-91-302(1)(i)
For each agency that establishes an internal audit program, the agency
head shall . . . [place] no limitations on the scope of the internal audit
department's work; and [declare] that auditors are to have no authority or
responsibility for the activities they audit.
Utah Code 63-91-302(3)(g)
The agency internal audit director reports to the agency head and to the
audit committee, if one has been established, and has freedom of access
to the agency head to ensure that the director is responsive to the agency
head's specific requests, directions, and needs.
Utah Code 63-91-401(3)(a)
Audits are conducted in accordance with professional auditing standards.

Management may
have too much
control over what
the audit bureau
reports.
– 58 –

Figure 5.1 shows the statutes that the audit bureau is violating.
Specifically, the audit director should report to either the agency head or
an audit committee and the department head should not restrict the ability
of the internal auditors to report their findings. We are concerned that
A Performance-58Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

the department management has too much control over what can and
cannot be reported by the department’s internal auditors.
As previously shown, Utah Code 63-91-401(3)(a) requires that audits
be conducted in accordance with professional auditing standards. Figure
5.2 shows the professional auditing standards that the state should be
following.

Figure 5.2 The Audit Bureau Is Not in Compliance with
Professional Auditing Standards. In order to be considered
independent, the audit bureau should report to the agency head or
an audit committee.

Management has not
allowed the audit
bureau to be
independent.

Institute of Internal Audit Standards
IIA standards require that the audit director report to a level within the
organization that allows the internal audit activity to fulfill its
responsibilities. The IIA believes that true independence is achieved when
the audit director reports functionally to the audit committee and
administratively to the executive director.
Comptroller General of the United States
The placement of the internal audit organizations is essential so that
auditors are sufficiently removed from political pressures such that they
can conduct their audits objectively and report their findings, opinions, and
conclusions objectively without fear or political repercussions.

UDC is required by statute to follow professional auditing standards;
however, they are not in compliance with standards set forth by the
Institute of Internal Auditors and the Comptroller General of the United
States.
Audit Bureau Does Not Have Organizational Independence. The
law requires the internal audit director to report directly to the agency
head or to an audit committee. However, as previously shown, the audit
director reports to a division director.
Management knew
the department was
out of compliance
with state law.

The Legislative Auditor General informed the UDC that it was not in
compliance with auditing standards nine months ago (March 2006). The
department recently changed the organizational chart to have the audit
director report to the deputy director; however, we found that this was a
change on paper only. The division director over administrative services
still signs the audit director’s time sheet, still requires the audit director to

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-59-

– 59 –

attend his staff meetings, and still appears to be responsible for the audit
director’s performance appraisal. This is concerning not only because the
audit director does not have sufficient organizational status, but the audit
bureau could not independently audit a function under administrative
services.
Lack of
organizational status
prohibits the audit
bureau from
conducting
independent internal
reviews.

Management has
required the audit
bureau to make
changes to audit
reports.

The audit bureau should be sufficiently separated from lower
management so that they can report their findings objectively and without
fear of repercussion. The lack of independence in the organizational
structure has made it difficult for the internal audit staff to objectively
evaluate the actual performance of the department. Additionally, the lack
of an independent reporting structure can lead to the perception that the
audit bureau is not completely independent and can be persuaded by
management influences.
In addition, the audit bureau does not appear to be entirely free to
conduct their work. Management has required the audit bureau to make
changes to their audit reports. This practice is concerning and
undermines the audit bureau’s ability to conduct audits without
interference. Part of this problem stems from a lack of appropriate
organizational independence.
UDC Should Implement
More Audit Recommendations
The department has a low implementation rate of audit
recommendations. This low implementation rate alludes to an
unwillingness by the department to implement necessary changes.
Further, not implementing audit recommendations can negatively impact
the department and be costly to the state.
The audit bureau reports that in a two-year period (fiscal years 2004
and 2005) only 65 percent of audit recommendations were either
implemented or in the process of being implemented. Figure 5.3 shows
the level of compliance for each division, as reported in the fiscal year
2005 Internal Audit Compliance Review.

– 60 –

A Performance-60Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

UDC has only
implemented 37% of
audit
recommendations
over the last two
years.

Figure 5.3 UDC Does Not Always Implement Audit
Recommendations. UDC has implemented 37 percent of audit
recommendations during FY 2004 - FY 2005.
Level of Compliance

AP&P

DAS

DIO

Exec

UCI

Total

Implemented

23%

42%

54%

23%

87%

37%

In Process

42

7

3

77

0

28

Not Implemented

34

51

28

0

13

30

1

0

13

0

0

4

No Response
Source: UDC Audit Bureau

The department has failed to implement at least 30 percent of the audit
recommendations from fiscal year 2004 to fiscal year 2005.
Other state agencies
have higher
recommendation
implementation
rates.

Other State Agencies Have Higher Implementation Rates. It
appears that internal audit divisions have more management support
based on higher recommendation implementation rates. Figure 5.4
compares the implementation rates of three state agencies with that of
UDC.

Figure 5.4 Other State Agencies Have Higher Implementation
Rates Than UDC. Internal audit directors from other state agencies
claim that management plays a more active role in ensuring
recommendations are implemented.
State Agency

UDC

Courts

DNR

DAS

UDOT

Implemented

37%

97%

66%

77%

92%

In Process

28

1

10

15

8

Not Implemented

30

2

24

8

0

4

0

0

0

0

No Response
Source: OLAG Analysis

Figure 5.4 shows that internal audit divisions in other state agencies
implement a higher percentage of recommendations than UDC does. An
internal audit director in another state agency asserted that all
recommendations are followed up by the deputy executive director in that
agency to ensure that recommendations are implemented. This audit
Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-61-

– 61 –

manager claims that management fully supports the internal audit
function and encourages division directors to use internal audits to benefit
their divisions.
An internal audit director also claims that management supports the
department’s internal audit function and values its work as an integral part
of a successful department. Therefore, it appears that this agency’s
internal audit function has a much greater influence on the agency than
does the internal audit function in the UDC. The exercise of self-review
appears to be constricted at the UDC. Management should do more to
ensure that the audit activity is an integral part of improving the
organization.

Failing to implement
one recommendation
cost the state almost
$500,000.

Not Implementing Audit Recommendations Has Been Costly to
The State. The department was recently sued, and the state settled for
nearly a half-million dollars, due to an audit recommendation not being
implemented. In January 1997, the audit bureau recommended the
following, which management chose not to implement:
The Department should review the . . . twenty factors (regarding
the determination of whether a worker is an employee or an
independent contractor) with the Department of Human
Resources and the Attorney General’s Office to determine whether
any problems exist.
In September 2003, it was determined that the employees in question
may indeed have been employees of the department. As such, the state
settled with the employees in question for almost $500,000 in owed
benefits, pay, leave, attorney’s fees, and other compensatory damages
incurred. This lawsuit could have been avoided if the department would
have implemented the audit bureau’s recommendation.
In addition to restructuring the audit activity, the department should
also restructure the internal affairs bureau.

Investigations by Internal Affairs Need
To Be Equitable Among Employees
Management has an
undue influence
over the internal
affairs unit.
– 62 –

Historically, UDC’s internal affairs office has had a reputation of being
unable to conduct independent investigations of employee related
A Performance-62Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

problems. Our review of more recent times indicates that problems
continue. We believe that some investigations have been delayed by
department administration while some allegations of administrative
personnel have gone without investigation. We believe that a major
restructuring of the office is necessary to ensure high-quality, independent
investigation.
Lack of Independence Can Allow
For Inequity and Favoritism

Employees can
perceive inequitable
treatment due to
management’s
influence over
internal affairs.

Internal affairs at the department should have sufficient authority to
investigate all employees in the department when there appear to be
legitimate allegations. However, as illustrated in Chapter III, this does
not always occur. Legitimate allegations have been made against
administrators at the department who were not fully and independently
investigated by internal affairs.
As discussed in Chapter III, two instances occurred in which
administrators received favorable treatment by not having a full
investigation completed on them. In one instance, an administrator
thwarted an investigation on one of his/her senior employees by telling
internal affairs not to conduct an investigation. In another, it appears
internal affairs only completed a partial investigation on an administrator,
seemingly by request of management. The report on this administrator
had no documentation of events or allegations in the investigative file, to
the extent that an independent reviewer could not understand the
allegations against the administrator. These practices illustrate inequitable
treatment of employees in the department and have allowed for certain
employees to be favored.
Problems with UDC’s investigative practices are not new. The
internal affairs function has, in the past, been a concern at the department.
One Governor’s Transition Report declared that investigations conducted
by internal affairs were at times worrisome and were even used to satisfy
vendettas by investigators. The report recommended correcting the
problems by requiring the internal affairs function to report to the
executive director of the Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Further, the executive director has voiced concerns about the adequacy
of the internal affairs investigations. He commented to us that he has, at

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-63-

– 63 –

times, overruled the findings of the internal investigations unit because he
did not believe they were accurate.
Internal Affairs in Other States and
Departments Report to the Director
The department should be restructured in order to bolster the
independence of internal affairs, enabling them to investigate all
employees in the department. The two internal affairs bureaus at the
department should be centralized under one chief who, in turn, should
report directly to the executive director. This structure is used by the
Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS), as well as other state
departments of corrections. Figure 5.5 shows these reporting
relationships.

Figure 5.5 Internal Affairs Reports to the Executive Director.
The Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) and other state
correction departments’ internal affairs offices report to the
department director.
Official Who Oversees
Internal Affairs

Agency
Utah Department of Corrections

Assistant to the Department Director

Utah Department of Public Safety

Department Director

Idaho Department of Corrections

Department Director

Wyoming Department of Corrections

Department Director

Source: OLAG Analysis

Centralized authority under one internal affairs chief who reports to the
executive director appears to be an accepted model. We found that
Colorado’s and Arizona’s internal affairs report to an inspector general,
which is a position that Utah does not have.
As an illustration of the reporting model, the Wyoming Department
of Corrections (WDOC) policy states:
Other states give
their internal affairs
units more
independence.
– 64 –

The IU [internal affairs] is under the direct supervision of the
Director, and as such, all investigations assigned to the IU [internal

A Performance-64Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

affairs] shall have unrestricted access to all WDOC facilities, staff,
offenders, visitors, records, documents, and equipment.
We recommend that a feasibility study be conducted to decide how to
best ensure the independence and quality of the internal affairs function.

Recommendations
1. We recommend the audit director report functionally to an audit
committee or the executive director and administratively to the
executive director, as required by statute.
2. We recommend that management follow up to ensure that audit
recommendations are implemented.
3. We recommend that the Legislature direct the department to
conduct a feasibility study to decide how to best ensure the
independence and quality of the internal affairs function. The
department should report their findings back to the Legislature.
Points that should be considered are:
a)
Combining the criminal and personnel functions
into one bureau.
b)
Creating greater independence by restructuring the
reporting relationship of internal affairs to either the
executive director or another independent person or
group.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-65-

– 65 –

This Page Left Blank Intentionally

– 66 –

A Performance-66Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

Appendix

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-67-

– 67 –

This Page Left Blank Intentionally

– 68 –

A Performance-68Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

Appendix
“The Big 9.” Accusations that must be investigated by internal
investigations. (Department Policy AE 03/03.06)
Accusations
1.

Unlawful harassment

2.

Discrimination

3.

Conduct in violation of Federal or State law, or municipal ordinance,
excluding minor traffic violations

4.

Firearms violations

5.

Inappropriate use of alcohol and substance abuse

6.

Use of excessive force

7.

Domestic violence or violence in the workplace

8.

Prohibited relationships with offenders

9.

Other violations which, on a case-by-case basis, the investigator’s
supervisor may assign.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-69-

– 69 –

This Page Left Blank Intentionally

– 70 –

A Performance-70Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections

Agency Response

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

-71-

– 71 –

Department of Corrections
SCOTT V. CARVER
Executive Director

State of Utah

CHRISTINE MITCHELL
Deputy Director

JON M. HUNTSMAN, JR.
Governor
GARY R. HERBERT
Lieutenant Governor

December 7, 2006

John Schaff
Legislative Auditor General
Dear Mr. Schaff:
Corrections appreciates the opportunity to reply to the Legislative Performance Audit of the Utah
Department of Corrections. The following pages provide our response.
We look forward to working with you and your staff in the future.
Sincerely,

Scott Carver
Executive Director

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

Agency Response To
A Performance Audit of the Utah Department of
Corrections
December 7, 2006
The Department of Corrections appreciates the opportunity to respond to the "Performance
Audit of the Utah Department of Corrections." The Department agrees with the
recommendations of the audit regarding future administrative goals and direction and will
continue our work to implement these recommendations. (See the implementation plan in the
last section of this document.) We would like to take this opportunity to respond to the
conclusions contained in the report and hope that our response will clarify the concerns raised
by the audit. This response is not intended to be offensive to anyone; the Department is
simply presenting the facts from our point of view.
The Carver Administration has made staff its number one priority. Improving working
conditions, pay, staff disciplinary processes, and communication has been our primary focus.
Last year, the Legislature granted the Department a special two-step salary increase which
went to staff Captain level and below. Recent staff surveys show that staff morale is improved
and the number of grievances filled by staff against the Department has decreased by more
than 50%. Later in this response, we will present more evidence of our efforts and initial
success in these areas.
Corrections’ mission is to protect the public and provide offenders with the skills needed to
become law abiding citizens.
We measure our success by the smooth running of our
operations. We have had no escapes from our facilities, no riots, and no homicides, in spite of
more than 2 years of serious overcrowding. Criminal activity by offenders supervised in the
community has not increased again in spite of a growing a number of felons.
We do agree that a subset of Corrections' staff harbor a belief in management favoritism and
agree that this belief, even in a small subset, can detract from the effective and efficient
operation of the Department. The Transition Report previously mentioned the on-going issue
of staff concerns and tasked the current Executive Director with addressing them. We will list
some of the most important steps that Director Carver has taken in the last 2 years to identify
the problems and to resolve the issues. (This list is found on page 4 of the document.) Based
on this extensive list, we believe that Corrections has acted on the Governor’s Transition Team
recommendations.
The audit also states that the "appearance of favoritism exists" p. 15. A claim of favoritism
requires at the minimum a comparison contrasting the treatment of two different employee
groups, those favored by management in contrast to other employees. Such a comparison
must demonstrate differences in the treatment of these groups. Most of the narratives in the
audit present a single case without reference to comparable situations with other personnel.
One of the major goals of our administration has been to create a “staff friendly” atmosphere
Page 2

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

where staff are given the benefit of the doubt. The purpose of staff discipline is not to punish
but to correct staff misbehavior and improve the effective operation of the Department. The
report assumes favoritism occurred if a staff member received less than the harshest possible
treatment without providing the necessary comparisons to similar cases. A different
interpretation is that this less harsh treatment results from administration's proactive efforts to
increase staff morale. To support this interpretation, we will offer comparison cases, where
possible, showing other staff that have been given similar consideration. Our interpretation in
every specific, factual case cited is not that staff received special protection or favoritism but
that the Department dealt with difficult situations, as it does every day, in a manner designed to
be fair to all employees.
The audit report cites 10 cases of possible favoritism. The Department has 2400 employees
and the investigation included all personnel actions taking place over a 2 ½ year period. Ten
cases were identified, most minor violations of policy, and some that did not violate any policy.
We do not excuse any mistakes or policy violations on the part of anyone working for the
Department and will attempt to address the issues raised.
The list of issues cited to demonstrate favoritism is:
1. A staff member who tested positive for drugs and who had worked for the Department
for almost 20 years was allowed to retire, rather than be fired, within a few months of
qualifying for a pension.
2. An internal investigator lied to an officer during a traffic stop claiming he was hurrying
to investigate an incident at the prison to avoid a ticket; he received a verbal
reprimand and was admonished to avoid further such behavior in his performance
evaluation.
3. A group of investigators were not investigated or disciplined for showing their badges
to a Highway Patrol Officer during a traffic stop. They were carrying weapons and are
required to identify themselves to any officer who stops them.
4. An employee reported a security violation by a superior. The superior consequently
was disciplined and then the employee reporting the violation was transferred to
another assignment.
5. A former employee was rehired in a recruitment which required that the candidates be
POST law enforcement certifiable, not POST certified. He met this requirement and
was hired in accordance with HR rules.
6. An exempt employee was allowed to exercise his right as a career service employee
to return to a merit position, losing substantial income and position.
7. The possible misbehavior of an administrator was investigated through an
administrative review rather than being referred to an independent investigator.
8. An administrator was not formally investigated for unsubstantiated allegations many
years in the past which were received from a questionable source.
9. The Department did not re-investigate allegations of inmate abuse previously
investigated because they had been found to be groundless.
10. An agent who was accused by an offender of physical abuse was promoted before the
final paper report clearing his name of this allegation was completed, but not before
management was informed by our investigators of his innocence.
Page 3

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

In several of these cases, we will demonstrate that other staff have received similar treatment
and that the situations mentioned reflect our common practice rather than unique exceptions
made for a favored few.
Response to Chapter 2
Implementation of the Transition Team Recommendations
The audit suggests that management has not done enough to resolve the issues concerning
staff morale raised by the Transition Report. These conclusions were reached, in part,
because management was not asked what they had done to address these recommendations.
The Department has taken numerous steps and has had remarkable initial success in
improving employee relations. The following list details the actions already taken by the new
administration to address the personnel issues raised by the Transition Team:
1. In January, 2005, Director Carver met with the transition team to review the report and its
recommendations as a basis for organizing his management team and setting his
priorities.
2. Director Carver met with FOP leadership (as instructed by the transition team) in January,
2005, to listen to their concerns and to attempt to resolve the issues they raised.
3. In January, 2005, Director Carver met again with the transition team to review the
proposed organization before it was finalized and received their approval of all
appointees. This included changes in the Division leadership of Adult Probation and
Parole and Administrative Services, and in leadership changes in the Bureau of Audit,
Offender Programming, and Investigations.
4. The Department leadership completed a comprehensive reworking of the discipline
process designed to move discipline down in the organization, reduce time frames,
reduce penalties (especially for first offenses), and create a more staff-friendly system.
The new policy formally took effect on January 15, 2006. The goals of the new discipline
policy were:
ƒ
Reduce Timelines for Investigations and Resulting Disciplinary Action
ƒ
Handle Investigations/Disciplinary Actions at the Lowest Level Possible
ƒ
Look at Ways to Keep Staff Members Better Informed as an Investigation
Progresses
ƒ
Look at Lesser Sanctions on First Offenses
ƒ
Look at Administrative Actions that are Innovative and Fit the Offense
ƒ
Protect the Department and the Employee
5. In January, 2005, Director Carver announced an open-door policy where all staff are
invited to meet with Executive staff to discuss their concerns, without fear of retaliation.
6. During FY’05, Director Carver commissioned a Certified Public Manager project to study
the high rate of grievances and make recommendations to reduce them. A project to
revamp the grievance process and address the underlying causes of grievances is
underway and remarkable success has already occurred in reducing grievances.
7. The Department has sponsored an 18-month training program by National Institute of
Corrections to train managers for the future beginning in the Spring of 2005.
8. The Department has provided management training to all levels of supervisors in the
Page 4

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

department.
9. Executive staff has regularly visited all Department offices and facilities throughout the
state to meet with staff and review both legislative action and the Department's direction.
10. The Executive Office has made staff salaries the highest priority of the Department's
budget. We were successful during the last budget cycle in obtaining 2 additional steps
for certified staff, captain level or below. Management staff were not given raises.
11. The Executive Office has provided minutes of all executive staff meetings to staff by email
and encouraged staff to respond to issues raised in the minutes. (Many responses have
been received.)
12. Department staff have worked with Utah Valley State College faculty to conduct a survey
of Division of Institutional Operations staff and compare the results with the same survey
of Utah Valley State College staff. The data indicate that Corrections' staff are generally
as satisfied with their employment as staff of UVSC. This comparison, while not directly
addressing favoritism, is inconsistent with the audit's conclusion of wide-spread staff
dissatisfaction.
The Transition Report included other recommendations which have previously been
implemented by the Department.
Evidence of Increased Staff Satisfaction
The best evidence of the success of our efforts to address the issues in the Transition
Report is the grievance data for FY’06 and FY’07 through November which show a sharp
down-turn in the rate of staff grievances. A significant reduction has occurred in staff
grievances under the current administration showing the success of our initial efforts to
improve the staff culture and address staff issues. The chart included here shows the sharp
reduction in grievances.
Percent of staff filing grievances
3

2.8

Without HB 213 Grievances
2.5

2
1.9

2

1.9

First Full Year of
Director Carver's
Administration

1.7
1.7
1.4

1.5
1.2

1

0.8
0.7

0.5

0
FY'98

FY'99

FY'00

FY'01

FY'02

FY'03

FY'04

FY'05

FY'06

In the audit, grievance data are averaged over 3 years, July 1, 2003 through June 30, 2006.
Page 5

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

Director Carver's official appointment occurred in January 2005, halfway through FY'05. A
high rate of grievances in FY'04 and FY'05 should not be assigned to his administration.
Note also, that the FY'05 grievance data also include a high level of grievances resulting from
HB 213 which had nothing to do with the department administration. Staff believed that they
needed to go through the grievance process first before taking the state to court. Twenty-five
grievances were filed in FY'05 over HB 213 and the staff members were clear in their
grievances that they knew that Corrections could not resolve their problem and that they were
grieving state policy, not Department inequities. Thus, on the chart we have indicated the level
of grievances both with and without HB 213 issues for the reader’s convenience.
We believe that we have made remarkable progress in reducing grievances which is shown by
the more than 50% reduction in FY’06 (even taking out the HB213 grievances). The first full
year of Director Carver's administration was FY’06. Before FY'06, grievances were averaging
about 2% a year. They have been reduced to less than 1% in FY’06 and are on track to be the
same in FY’07 (only 6 so far). Given the difficulty of changing even a small sub-culture in a
large institution, the data show a remarkable turnaround during Director Carver's
administration. The audit does not make a clear distinction between this administration and
prior administrations. Nor do they take into account the effects of HB 213. They interpret the
significant drop in grievances in FY’06 as a statistical outlier. We believe that the most
reasonable interpretation is that the drop in grievances under Director Carver is real and
significant.
Additional evidence of our on-going commitment to tracking and reducing grievances can be
found in the Department scorecard. Only 15 measures are included on the Department-wide
scorecard and one of these top 15 is the number of staff grievances. Corrections has already
shared this scorecard with the Governor’s office and legislative staff members.
A study conducted this year by a faculty member from Utah Valley State College, Ron J.
Hammond, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, also supports the idea that most Utah Corrections’
staff are reasonably satisfied with their employment. The study compared prison staff
members with UVSC staff members on a number of variables. Dr. Hammond created a “Work
Quality Scale” and found that Corrections’ staff scored almost as high as staff at UVSC (32 for
Corrections vs. 35-36 for UVSC).
Response to Chapter 3
This chapter focuses on incidents which are used to provide evidence of favoritism by the
management of Corrections. The incidents cited generally have to do with the staff
investigative process or staff discipline which was mitigated or not meted out. The audit
suggests that we should have been harsher with the employees in these cases because the
mitigated discipline has led to an appearance of favoritism. Our justification is that we try to
give the benefit of the doubt to all employees, not just to management or a favored few. In
fact, as noted above, a major theme of Director Carver's administration is to create a
more supportive staff environment in which discipline is corrective rather than punitive.
Page 6

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

It is worth comparing this audit to a Legislative audit conducted in 1990 which raised concerns
about Corrections’ personnel practices at that time. The earlier audit found that Corrections’
”judicial” discipline processes were “threatening” and “intimidating” to staff. They also found
that employee discipline could be expedited if handled at a lower level in the organization. The
1990 legislative audit specifically recommended that supervisors handle staff misconduct
reviews wherever possible rather than referring all incidents to the investigations bureau for a
formal investigation. The current audit criticizes Corrections repeatedly for just the opposite
process—this audit suggests that Corrections should have conducted formal internal
investigations, rather than asking supervisors to conduct administrative reviews, in many of the
cases mentioned. Corrections has a clear process for determining when to conduct a formal
investigation or to allow the supervisor to conduct an administrative review and this process
was followed in the cases described below.
The audit seems to assume that because some staff believe that favoritism exists that makes it
true. Perception is not reality and this is a problem of perception. Again, for favoritism to be
demonstrated it would be necessary to show that some staff (who are favored) receive better
treatment than others in similar circumstances (who are not favored).
Examples provided by audit
Specific incidents are mentioned in the audit which will now be addressed in detail. In many
cases, the audit concludes that events were not addressed when, in fact, procedures were
followed and consequences occurred.
In the new approach to staff discipline which took effect in January, 2006, every effort is made
to give the employee the benefit of the doubt. Disciplinary sanctions were reduced and
disciplinary infractions were divided into two groups: Level 1 and Level 2. Level 1 infractions
have lesser sanctions and generally are approached, on a first violation, as a performance
rather than a disciplinary issue. Formal internal investigations are not conducted; instead, the
supervisor is instructed to perform and document an administrative review. Formal internal
investigations are reserved for allegations of criminal behavior, unlawful harassment,
discrimination, firearms violations, inappropriate use of alcohol or controlled substances,
excessive force, domestic violence, workplace violence, prohibited relationships with
offenders, or other violations as needed.
These changes have shortened the timelines for discipline so that staff do not remain under a
cloud for long periods of time waiting for the internal investigations system to address their
cases. Workloads in investigations have been reduced to a more manageable level, reducing
potential costs to the state that would result if additional investigators were hired.
In every case mentioned by the audit in Chapter 3 where a formal investigation was not
completed, Corrections' policy was followed in determining when to perform an investigation
versus an administrative review. The policy will be reviewed to determine if it needs
modification.
Page 7

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

1. Audit: Supervisor seemingly favored and protected
Response: Staff member with more than 19 years in the system was allowed to retire
rather than be fired—as have other staff in similar circumstances.
A Captain at the prison was arrested for a DUI and the investigation found a policy violation
had occurred. However, the city prosecutor decided to dismiss the criminal charges due to
lack of evidence. The inability to defend a disciplinary action based on the dismissal precluded
the Department from taking disciplinary action. A year later, this captain was accused of a
number of serious violations relating to use of illegal drugs. These allegations were
investigated and it was found that the staff member had abused prescription drugs. During the
investigation and after the allegations were sustained, the staff member was put on paid leave
(we cannot put staff on unpaid leave). A settlement agreement was entered into with the staff
member agreeing not to proceed with the discipline if the staff member retired.
a. The facts in this case are essentially correct but are incorrectly interpreted.
b. Other staff, including line level staff, have been allowed to retire rather than be fired if
they are eligible for or within a few months of qualifying for their retirement.
c. Corrections believes that this mitigation respects the work of long time employees who
are close to retirement and does not harm the efficient operation of the Department.
d. An attempt to terminate the employee would probably have led to the same outcome
because of the time required to complete a termination but the cost to the state and
employee would have been much greater.
Corrections offers a comparable case involving a line officer.
A Correctional Officer was investigated and found guilty of associating with offenders by
becoming a member of a club with criminal associations. He was allowed to retire rather than
be terminated. He was put on paid leave at the beginning of his investigation and kept on
leave until his retirement date.
We do not believe that this case demonstrates favoritism. Corrections will continue to review
incidents of this sort on a case-by-case basis and make decisions taking into account the best
interests of the staff, the organization, and the state.
Process Refinements:
1. Ensure that DHRM is consulted and offers a written recommendation in these cases.
2. Ensure that settlement agreements are reviewed by the Attorney General’s office.
2. Audit: No investigation or discipline after supervisor violated policy.
Response: Informal review conducted and supervisor reprimanded and received written
criticism in performance evaluation.
In this case, a supervisor in internal affairs was stopped for speeding in a state car by the
Highway Patrol. The supervisor tried to mislead the Trooper by saying that he was speeding
because he was on the way to investigate a stabbing at the Gunnison prison. The concern
raised by the audit was that he was not investigated or disciplined for these violations:
Page 8

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

a. He reported the violation to his supervisor immediately and in detail.
b. Corrections’ policy was followed in this case since the facts were not in dispute and the
violation did not fall on the list of incidents requiring Bureau of Professional Services
investigations given above. Neither the traffic violation or the untruthful response to the
Trooper falls on this list.
c. The audit reports that nothing was done in this case. In fact, the staff member received
a verbal warning from his supervisor and he was admonished in his performance
evaluation in the section titled “areas needing improvement” to avoid further incidents of
this sort.
d. The audit compared this event to a case in which an employee of the Department who
was off duty in his personal automobile attempted to pull over a citizen who committed a
possible traffic violation. Our staff member's pursuit of the driver in the other car
frightened her so much that she drove into the driveway of the Chief of Police and
summoned him from his home for help. The Chief reported that our staff member was
“out of control” and inappropriate. A complaint was filed by the citizen with the Sheriff’s
office. Our staff member was investigated and disciplined for this violation.
e. The second case is not comparable and is considered to be much more serious
because the second case involved endangering a private citizen and behaving in a
violent and erratic manner.
Process Refinements:
1. This is a Level I violation and so could be informally reviewed by the supervisor.
2. It should have been referred to the Department Disciplinary Committee which would
have made a recommendation for the appropriate sanction. This was not done and will
be in the future.
3. Written documentation regarding the actions taken should have been included in the
discipline file.
3. Audit: Internal Affairs investigators not investigated for policy violations
Response: No policy violation occurred so no investigation was necessary.
Four investigators were also stopped for speeding and showed their badges to the officer
when he approached the vehicle. The audit offers a comparison case in which a staff member
showed his badge during a DUI stop and was later disciplined.
a. The armed investigators were on their way to the Gunnison prison for a weapons’
qualification and as a result had weapons in the vehicle. The investigators were
obligated to inform the officer who stopped them that they were armed. They did this by
showing their badges. This is not “badge flashing”. At a minimum, this is a safety issue
for both our staff and the officer making the stop.
b. No ticket was issued.
c. No complaint was received from the officer making the stop.
d. No investigation is required for a traffic stop which does not result in a ticket or a
complaint.
e. The Department does not equate showing a badge during a stop for speeding with
showing a badge during a stop for a DUI. The severe discipline received in the DUI
Page 9

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

case had to do with the DUI. It was aggravated by the use of the badge but that was a
secondary, not primary, issue.
Process Refinements:
1. This is a Level I violation and so could be informally reviewed by the supervisor.
2. It should have been referred to the Department Disciplinary Committee which would
have made a recommendation for the appropriate sanction. This was not done and will
be in the future.
3. Written documentation regarding the actions taken should have been included in the
discipline file.
4. A review will be made of our policy on traffic violations in state vehicles.
4. Audit: Seemingly inequitable treatment against an officer who reported a policy violation
Response: No action of any kind was taken against the officer who reported a policy
violation.
The audit does not disclose the details of this case so a complete response cannot be made.
A line level officer reported a security violation against a more senior officer. This senior officer
was disciplined as were others involved in the incident. However, the line level officer
reporting the incident was not disciplined. The line level officer reporting the incident was later
transferred within the prison which was interpreted by the audit as punishment.
a. Transfers are not discipline. Transfers are made for many reasons and without the
details of the case it is impossible to know what those reasons were. The officers who
violated policy were disciplined and the line level officer reporting it was not.
5. Audit: Management apparently favored employee in hiring process
Response: All requirements were met during the hiring process for this employee.
The audit appears to confuse eligibility to be hired with the requirement to become certified
after hiring.
a. The recruitment in which the staff member was hired stipulated (quoting from the
recruitment bulletin) that candidates “must be able to be POST certified as law
enforcement officers” (emphasis added). This does not mean that the applicants were
required to be POST certified when they were hired, simply that they met the
qualifications to become certified as a law enforcement officer.
(See recruitment
bulletin in Appendix A.)
b. Eight individuals were hired during this particular recruitment. Some of those hired were
already certified as law enforcement officers and others were eligible but not yet
certified. No question exists about whether the individual hired was eligible. He was
eligible.
c. He had been a law enforcement certified member of Corrections in the past and met all
the qualifications. Several of the individuals hired in the recruitment were sent to the
POST academy to become certified after they were hired.
d. The question that arose later was whether the particular individual would need to go
through the POST academy again, take a qualifying retest, or simply be determined to
Page 10

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

have been certified during the entire 4 year period since he had left Corrections.
e.
The Department worked closely with POST to make the determination which
hinged on whether the individual had received his required annual 40 hours of training
during the time he was not employed by Corrections. POST determined that he had
met these requirements and did not need to go through the Academy again or take a
retest. Corrections repeatedly communicated with POST about this situation and made
it clear that if POST had any concern about the staff member’s training status, we would
send him through the academy again.
Corrections is not trying to place the “culpability“ for this decision on POST. We are simply
trying to explain the process we went through to determine the certification status of this
employee.
One of the most concerning aspects of this section of the audit is that it accuses a Corrections’
manager of sending a memo to POST with false information. Corrections has provided
documentation to show that this memo was correct. The only point of such a falsification
would have been to avoid sending this employee through training which the Department and
the employee were entirely willing to do. It had no implications whatsoever for whether the
employee qualified to be hired for his position. There was no motivation to falsify records.
Process Refinements:
1. Corrections worked closely with HR through the hiring process to ensure that all rules
and policies were followed. We will continue this practice with every recruitment.
2. On the issue of staff certification, we will continue to work closely with POST to ensure
that all staff in certified positions have met the requirements of their certification.
6. Audit: Administrator protected during governor transition
Response: An exempt employee was allowed to exercise his right as a career service
employee to return to a merit position, losing substantial income and position.
Administration consulted with HR before moving on this reassignment to ensure that all rules
were followed.
a. Exempt employees are given the option of returning to a merit position if one is
available.
b. Other staff are given transfers when they request them if positions for which they are
qualified can be found that fit their capabilities.
c. We dispute the contention that the staff member was not qualified for the position. He is
one of our most knowledgeable staff members concerning our operations and
performed at an exceptional level in his new assignment.
d. The incumbent who was moved was promoted and has benefited from the events that
occurred. She was not asked to “step down” as stated in the audit.

Process Refinements:
1. The previous Executive Director worked closely with HR to ensure that all rules and
Page 11

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

policies were followed.
2. In unusual situations such as this, we will request a formal opinion from the Director of
DHRM about all appropriate options.
7. Audit: Administrator treated favorably in investigation process
Response: Allegations against the administrator were thoroughly investigated in line
with Corrections’ practice.
An administrator was accused of possible violations of federal and state law by accessing the
criminal history record of several private citizens. The audit states that this should have been
sent to the internal affairs investigators for a full investigation as apparently required by
Corrections’ policy. Instead, the administrator’s supervisor conducted an administrative review
of his behavior.
a. On April 25, 2006, a private citizen e-mailed an investigator from Corrections' Bureau of
Professional Standards (BPS) and made allegations that an administrator had
inappropriately accessed her criminal history using his position and Department
resources without her knowledge and consent.
b. BPS referred the matter to the Division for handling because any type of accessing
and/or releasing of confidential information has been handled by an administrative
review in the past. Although “technically” inappropriate access of BCI records can be a
Class B Misdemeanor, criminal charges are almost never pursued.
c. Corrections' staff spoke to the Field Services Section Supervisor for the Utah Bureau of
Criminal Identification (BCI) on December 1, 2006, and he said 95% of cases such as
this are handled by State Agencies administratively and no criminal charges are
pursued. He is only aware of two cases where BCI pursued criminal charges. This is
not generally considered “unlawful conduct” that would require it to be investigated by
BPS. Further, if the administrative review found aggravating information or that our
administrator had inappropriately accessed BCI records, we would have referred the
matter to BPS, at that time, to conduct a complete investigation. For matters such as
this, it is not uncommon to start with an administrative review and then refer the case for
formal investigation if wrongdoing or aggravating factors are found. From our
discussion with BCI, we were consistent with other agencies by investigating this case
administratively.
Further, we have reviewed Adult Probation and Parole’s disciplinary logs from 2003 to the
present and all cases involving inappropriate access/disclosure of confidential information
have been handled by an administrative review, including inappropriate access of BCI records.
Therefore, the allegations against the administrator were handled the same way as other
employees who were similarly charged.
Corrections offers these comparable cases:
1. Case 1 -- Probation and Parole Agent--allegations of misuse of BCI. Administrative
Review was conducted, it was found the staff member did inappropriately access BCI
records and he was issued a Letter of Reprimand. *No criminal charges were filed.
Page 12

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

2. Case 2 – Probation and Parole Agent--allegations of unauthorized disclosure of
confidential UDC records. Administrative review was conducted, it was found she did
disclose confidential UDC records and she was issued a Letter of Reprimand.
3. Case 3 – Administrative Secretary--allegations of unauthorized disclosure of UDC
records. Administrative review was conducted and it was found he did inappropriately
disclose UDC records and he was issued a Letter of Warning.
Finally, the Department has a Guide to Disciplinary Actions, which identifies the differing types
of employee misconduct by general categories, which are broken down into specific offenses
with a range of penalties identified. Accessing/disclosing confidential information is contained
in section 6 under Conflict of Interest or section 7 under Abuse of Position on page 9 of the
guide. These would be the relevant policy violations for this type of misconduct. This type of
misconduct is not identified under the Unlawful Conduct section on page 8.
For the foregoing reasons, an administrative review was conducted.
a. On April 26, 2006, the administrator was interviewed by his supervisor. He denied any
wrong doing.
b. However, in order to ensure that the staff member had not inappropriately accessed the
criminal histories of the citizens making the complaints, staff in our Law Enforcement
Bureau (LEB) contacted the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) to find out if the
staff member or anyone in the Department had run a criminal history on the citizens. A
staff member of LEB who does the BCI verifications for LEB contacted the Field
Services Section Supervisor at BCI. The Field Supervisor conducted an independent
search and submitted the BCI records for all “hits” or inquiries on the names on May 9,
2006. The LEB staff member reviewed the records and informed the supervisor that
none of the hits were from the Department on either of these names. Therefore, no one
using Department resources had accessed either of these individuals' criminal histories.
On May 10, 2006, two more citizens e-mailed a Corrections' investigator, again alleging that
our administrator had inappropriately accessed their criminal histories. All of these citizens
were involved with our staff member in a youth sport program. We again contacted LEB and
requested that an independent search be conducted by BCI to determine if this staff member
or anyone within the Department had accessed either of the citizen’s criminal histories. On
May 17, 2006, BCI notified LEB that there were no inquiries from the Department on either
name. Our LEB staff member informed the Division Director of these findings via e-mail on
this same date.
To ensure that the investigation was complete, we checked the records to see if anyone within
the Department had viewed these individual’s criminal history records. However, BCI informed
us that no one in the entire Department had ever accessed any of these individuals' criminal
histories. Furthermore, there were no hits or inquiries by any law enforcement agency on any
of the concerned citizens names in all of 2006. No inquires were made by any law
enforcement agency on any of the concerned citizen’s names from September 2005 to May
2006. Therefore, it was clear that our staff member had not enlisted the help of friends in any
other agency to access this information since no inquires had been made on any of these
Page 13

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

individuals' names during that time period.
Process Refinements:
1. Our policies for determining which policy violations should be considered Level I or
Level II will be reviewed.
2. Staff will receive additional training on the policy.
8. Audit: Full investigation not completed on administrator
Response: No investigation was conducted on unsubstantiated allegations occurring
many years in the past which were received from a questionable source.
An administrator had been the target of malicious gossip for many years and these allegations
had been brought to the attention of previous Executive Directors and previous Governors. All
were unsubstantiated.
A year ago, new allegations were made of inappropriate relationships with offenders which
were administratively investigated by talking to other staff members who were alleged to have
been involved. Both the accused staff member and others present provided information which
made it clear that these allegations were false.
A few months later, more allegations were made against this administrator by a former staff
member who was resigned rather than be fired for a relationship with an offender.
a. The former staff member making the allegations had been found guilty of inappropriate
relationships with offenders and was not considered to be a reliable source. She was
asked to come in and assist in an investigation but refused.
b. This type of allegation would not have been investigated on any staff member.
The Executive Office and the employee determined that it would be best for the organization if
the staff member was moved to a lower profile position. After consulting with HR, the staff
member was moved. We were assured by our HR field office manager that our actions were
within HR rules, before we proceeded.
9. Audit: Department did not follow up on allegations reinforcing impression of unequal
treatment
Response: The Department did not re-investigate old allegations of inmate abuse
previously investigated because they had been found to be groundless.
A consultant was hired to help mediate a long-term dispute between two staff members at the
Gunnison prison. He was not hired to look into the employee’s claims of inmate abuse and
fraud which had been investigated several times. The Department received a report from the
consultant stating that the Department should have followed up more carefully on allegations
received from an employee of a serious nature. Since these allegations had already been
thoroughly investigated, we did not do further investigation. We do not investigate staff for the
same violations repeatedly.
Page 14

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

Some of these allegations were also looked into by Division of Occupational and Professional
Licensing (DOPL) and found not to be valid. This also occurred before the consultant’s report
referenced by the auditors.
10. Audit: Employee promoted against UDC practice
Response: An agent, who was accused by an offender of physical abuse, was promoted
once we were informed that our investigation had established his innocence.
An offender made an allegation against two agents that they had injured him during an
extradition. The case was referred to the Bureau of Professional Standards (BPS) and
investigated. While the investigation was still underway, one of the staff members participated
in a promotional process to move from a line agent to a supervisor. It is our standard practice
to allow staff who are under investigation to participate in a recruitment, with the understanding
that they cannot be promoted if they are found guilty of the violation being investigated.
He was selected for a promotion but since he was under investigation, the Regional
Administrator contacted our HR field office specialist to find out if the investigation was
complete and if he could be promoted. The HR field office specialist asked the investigator
about the status of the investigation and was told that it was completed but the report was not
written. The investigator told the HR field office specialist that they had concluded that the
agent was not guilty. The decision was made to promote the staff member even though the
written report was not completed since it was clear that the staff member had been
exonerated.
Process Refinements:
1. In any similar case, the investigators will write a memo to be included in the disciplinary
file, stating that an investigation was completed and that the staff member was cleared .
2. The memo will also indicate that the full written report will follow.

Summary
The audit concludes from these examples that administrators and supervisors receive
favorable treatment. This conclusion is based on a number of specific cases and failed to take
into account the entire picture of discipline in the Department. Examples have been provided
in many cases where similar consideration was given to line staff.
Retire rehire
In our opinion (explained below), “management” is not the select group who are more likely to
be rehired after retirement. The audit concludes that “management is more likely to get
favorable treatment in retirement process than line staff”. The audit reports that 71% of the
retire/rehire staff are management level. The difference between our position and the audit
finding is in the definition of “management.” The Performance Audit included any position not
at the most basic entry levels as a managerial position. Of the staff members included in their
Page 15

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

analysis who retired and were rehired in less than 6 months:
•
•
•
•

23 (79%) had no staff supervision responsibilities
24 (83%) of the positions are considered hourly workers by the State for Fair Labor
Standards Act purposes
19 (66%) were paid less than $40,000 a year in spite of having more than 20 years
experience with the state.
Only 4 (14%) were rehired to management positions.

Position
Rehired To

Corrections’ analysis of retire/rehire positions
Less than 6
More than 6
months after
Months After
Retirement
Percent of
Retirement
Total

Percent of
Total

Management

4

14%

2

20%

Mid-level or
Administrative

7

24%

1

10%

Line level

18

62%

7

70%

In the Department of Corrections, the following positions are not considered management:
1. Correctional Specialists--6 staff members (21% of the rehires within 6 months) were
rehired as Correctional Specialists.
ƒ
This position is one step above Correctional Officer and has little if any staff
supervision responsibility.
ƒ
They are considered hourly workers under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, not
professional staff.
ƒ
All were hired at less than $40,000 a year in annual salary.
2. Correctional Security Enforcement Officer—1 staff member (3%) was rehired in this title.
This is equivalent to a Correctional Officer and has no supervisor responsibilities.
3. Social Workers and Substance Abuse Workers—2 staff members (7%) were rehired in
these titles.
ƒ
These staff do not supervise any other staff members.
ƒ
They deliver direct treatment and case work services to offenders.
ƒ
They are several levels below management.
ƒ
They are considered professional, but not managerial staff.
ƒ
Both were hired at salaries less than $35,000 a year.
4. Facilities Coordinator—1 staff member (3%) was rehired.
ƒ
This is considered to be a technician position and has no supervision
responsibilities.
ƒ
It is the lowest level in its Bureau.
ƒ
The position is considered to be an hourly worker under FSLA.
ƒ
The staff member was rehired at less than $35,000 a year.
5. Investigator—3 staff members (10%) were rehired as investigators.
Page 16

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

These staff have no supervision or management responsibilities.
ƒ
The position is considered to be an hourly worker under FSLA.
ƒ
Corrections does view these staff (as it does all its staff) as professionals, but not
management.
6. Auditor—1 staff member (3%) was rehired as an auditor
ƒ
This position has no supervision or management responsibilities.
ƒ

Of the entire list provided by the audit, only 6 of the 29 positions had any supervisory or
management role.
Retire/rehire options have been exercised across the whole range of positions within
Corrections, not just in high-level management positions. The Utah Retirement System has
permitted this option for staff in both Corrections and Public Safety. It has benefited the state
by encouraging well-trained and experienced staff to stay with the agency, rather than retire
and leave our employment. Since 1995, more than 2800 individuals have been hired by the
Department of Corrections. Of those only 35 were rehired within 6 months of retiring.
Response to Chapter 4
Training
We appreciate the audit bringing the issue of our training records and training compliance to
light. Corrections agrees that it should improve its monitoring of training records and hours for
certified staff. The issues raised by the audit have been addressed and we are in the process
of correcting training hour shortages for FY'05 and '06. Staff who are deficient in training hours
were given until December 10, 2006, to fill their hours for FY'06 and until January 10, 2007, to
fill their hours for FY'05. Anyone who fails to complete their training in the future will be
disciplined and removed from their certified position until their training is completed. A detailed
plan for improving our training compliance is attached. Corrections is also working on
improving its process for keeping training records.
Commute Vehicles
The Fleet Services policy on commute states that “A commute vehicle is defined as a non-law
enforcement vehicle being driven from work to home more than 5 days a month.” (emphasis
added). For tracking purposes, Corrections reports its law enforcement vehicles which have
“take-home” authorization to Fleet Services. However, these are not commute vehicles under
the law enforcement exception of Fleet Services policies. Most of the vehicles reported by
Fleet Services as “commute” vehicles fall into the law enforcement exception.
Corrections will conduct a review of its non-law enforcement commute vehicles and institute a
better tracking system for vehicle use for those who have non-law enforcement commute
privileges and ensure that our practices conform to state and Corrections’ policies.
The audit states that commute privileges have been given as a perk.

Actually this
Page 17

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

authorization is based on assignment: staff in a job category are generally treated equally.
Most commute privileges are assigned to investigators, agents and parole and probation
supervisors. More than 80% of the law enforcement “take-home” cars are assigned to staff in
these titles. These staff are not managers and no staff member has received commute
privileges as a perk.
A plan to implement the auditors’ recommendations is attached.
Reserve Officer Policy
Corrections concurs that it needs better compliance with its policies on reserve officers.
detailed plan for achieving this compliance is attached.

A

Disciplinary Records
The audit implies that Corrections does not have disciplinary records in more than 60% of the
cases. The Department does have records of every case and these records are consulted
before determining whether staff are eligible to promote or receive incentive awards. The
problem identified here is a result of a backlog in filing final orders of discipline in the personnel
file and will be corrected within 6 months. We will work with DHRM to improve this process.
Response to Chapter 5
Internal Audit Bureau
The Department agrees with the finding that the law requires Internal Audit to report directly to
the Executive Director and has made that change in the organization.
The legislative audit brings up an example of a Department of Corrections audit done almost
10 years ago which pointed out a problem that might have avoided a law suit which
Corrections settled. It should be noted that at that time Corrections' Audit Director did report to
the Deputy Director, not to a Division Director. The Executive Director at that time was well
aware of the audit. Failure to implement the recommendations was not a result of the Audit
Bureau's position in the organization. Only the Executive Director from that era could explain
why the recommendations were not fully implemented.
The audit also claims that we are not doing enough to implement Corrections internal audit
recommendations. Starting more than 2 years ago, a new process was established for audit
reviews. Each time an internal audit is completed, the audit bureau is invited to attend our
Executive Staff meeting to review the findings and recommendations. Every audit that is
completed is presented to Executive Staff. The following is the list of the number of times
Executive Staff has reviewed an audit in the last year.
ƒ
02/09/2006 - Three-year audit plan and Utah Legislative Audit Review
ƒ
04/11/2006 - Emergency Contingency Audit
ƒ
04/27/2006 - Legislative Intent Report
ƒ
04/27/2006 - Prison Privatization Audit (Phase I)
ƒ
06/20/2006 - Thinking for a Change Audit
ƒ
06/20/2006 - AP&P Mental Health Audit
Page 18

12/11/2006
Response
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

06/29/2006 - Washington County Jail Audit
07/27/2006 - Policy and Procedure Audit
09/21/2006 - Management Letter Compliance #1

Prior to the findings of this audit, Corrections was working on a new policy to track each
recommendation of each audit and outline the plan for implementing them.
Internal Affairs and Staff Discipline
The audit suggests that the internal affairs functions of the Department need greater
independence. It recommends that all investigations should be centralized under one chief
who reports directly to the Executive Director. This change was made more than a year ago.
As part of implementing the Transition Team’s recommendations, Corrections' disciplinary
policy and investigative policy were rewritten through an extensive process in 2005 and the
new policy was officially adopted in January of 2006. Corrections consulted with staff from
DHRM, the Attorney General's office, and the Career Service Review Board in an attempt to
create a more staff friendly process.
In our new approach, every effort is made to give the employee the benefit of the doubt.
Disciplinary sanctions were reduced and disciplinary infractions were divided into two groups:
Level 1 and Level 2. Level 1 infractions have lesser sanctions and generally will be
approached, on a first violation, as a performance rather than a disciplinary issue. Formal
internal investigations are not conducted; instead, the supervisor is instructed to perform and
document an administrative review. Formal internal investigations are reserved for allegations
of criminal behavior, unlawful harassment, discrimination, firearms violations, inappropriate use
of alcohol or controlled substances, excessive force, domestic violence, workplace violence,
prohibited relationships with offenders, or other violations as needed.
These changes have shortened the timelines for discipline so that staff do not remain under a
cloud for long periods of time waiting for an overburdened internal investigations system to
address their cases. Workloads in investigations have been reduced to a more manageable
level, reducing potential costs to the state that would result if additional investigators were
hired.
In every case mentioned by the audit in Chapter 3 where a formal investigation was not
completed, Corrections' policy was followed in determining when to refer a case for an internal
investigation. The policy will be reviewed to determine if it needs modification or if staff need
additional training on its implementation.
Of note is that the Department, as part of the revised staff disciplinary process, will begin
publishing the results of all disciplinary actions in January of 2007. This will be part of the
employee-only accessed portion of the Department’s website. This is contingent upon
entering disciplinary actions into a central database, which will be completed at year-end.
Actions will be reported in a general way providing aggravating and mitigating circumstances.
Page 19

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

A crucial point is that staff morale will not be improved if every allegation of wrong doing is
formally investigated.
To summarize, Corrections appreciates the opportunity to respond to the audit. As we have
done from the very beginning of this administration, we will continue to make the issue of staff
morale and well-being our highest priority. Our administration realizes that the Department
can only be successful if staff are motivated, trained, and supportive. We will continue to hold
ourselves and our management to the highest possible standards and work to communicate
these efforts to our staff, the Governor's office, and the Legislature.

Page 20

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

Transition Team Recommendations
Chapter 3 Recommendation 1
Corrections will commission an independent and anonymous survey of all of its staff members
to address specifically the question of favoritism. The survey will designed to determine if
staff:
• believe favoritism exists
• believe other staff believe favoritism exists
• have been a victim of favoritism
• have benefited from favoritism
• can provide an example of favoritism
• can provide suggestions for improving personnel practices

Uniformity in Investigations, Discipline, Standards and
Policies
Chapter 3 Recommendations 2 and 3
Corrections' policies and standards require that all staff are treated fairly in investigations and
discipline and that policies are applied equally across the board. Corrections’ policies state the
supervisors will be held to a higher standard of behavior in disciplinary actions and overall
performance of their duties. To ensure that these policies are adhered to:
1. Starting immediately, the Deputy Director will receive a report from the Department
discipline committee each week on disciplinary actions brought against anyone in a
supervisory position.
2. Level 2 policy violations by members of the internal affairs or law enforcement bureau
staff will be referred to the Attorney General’s Office for investigation.
3. All managerial and supervisory staff members will be re-trained on the investigative and
disciplinary process by March 1, 2007.
4. Additional clarification will be provided to managerial, supervisory, and HR staff
members on which policy violations may be viewed as potentially criminal by the
discipline committee.
5. Sanitized versions of investigative results and discipline will be provided to staff monthly
beginning in January 2007.

Page 21

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

Training
Chapter 4 Recommendations 1 and 2
We appreciate the audit bringing the issue of our training records and training compliance to
light. Corrections agrees that it should improve its monitoring of training records and hours for
certified staff. The issues raised by the audit have been addressed and we are in the process
of correcting training hour shortages for FY'05 and '06. Staff who are deficient in training hours
were given until December 10, 2006, to fill their hours for FY'06 and until January 10, 2007, to
fill their hours for FY'05. Anyone who fails to complete their training in the future will be
disciplined and removed from their certified position until their training is completed.
The Department of Corrections is committed to provide training to all correctional staff
members to discharge their duties in an ethical and professional manner. The course of our
training has evolved over the years to be recognized as one of the more thorough and
comprehensive training models within the Correctional community throughout the United
States. The Utah Department of Corrections encourages the Training Bureau to gain and
improve upon teaching techniques, thereby impacting the cadets receiving critical instruction
pertaining to the discharge of their responsibilities. Additionally, the staff continually review
course content for applicability and importance in a changing correctional environment.
Alterations are made accordingly.

Training Bureau Responsibility
The Training Bureau is mandated to ensure that training is made available to Department of
Corrections’ staff to meet the requirements in state statute and in Departmental policy to
maintain proper certification. The statute requires all corrections and law enforcement officers
to receive 40 hours of training each year. The Training Bureau, recognizing the diverse
training needs of those Certified Officers in the Divisions of Institutional Operations, Adult
Probation and Parole, and Clinical Services, has developed a training schedule to
accommodate those officers throughout the year. The officers are also informed that the
Department grants other credit for training and education that is job related or which can
enhance the officer’s performance. Credit is granted hour-for-hour for actual classroom,
distant, or on-the-job training.
As an officer completes the training, a roll is signed (if training is taken while attended a
Training Bureau directed class), or an Application for Training Credit is submitted with the
signature of the officer’s supervisor authorizing the training credit. These training documents
are then forwarded to the Training Bureau for entry into the training database for departmental
supervisors and individuals to reference for training status.
In June of each year, supervisors are instructed to check the status of each of their
subordinates to ensure annual training requirements have been met for that training year (also
the fiscal year). At the end of July of the next training year, the Training Bureau is to submit a
report listing the total training hours received by each officer of the Department. The list is to
be submitted to the Executive Director, Deputy Directors and division directors.
Training
Page 22

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

hours should be made up within 30 days of the June 30 deadline. Officers who are deficient in
training hours at that point may be sanctioned.

Training Deficiency and Notification
Reviewing the policy vs. practice, we have noted the following:
ƒ
Notification to the respective supervisors and directors is not adequate.
ƒ
Encouragement for officers to search their individual training record needs to be enhanced.
ƒ
Performance plans should include training hour requirements, and supervisors should
review plans with their subordinates for adherence.
ƒ
Better instruction to Department staff concerning their responsibility to submit applications
for training/education/seminars/work-related classes for training credit will be implemented.
ƒ
The Department will monitor those officers not in compliance for determination of
appropriate action regarding a transfer to a non-certified position or disciplinary sanctions.
ƒ
The Department will establish a closer working relationship with POST to assure
consistency in compliance with Departmental policy and state statute.

Action Being Taken by the Training Bureau
The In-service Training Policy, Afr11, encompasses the philosophy of sound training and its
impact on the mission of the Department, which is public safety and providing an opportunity
for offenders to alter behaviors leading to their incarceration. We believe the core of this
training is provided in a professional manner. The monitoring of training will receive greater
attention. The following actions are now, or will be, implemented shortly:
ƒ
ƒ

ƒ
ƒ

ƒ
ƒ

ƒ
ƒ

On November 20, 2006, an email was sent to all Corrections’ employees with attachment of
“Application for Training Credit” and “Make Up of Training Hours” forms.
On November 20, 2006, an email with an attached letter was sent to all Certified Staff
delinquent in training hours for FY'06 notifying them of their status. The statute is cited in
the letter along with notification that the employee has 10 days to complete the training
from the receipt of the letter.
If training is not completed within the designated time, POST will be notified that the
decertification process should begin.
Between November 29, 2006 and December 4, 2006, an email with attached letter was
sent to all Certified Staff delinquent in training hours for FY'05 notifying them of their status.
The staff members were notified they have 10 days to complete the training from the date
they received the email.
Beginning immediately, the Training Bureau will provide regular reports to Division
Directors of current training hour status for each employee throughout the training year.
Department staff will receive regular emails from the Training Bureau explaining how to
access their personal training record and of their responsibility to obtain the training to
maintain yearly certification.
As POST automates their training database, all agencies with Certified Staff will receive
notice of those employees short of the 40-hour training requirement.
POST was asked for an opinion on November 3, 2006 about the impact on certification of
Page 23

12/11/2006
Response
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

going two years without adequate training hours. No opinion has been received thus far.
POST has agreed to work with us in accomplishing our objectives in assuring officers are
receiving proper training within established time frames.
Department policies and procedures will be updated to reflect all of the changes made.
Training notification will be placed on the agenda of the Executive Staff Meeting to remind
Division Directors to encourage subordinate staff to review the training status of
employees.

Public Safety Retirement Eligibility
Chapter 4 Recommendation 3
The audit questions whether staff who are delinquent in training hours should be considered
ineligible to receive public safety retirement benefits. This is a legal question and will be
referred to Utah Retirement Systems for an opinion.

Commute Vehicles
Chapter 4 Recommendations 4, 5, and 6
Corrections will work with Fleet Services to develop a method to track the use of commute
vehicles and begin the tracking process by January 1, 2007. An extensive review of these
records will be conducted by July 2007 and appropriate action will be taken.

Reserve Officer Policy
Chapter 4 Recommendation 7
The Division of Adult Probation and Parole (AP&P) uses qualified volunteer officers to assist
staff in reducing workload and to maximize the effectiveness of scarce resources. Reserve
officers assist AP&P in offender supervision and coordination with the public and allied
agencies, thereby increasing community protection. The Legislative audit found that UDC
policy CBr09 Volunteer Reserve Officer program (revised 10-1-06) should be followed more
consistently in AP&P. The following implementation plan is designed to correct these
inconsistent practices and will be implemented according to the time line below.
UDC accepts the recommendation to require each region within Adult Probation and Parole
(AP&P) to follow the approved reserve officer policy in order to limit the state’s liability and
facilitate tracking of reserve officer activities. AP&P will develop an implementation plan, which
will require each Regional Administrator to review policy CBr09 Volunteer Reserve Officer
program (revised 10-1-06) and make adjustments to their respective reserve officer program
accordingly.
Each region will standardize its practices to include reserve officer
reimbursement, tracking of work and training hours, and maintaining reserve officer files. This
recommendation will be implemented within 60 days.
December 21st - AP&P Division Director will meet with all Regional Administrators to discuss
the audit findings and provide direction to oversee this project.
Page 24

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

January 8th - Regional Administrators will conduct a compliance review of existing reserve
officer management practices to determine what practices are inconsistent with policy. Special
attention will be given to officer reimbursement, tracking work and training hours and
maintaining reserve files.
January 15th - Regional Administrators will require their staff to review policy CBr09 Volunteer
Reserve Officer Program (revised 10-1-06).
January 29th - Regional Administrators will review the qualifications, training and commitment
of the Reserve Officer Coordinators who supervise the Reserve Officer Program.
February 6th - AP&P Division Training Coordinator will develop and deliver a tailored training
session for all Reserve Officer Coordinators to ensure consistency in policy management and
general practices. The respective Reserve Officer Coordinator will then provide this training to
all current and future reserve officers.
April 3rd - The Division will conduct a follow-up compliance audit of each region’s Reserve
Officer Program. The review will include an inspection of the region’s practices such as
reserve officer reimbursement, tracking work and training hours and maintaining reserve officer
files.

Discipline Record Filing
Chapter 4 Recommendation 8
We will ensure that the backlog in filing disciplinary records is addressed. All required
information on discipline occurring (final orders) will be filed in the personnel records within 6
months.

Audit Bureau
Chapter 5 Recommendation 1 and 2
We have changed the Department’s organization chart as of the beginning of December 2006.
From that date forward the Audit Director reports directly to the Executive Director. A process
has already been created for tracking audit recommendations and a report on compliance with
the recommendations will be made to Executive Staff twice a year.

Internal Affairs
Chapter 5 Recommendation 3
We will study the feasibility of combining criminal and administrative investigation functions.
Note that this type of organization existed in Corrections in the past. Previous Directors found
Page 25

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit

that combining these functions harmed staff morale and made staff who were investigated feel
that they were being treated like criminals. Dividing the two functions has allowed the
Department to create a less threatening environment for staff under administrative, rather than
criminal investigation, and reflects a more progressive personnel management philosophy.
We have changed the Department’s organization chart as of the beginning of December 2006.
The Assistant to the Director over both the Bureau of Professional Standards and the Law
Enforcement Investigative Bureau reports directly to the Executive Director.

Page 26

12/11/2006
Response

Utah Department of Corrections Performance Audit
Appendix A

Page 27

 

 

Federal Prison Handbook - Side
Advertise Here 2nd Ad
Disciplinary Self-Help Litigation Manual Side