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REPORT TO THE
UTAH LEGISLATURE
Number 2012-11

July 2012

A Performance Audit of
Inmate High School Education

August 2012

Office of the
LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR GENERAL
State of Utah

STATE OF UTAH

Office of the Legislative Auditor General
315 HOUSE BUILDING • PO BOX 145315 • SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84114-5315
(801) 538-1033 • FAX (801) 538-1063

Audit Subcommittee of the Legislative Management Committee

President Michael G. Waddoups, Co–Chair • Speaker Rebecca D. Lockhart, Co–Chair
Senator Ross I. Romero • Representative David Litvack

JOHN M. SCHAFF, CIA
AUDITOR GENERAL

August 1, 2012

TO: THE UTAH STATE LEGISLATURE

Transmitted herewith is our report, A Performance Audit of Inmate High School
Education (Report #2012-11). A digest is found on the blue pages located at the
front of the report. The objectives and scope of the audit are explained in the
Introduction.
We will be happy to meet with appropriate legislative committees, individual
legislators, and other state officials to discuss any item contained in the report in
order to facilitate the implementation of the recommendations.
Sincerely,

John M. Schaff, CIA
Auditor General
JMS/lm

Digest of
A Performance Audit of
Inmate High School Education
Our office was asked to compare the effectiveness and efficiency of
inmate high school education programs in Utah’s jails and prisons.
Educational services are provided by the adult education program of
the school district where an inmate is incarcerated. Programs include
adult high school completion (AHSC), adult basic education (ABE),
and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL). In 2011, 21 local
school districts provided educational services to 5,268 inmate students
in 23 jails and 2 state prisons. The Utah State Office of Education
(USOE) administers the adult education programs, including tracking
student demographics, contact hours, and outcomes on a computerbased information system.

Chapter I:
Introduction

Inmate High School Education Costs Were about $5.4 Million in
2011. This chapter identifies the cost of educating inmate students.
There are two primary revenue sources for inmate high school
education: (1) a portion of the Adult Education budget distributed
based on a formula that considers the number of enrollees, contact
hours, and outcomes (diplomas/GEDs, credits, and academic level
gains); and (2) Corrections Education funds distributed only to the
two school districts with prison programs, Canyons and South
Sanpete. In 2011, school districts with prison programs received
significantly more funds ($1330 per student) than districts with jail
programs ($653 per student). Based on this inequity, we recommend
that USOE consider modifying the distribution formula to ensure that
school districts receive an equitable portion of the Adult Education
funds. USOE should also develop a formula to provide some of the
Corrections Education funds to jail programs with students who are
prison inmates housed in jails on a contractual basis.

Chapter II:
More Equitable
Fund Distribution Is
Needed

Inmates Achieve Academic Benefits. In 2011, the 5,268 inmates
enrolled in adult education were awarded 853 diplomas and 330
GEDs, while achieving 12,003 high school credits and 2,143 level
gains. On average, these outcomes per student were equivalent for
both jail and prison programs but prison programs chose to focus
mostly on issuing diplomas instead of GEDs. Comparisons show that

Chapter III:
Academic
Achievements Are
Strong but
Employment
Benefits Are
Unclear

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

i

inmate programs achieved significantly more than students in
traditional adult education programs.
Impact of High School Education on Employment Is Unclear.
The primary purpose of educating inmates is to enhance their
opportunities for employment upon release, which in turn makes it
less likely they will return to jail. However, employment rates are not
effectively evaluated. One factor impacting employment rates is
identifying the incarceration status of former students. Our limited
evaluation shows that many former students are still incarcerated and
not available to work. Since education is beneficial only when inmates
will soon be available for employment, we recommend that inmate
programs give priority to students who are likely to leave the
correctional facility within five years of participating in the education
program. We also recommend that USOE and the Utah Department
of Corrections partner to further evaluate the employment benefits of
inmate education.
Chapter IV:
Inefficient Programs
Reduce Funds
Available for Other
Programs

Monitoring Is Needed to Ensure Inmate Contact Hours Are
Reasonable. Comparisons of contact hours per student and per
outcome revealed that some programs used an excessive amount of
contact hours to educate inmates. But these students did not always
demonstrate much progress toward achieving their goals. We
recommend that USOE establish guidelines for the number of contact
hours that are reasonable in relation to a student’s accomplishments.
Many Contact Hours Are Used for Students Who Already Have
Diplomas. Many inmate students with diplomas continue to receive
adult education services. Administrative rules state that adults with a
high school diploma are eligible to receive services if tests show their
functional educational level is less than a post-secondary level. Many
students qualify, including students who have just been awarded a
diploma. Although USOE policies require that priority be given to
students lacking a diploma, some of these students continue receiving
thousands of hours of services with little gain. We recommend that
USOE consider placing limits on the number of contact hours used
for students who already have a diploma.

ii

A Performance Audit of Inmate High School Education (August 2012)

REPORT TO THE
UTAH LEGISLATURE

Report No. 2012-11

A Performance Audit of
Inmate High School Education

August 2012

Audit Performed By:
Audit Manager

Darin Underwood

Audit Supervisor

Susan Verhoef

Table of Contents
Page
Digest.................................................................................................................................. i
Chapter I
Introduction ....................................................................................................................... 1
Local School Districts Provide Adult High School Education to Inmates .................... 1
Audit Scope and Objectives ......................................................................................... 3 
Chapter II
More Equitable Fund Distribution Is Needed..................................................................... 5 
 

Inmate High School Education Costs Were about $5.4 Million in 2011 ..................... 5 
Recommendations ..................................................................................................... 11
Chapter III 
Academic Achievements Are Strong, but Employment Benefits Are Unclear .................... 13 
 

Inmates Achieve Academic Benefits ........................................................................... 13 
Impact of High School Education on Employment Is Unclear................................... 17 
Recommendations ..................................................................................................... 19 
Chapter IV
Inefficient Programs Reduce Funds Available for Other Programs .................................. 21
Monitoring Is Needed to Ensure Inmate Contact Hours Are Reasonable .................. 21
Many Contact Hours Are Used for Students Who Already Have Diplomas ............... 24
Recommendations ..................................................................................................... 27
Appendix .......................................................................................................................... 29 
Agency Response ............................................................................................................. 33 

Chapter I
Introduction
This report compares effectiveness and efficiency of inmate high
school education programs in Utah’s jails, prisons, and traditional
adult education programs. Specifically, we found the following:


Significantly more funds per student are provided to state
prison inmate programs than to county jail programs or to the
traditional adult education program



Overall academic achievements are about the same for jail and
prison programs, but jail programs issue a higher ratio of
diplomas or the equivalent General Educational Development
(GED) certificates



Impact of high school education on employment is unclear



Some programs’ inefficient use of contact hours reduces funds
available for other programs.

Local School Districts Provide
Adult High School Education to Inmates
Education for inmates of state prisons and county jails is provided
by the adult education program of the school district where an inmate
is incarcerated. The Utah State Board of Education is responsible for
educating inmates in custody (Utah Code 53A-1-403.5) and contracts
with various local school boards to provide the services to inmates
located within their boundaries. The Utah State Office of Education
(USOE) administers the programs, which are comprised of Adult
High School Completion (AHSC/ASE), Adult Basic Education
(ABE), and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

High school education
is provided by the
adult education
program of the local
school district where
an inmate is
incarcerated.

The goal of adult education is to help students obtain a high school
diploma or GED, or to improve basic literacy and English language
skills to enable the student to obtain and retain employment. Each
school district is responsible to test, schedule, assess, counsel, and
instruct students. Districts track student demographics, contact hours,

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

1

and outcomes on USOE’s computer-based information system
(UTopia). USOE monitors program activities while independent
auditors, hired by each district, monitor information accuracy.

In fiscal year 2011,
5,268 inmates were
enrolled in educational
programs.

Twenty-one school districts currently have adult education
programs for inmates located in twenty-three jails and two state
prisons. In fiscal year 2011, 5,268 inmates were enrolled in adult
education programs. Figure 1.1 shows the number of inmates enrolled
in educational services by school district. Davis, Granite, and Wasatch
school districts each have adult education programs in two jails. Davis
School District has programs in the Davis and Weber County jails,
Granite School District has programs in the Salt Lake County and
Oxbow jails, and Wasatch School District has programs in the
Wasatch and Summit County jails. South Sanpete School District
operates both a jail and prison program.
Figure 1.1 Fiscal Year 2011 Number of Inmates Enrolled in Adult
Education Programs by School District. Twenty-one school districts
provide adult education services to inmates in twenty-three jails and two
prisons.

School District

Enrolled
Students

School District*

Beaver
222
Kane
Box Elder
67
Millard
Cache
33
Nebo
Carbon
29
San Juan
Daggett
15
Sevier
Davis (2 jails)
291
S Sanpete
Duchesne
69
Tooele
Garfield
78
Uintah
Granite (2 jails)
676
Wasatch (2 jails)
Iron
27
Washington
Total Jail Program Students
Draper Prison
Gunnison Prison
(Canyons)
1,959
(S Sanpete)
Total Prison Program Students
Total Enrolled Students

Enrolled
Students

9
76
303
90
15
37
23
177
58
113
2,408
901
2,860
5,268

*School districts that do not provide adult education services to inmates: Alpine, Emery, Grand,
Jordan, Juab, Logan, Morgan, Murray, North Sanpete, North Summit, Ogden, Park City, Piute,
Provo, Rich, Salt Lake City, South Summit, Tintic, Wayne, and Weber.

Programs differ in size and composition. The number of inmates
enrolled in school districts adult education programs ranged from 9 to

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A Performance Audit of Inmate High School Education (August 2012)

1,959. In some districts, most of the adult education students were
inmates, while in other districts, inmates were only a small segment of
the program. For example, in fiscal year 2011, almost 90 percent of
the adult education students enrolled in the Beaver School District
were inmates; only 16 percent of Granite School District’s students
were inmates.

In some districts, most
of the adult education
students are inmates,
but in others, inmates
are only a small
segment of the adult
education program.

The number of inmates enrolled in adult education has not
changed much over the past four years. In 2011, there were 5,268
inmate students compared to 5,251 in 2008. However, the number of
jail inmates increased while the number of prison inmates decreased.
Figure 1.2 Prison and Jail Inmates Enrolled in Adult Education,
Fiscal Years 2008 to 2011. From 2008 to 2011, jail adult education
enrollment increased while prison adult education enrollment
decreased.

Enrolled Students
Prisons
3,145
2,918

3,001

Jails
2,940

2,860

2,546
2,250

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2,408

2010-11

Audit Scope and Objectives
We were asked to determine:
• The cost of inmate high school education programs
• The benefits, including education’s effect on recidivism

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

3

• If jails or prisons are more efficient in providing high school
education
• If there is a continuity of services when an inmate moves to
another jurisdiction
The objective of this audit was to determine the costs associated
with providing a high school education to inmates in Utah’s prisons
and jails and to identify the benefits of their education, including
obtaining high school diplomas or the equivalent (GED) and
obtaining employment. In addition, this audit addressed concerns
identified during our survey phase regarding USOE’s fund
distribution and school district’s contact hours. Recidivism studies are
not part of this audit. House Bill 12, passed during the 2012 session,
requires the Utah Department of Corrections (UDC) to report on the
impact of corrections education programs on recidivism; a study is in
process. UDC is also required to provide a biennial cost effectiveness
analysis of current inmate education, treatment, and work programs
(Utah Code 64-9b-1(c)). UDC reports it is partnering with other
criminal justice agencies to work with an economist at the University
of Utah to develop a cost-benefit model.
To address these objectives, we first developed an understanding of
inmate educational services and reviewed the statutory and regulatory
requirements and responsibilities. We utilized USOE’s information
system (UTopia), which provides live data tracking of student
outcomes in each adult education program across the state, to
compare inmate programs. We selected a sample of 86 student files for
more in-depth examination of the various programs. We also
interviewed several directors and instructors regarding their program.
In Chapter II, we determine the amount of funds used to educate
inmates and address concerns about fund distribution. Chapter III
evaluates the benefits derived from educating inmates, including the
number of inmates who receive diplomas and obtain employment.
Chapter IV addresses concerns about variation in contact hours, which
are sometimes high without providing much benefit.

4

A Performance Audit of Inmate High School Education (August 2012)

Chapter II
More Equitable Fund
Distribution Is Needed
The cost for inmate high school education was almost $5.4 million
in fiscal year 2011 and about $5 million in 2012. The two primary
sources of inmate education funding are adult education funds, which
the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) distributes based on the
number of enrolled students and outcomes, and corrections education
funds, which are distributed only to the two prisons.
Prison programs received significantly more per student than jail
programs. This disparity occurs because prison programs receive a
higher portion of the adult education funds in addition to all of the
corrections education funds. Funding disparities also occur because
corrections education funds are distributed to the two prisons based
on overall population and not the number of students. A more
significant concern is that none of the corrections education funds are
distributed to the local school district when prison inmates are housed
in county jails on a contractual basis. Although 1,500 of the prison’s
7,100 inmates are authorized to be housed in county jails, we do not
know how many inmates are enrolled in local adult education
programs. To achieve a more equitable distribution, we believe USOE
should consider modifying how it distributes these funds.

Inmate High School Education Costs
Were about $5.4 Million in 2011
About $5.4 million of state and federal funds were used for inmate
high school education programs in fiscal year 2011. Funds are passed
through USOE to the local school districts providing the services.
There are two primary revenue sources. First, USOE distributes a
portion of its $9 million Adult Education budget to each school
district based on a formula that considers the number of each district’s
enrollees, contact hours, and outcomes (diplomas/GEDs, credits, level
gains). Since the inmate high school education funds are only part of
each district’s overall adult education program, we needed to
determine just the inmate portion of funding. To do so, we applied
the formula to the portion of enrollees that were inmates. The second

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

The two primary
funding sources for
inmate high school
education include
adult education funds
and corrections
education funds which
total $5.4 million.

5

major funding source is corrections education funds. USOE
distributes all of these funds to the two school districts with prison
programs, the Canyons School District at the Draper prison and the
South Sanpete School District at the Gunnison prison. Lesser amounts
of funds include state special education and federal funds.
Figure 2.1 Inmate High School Education Funding, Fiscal Years 2010
to 2012. Over the past three years, school districts received from
$5 million to $5.4 million to provide adult education to inmates. Funds
primarily include a portion of the adult education funds and prison
programs also receive corrections education funds.

Adult Education Funds

Adult Ed Funds to Inmates
Corrections Education
State Special Education
Federal Funds
Total Inmate
Funds

FY2010

FY 2011

FY2012

Chg

$9,266,146

$9,266,146

$9,000,000

-2.9%

2,476,615
2,004,507
409,407
272,374

2,699,749
1,984,600
409,407
281,640

2,193,513
1,984,600
409,407
411,704

-11.4%
-1.0%

5,162,903

5,375,396

4,999,224

-3.2%

51.2%

Source: Utah State Office of Education.
Note: Granite School District also receives $120,000 annually from the Salt Lake County Sheriff.

Information throughout this report is based on fiscal year 2011
information. The next section separates funds by jail and prison
programs.
Prison Programs Receive More Funds
Prison programs
receive more funds per
student than jail
programs.

6

School districts with prison programs receive more funds per
student than the school districts with jail programs. In fiscal year
2011, about $5.4 million was used for inmate education. Figure 2.2
shows that prison programs received $3.8 million (71 percent) of the
funds and jail programs received $1.6 million (29 percent). Based on
the number of enrolled students, prison programs received $1,330 per
student and jail programs received $653 per enrolled student. This
difference is due to prison programs receiving other funds in addition
to adult education funds, most significantly the almost $2 million in
corrections education funds. By contrast, jail programs are funded
only with adult education funds and a small amount of federal funds.

A Performance Audit of Inmate High School Education (August 2012)

Figure 2.2 Fiscal Year 2011 Jail and Prison Inmate Education Fund
Distribution. Prison programs receive more than double per student than
jail programs receive because of additional funding sources.
Jail
Programs

Prison
Programs

2,408
46%

2,860
54%

5,268
100%

$1,245,093
107,597

$1,347,059

62,015

$2,592,152
107,597
1,984,600
409,407
219,625
62,015

$1,572,315
29%

$3,803,081
71%

$5,375,396
100%

$562
$653

$471
$1,330

$512
$1,020

Enrolled Inmate Students
Percent
Adult Ed Funds—Per Formula
Adult Ed Supplemental
Corrections Education Funds
State-Special Education
Federal—Prisons & Institutions*
Federal—Neglected & Delinquent**
Total
Percent of Total

1,984,600
409,407
219,625

Per Inmate Student—Adult Ed Funds
Per Inmate Student—All Funds

Total

In 2011, school
districts with jail
programs received
$653 per student and
school districts with
prison programs
received $1,330 per
student.

*Federal Title I funds for prisons and institutions are intended to help provide education continuity in
state-run correctional institutions so that inmates can make successful transitions to school or
employment once released.
**Neglected and Delinquent funds are provided to enable failing and at-risk neglected, delinquent,
and incarcerated youth to have the same opportunity as students in other Title I instructional
programs.

USOE’s distribution attempts to make the adult education fund
distribution more equitable by not giving a base amount or
supplemental funds to the prison programs. For example, in 2011,
adult education programs in each school district received $18,092, a
portion of which is included in the jail programs, but neither prison
program received this base. Thus, prison programs receive less ($471)
of the adult education funds than jail programs ($562) receive.
However, this is a minor funding issue compared to the other
distribution issues, which should also be considered to provide
balance.
Adult Education Funds Could Be
Distributed More Equitably
The distribution of adult education funds favors programs with
inmates by providing a higher proportion of funds to school districts
with inmate programs. USOE’s formula considers the number of
enrolled and contact hours, and also provides incentives for
accomplishing important outcomes. Because only a set amount of

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

7

funding is available, the formula balances funds between competing
districts. One program will receive less if another receives more.
Figure 2.3 Fiscal Year 2012 Formula for Distributing Adult Education
Funds.

Adult Education Fund Distribution Formula
Adult education funds
are distributed based
on a formula that
considers the number
of enrolled students,
contact hours, and
outcomes which
include high school
credits, diplomas or
GEDs, and academic
level gains.

Supplement
3%
Contact
Hours
18%

Credits
9%
Diploma/GED
17%
Outcomes
46%

Enrollees
25%

Level Gains
20%
Base
8%

These ratios were amended beginning with fiscal year 2012. The
distribution formula prior to 2012 granted the following:







25 percent for each enrollee
16 percent for each contact hour
15 percent for each diploma
12.5 percent for each GED
15 percent for each academic level gain, and
7.5 percent for each high school completion credit

In addition, the supplemental amount was raised from 2 percent to
3 percent and the base amount increased from 7 to 8 percent. USOE
also now retains 2 percent of the adult education funds for
administrative costs prior calculating the distribution.

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A Performance Audit of Inmate High School Education (August 2012)

USOE does not separate inmate programs when calculating the
adult education fund distribution even though inmate programs tend
to draw more funds. We estimate that the adult education distribution
(excluding supplemental funds) averages $512 per enrolled inmate
student and $346 per enrollee for all other traditional adult education
students. It appears that inmate programs are subsidized by the regular
adult education program. By spending more on inmates, fewer funds
are available for the traditional adult education program.
We question if the funding formula is adequate if it reduces funds
available for traditional adult education programs. With a set amount
of adult education funds, if more funds are used for inmates, less is
available for the remaining adult education programs. However,
because it was beyond the scope of this audit to determine if
traditional adult education programs are funded adequately, we do not
know the unmet needs of traditional programs.

By providing more
funds to inmate
programs, fewer funds
are available for the
traditional programs.

The distribution formula generally appears reasonable because it is
based on performance. Performance-based funding formulas are
intended to channel resources to the most efficient programs, foster
accountability, and motivate improvement. However, as other adult
education programs have found, inmate programs benefit the most
because they are able to control attendance and measure inmate
progress. One state lowered its contact-hour rate for inmates to adjust
for this relative advantage. In our opinion, inmate programs should
not draw proportionally more of the adult education funds simply
because inmates are more available to attend classes. USOE should
consider modifying the distribution formula to address this inequity.
Corrections Education Funds Could
Be Distributed More Equitably
As shown in Figure 2.2, the second major funding source is
corrections education funds, which were nearly $2 million in fiscal
year 2011. USOE distributes these funds only to the two school
districts that have prison programs in the state prisons. Canyons
School District operates the South Park Academy at the Draper prison
and South Sanpete School District operates the Central Utah Academy
at the Gunnison prison. The distribution of these funds is not
equitable for two reasons. First, the funds are divided between the two
prisons based on the overall number of inmates and not the number of

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

Corrections education
funds are distributed
only to two school
districts that have
prison programs.

9

students. Also, no funds are distributed to jail programs that house
prison inmates on a contractual basis.

The current
distribution of
corrections education
funds is based on the
overall population of
prisons and not on the
number of students.

The Number of Students Is Not Considered in Distribution.
Currently, the corrections education funds are simply divided between
the two prison programs based on the ratio of each prison’s overall
population as opposed to the number of students enrolled in
educational programs. Figure 2.4 shows that the distribution of 2011
corrections education funds did not correspond to the number of
students. The Draper prison program had 68 percent of the students
and only 59 percent of the funds. Therefore, the Gunnison program
received $866 per enrolled student and Draper received $561.
Figure 2.4 Fiscal Year 2011 Corrections Education Fund Distribution.
USOE distributes corrections education funds based on overall prison
population and not the number of students. No funds are distributed to
school districts for prison inmates located in local jail facilities on a
contractual basis.
Enrolled
Students

Funds
Draper Prison
Gunnison Prison
Contracted Jails

$1,099,578

59%

1,959

779,846
0

41%
0%

901

Funds per
Student
68%

$561

32%
Unknown

$866

Total amount is less than $1,984,600 because $105,176 was provided to Iron County School
District to provide GED testing.

None of the
corrections education
funds are distributed
to school districts with
jail programs that
house prison inmates
on a contractual basis.

Contract Inmates Are Not Considered in Distribution. None
of the corrections education funds were distributed to school districts
with jail programs. All but three of the districts with jail programs
have jails that house prison inmates on a contractual basis. Although
we do not know the total number of state prisoners that are enrolled
in education programs through the jails, we believe there are many. In
October 2011, UDC reported that 1,397 of their inmates were
housed in jails. In Beaver County, 222 of 254 (87 percent) of the
adult education students were inmates and all but 17 of those students
were on contract from the prison.
Corrections education funds are intended for persons in custody of
the Department of Corrections (Utah Code 53A-1-403.5). To ensure
that funding is equitable, USOE should evaluate developing a method
for distributing a portion of the funds to programs providing services
to prison inmates housed in county jails on a contractual basis.

10

A Performance Audit of Inmate High School Education (August 2012)

Recommendations
1. We recommend that the Utah State Office of Education
evaluate whether traditional adult education programs have an
unmet funding need. Further, consider modifying the
distribution formula to ensure that school districts receive an
equitable portion of the Adult Education Funds regardless if
they have an inmate program.
2. We recommend that the Utah State Office of Education
consider developing a formula for distributing Corrections
Educations Funds that includes funds to jail programs with
students who are prison inmates housed in jails on a contractual
basis.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

11

This Page Left Blank Intentionally

12

A Performance Audit of Inmate High School Education (August 2012)

Chapter III
Academic Achievements Are Strong, but
Employment Benefits Are Unclear
This chapter identifies and compares the two primary benefits of
inmate education: academic achievement and employment. The main
purpose of educating inmates is to enhance their opportunities for
employment upon release, which in turn makes it less likely they will
return to jail. Washington State Institute for Public Policy reported in
2006 that general education in prisons (either basic or post-secondary)
reduces crime outcomes by 7 percent. The University of Utah
completed a similar study in 2005, Cost of Crime-A Cost/Benefit Tool for
Analyzing Utah Criminal Justice Program Effectiveness, which states that
adult basic education is one of the more cost-effective programs.
Academic achievements tracked by Utah State Office of Education
(USOE) include the number of high school diplomas or its equivalent
(GEDs), high school credits, and level gains. Our evaluation shows
that inmates were more successful than the traditional adult education
students at accomplishing these goals. Although we obtained
employment information, it is unclear how high school education
impacted their employment. Many inmates remained incarcerated after
they left their education program and were therefore not available to
work. In addition, other factors also impact an inmate’s ability to
obtain employment.

This chapter discusses
the two primary
benefits of educating
inmates: academic
achievement and
employment upon
released.

Inmates Achieve Academic Benefits
The goal of high school education programs for inmates is to
increase their ability to find employment upon release. To achieve this
goal, programs include Adult Basic Education (ABE) to help adults
whose ability to compute, speak, read, or write is below the ninth
grade level, Adult High School Completion (AHSC) to help adults
obtain a high school diploma or GED, and English for Speakers of
Other Languages (ESOL) to improve English communication skills in
speaking, reading, writing, and listening. USOE summarizes potential
benefits of adult education in its mission statement:

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

13

Adult education programs empower adults who are at
less than a post-secondary level or who have limited
English proficiency to become literate. Programs assist
adults in acquiring skills and knowledge that lead to
further education, future employment, and personal
success.
USOE requires school districts to track student achievements or
outcomes on its computer-based information system (UTopia). This
section of the report identifies outcomes achieved by the inmate
segment of school districts compared to the traditional adult education
program.
Inmates Achieved Significantly More Than
Traditional Adult Education Students

Inmate students were
more successful at
achieving academic
outcomes than
traditional adult
education students.

14

Inmate programs were more successful than the traditional adult
education program at achieving academic outcomes. Outcomes
tracked by USOE include diplomas, GEDs, high school credits, and
level gains. In fiscal year 2011, over 5,200 inmates were enrolled in
adult education, which is about 22 percent of Utah’s entire adult
education program. Inmate students were awarded 853 diplomas and
330 GEDs, achieving over 12,000 high school credits. Students also
achieved over 2,000 functioning level gains. A student’s functioning
grade level is tested upon entering and again after 40 to 60 hours to
determine level gains.
Figure 3.1 shows outcomes for jail, prison, and traditional adult
education programs. Outcomes per enrolled student are computed by
adding together the number of diplomas, GEDs, credits, and level
gains and dividing by the number of enrolled students. Outcomes per
student averaged 2.9 for both jail and prison programs, compared to
1.4 for the traditional adult education program. Also, a higher
proportion of inmate students obtained diplomas or GEDs than
students in the traditional program (22 percent compared to 16
percent) and jail programs outperformed prison programs (28 percent
compared to 18 percent) Outcome information by school district is
included in the appendix.

A Performance Audit of Inmate High School Education (August 2012)

Figure 3.1 Fiscal Year 2011 Inmate Outcomes Compared to
Traditional Adult Education Outcomes. Inmate students achieved

2.9 outcomes per enrolled student compared to 1.4 for traditional
adult education programs. A higher proportion of diplomas and
GEDs was issued in jail programs (28 percent) than in prison
programs (18 percent) or in the traditional adult education programs
(16 percent).
Outcomes

Credits

Level
Gains

Outcome
per
Student

Percent
Dipl &
GED

288

5,458

930

2.9

28%

472

42

6,547

1,213

2.9

18%

853

330

12,005

2,143

2.9

22%

14,975

8,125

1.4

16%

School
District

Enrolled
Students

Dipl

GED

Jails

2,408

381

Prisons

2,860

Total Inmates
AE minus
Inmates

5,268
18,985

3,050*

* Adult Education distribution information combines diplomas and GED counts.

As the outcomes identified in Figure 3.1 show, inmate programs
are successful at educating inmates. But specific achievements depend
on the goal of the program providing the service.
Program Goals Influence Outcomes
Variation in inmate program achievements may reflect the
different goals and values of each program. For example, Nebo School
District issued the most GEDs (132) but has few diplomas or level
gains. This program’s goal is to help inmates quickly obtain a GED.
By contrast, both prison programs issue many diplomas but few
GEDs. The program director at the Draper prison believes diplomas
are more valuable even though they may take longer to achieve. Prison
inmates are generally in custody longer and have the time to work on a
diploma.

Inmate achievements
may reflect the goals
and values of the
school district’s adult
education program.

In Figure 3.2, the prisons’ 2010 change to focusing on achieving
diplomas is evident in the number of GEDs dropping by almost 90
percent (from 231 to 27). This drop may relate to a recommendation
from an earlier legislative audit (A Performance Audit of Adult
Education Services #2008-09). We recommended that the funding
formula be adjusted by combining the GED and diploma into one
outcome and awarding funding to programs for the first successful
completion of either GED or diploma. Students were getting both a
GED and then a high school diploma because credits awarded for

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

15

GEDs could be used toward diplomas. The prior formula provided
funding for both GEDs and diplomas, which allowed school districts
to double-pay for a student completing high school.
Figure 3.2 Prison and Jail Program Outcomes, Fiscal Years 2008 to
2011. The total number of inmate students has remained relatively
constant but outcomes have changed according to changes in program
goals and values.

GEDs

Diplomas
Prisons
573

Prisons

Jails

Jails

389

551

470

465

472

308

282

381

359 353

288

231
173

Prison programs now
focus on diplomas and
no longer issue very
many GEDs.

42

27

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2007-08

Credits Earned
Prisons

2008-09

Prisons
1,502

7,042
5,456

3,984
3,504

2007-08

Jails
1,329

6,547
5,295

2010-11

Level Gains

Jails

6,3336,397

2009-10

1,213
964
859

854

2008-09

2009-10

930

626

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2007-08

2010-11

With about the same number of students, both jail and prison
programs showed considerable improvements in other outcomes.
Credits earned increased from 3,984 to 6,547 (64 percent) in prison
programs and from 3,504 to 5,456 (55 percent) in jail programs.
Level gains increased from 964 to 1,213 (25 percent) in prison
programs and from 626 to 930 (48 percent) in jail programs.

16

A Performance Audit of Inmate High School Education (August 2012)

Impact of High School Education
On Employment Is Unclear
Although we know how many academic outcomes inmates
achieved, employment as a result of this education is not clear.
Employment information is available from the Department of
Workforce Services (DWS) but this information does not consider the
many factors that impact inmate employment opportunities. First, it
does not identify if the former student is still incarcerated and
therefore unavailable for employment. In addition, other factors that
may enhance or impede employment opportunities are not considered
and there are no comparisons to inmates who do not participate in
education programs. Because employment is the primary goal of
educating inmates, USOE and the Utah Department of Corrections
(UDC) should partner to evaluate employment benefits.
According to information obtained from DWS, about 29 percent
of the inmates who left the adult education program in fiscal year
2011 were employed at some point in time through the first quarter of
fiscal year 2012. But we do not know the length of their employment,
if they are currently employed, or how many of these students received
a diploma or GED. We also do not know how many former students
were unavailable for employment because they were still incarcerated.

Employment as a
result of education is
unclear because
factors that impede or
enhance employment
opportunities are
unknown.

Our evaluation of the Beaver jail program and the Gunnison
prison program revealed that many former students are still
incarcerated. Figure 3.3 shows that 21 of the 125 Beaver School
District inmate students were employed after their final separation
from the adult education program in 2011. However, we determined
that 76 of those students were still incarcerated. The employment rate
increases from 17 percent to 43 percent if incarcerated students are
excluded. Similarly, at least 81 of 216 former students at the Gunnison
prison were still incarcerated. With 47 employed, the employment rate
for former prison students is 35 percent. The employment rate would
only be 22 percent without identifying how many were still
incarcerated. If an estimated one-third of all former students were not
employed because they were still incarcerated, the employment rate
would increase from 29 to 37 percent.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

17

Figure 3.3 Inmates Employed after Separating From Adult Education
Program in Fiscal Year 2011.

Former Students
Employed*
Many former inmate
students are still
incarcerated and
therefore not available
for employment.

Percent Employed
Unemployed Still
Incarcerated
Available for Employment
Percent Employed
Excluding Incarcerated

Beaver Jail
Program

Gunnison
Prison Program

Total Inmate
Programs

125

216

1218

21

47

349

17%

22%

29%

76

81

286

49

135

932

43%

35%

37%

**

* Employed at some point after separation up until September 30, 2012.
**Estimates that 1/3 of separated unemployed inmates were still incarcerated (1218 - 349 x 33%).

Although we did not attempt to evaluate the incarceration status of
all 1,200 inmates who separated from adult education programs in
2011, incarceration is an important factor that should be considered
when evaluating the impact of high school education on employment.
Some states even use employment outcomes as part of their fund
distribution formula.
USOE currently evaluates employment results, but, complying
with federal requirements, focuses their evaluation on only a small
number of students who have identified employment as their goal and
does not consider the incarceration status of former students.
Other Factors Impacting Inmate Employment
Opportunities Must Be Considered
Employment statistics alone do not indicate the benefits of
educating inmates because other factors impact employment
opportunities, including post-secondary education, vocational skills,
and prior work experience.
A 2008 study, entitled Employment After Prison: A Longitudinal
Study of Releasees in Three States, identified factors predictive of better
employment outcomes. The study identified employment as an
important component of the reentry process into the community
because jobs not only provide a steady source of income, but also
provide a sense of structure and responsibility. Through multiple
regression analysis, the study identified factors predictive of better
employment outcomes. The study concluded that individuals with a

18

A Performance Audit of Inmate High School Education (August 2012)

stronger pre-prison employment history are more likely to be
employed after release. This study confirms that education is
important for obtaining employment but work experience is of greater
importance.
Priority Should Be Given to Inmates
With a Pending Release Date
Education is beneficial only when inmates will soon be available
for employment. Federal policy requires programs using federal funds
for corrections education to give priority to individuals who are likely
to leave the correctional facility within five years of participating in the
education program. The UDC also has these restrictions for its
vocational programs. We feel these restrictions should also be applied
to the use of state funds. To sustain employment as the primary goal
of education, these limited education funds should be used first for
inmates with a pending release date or those who need a diploma in
order to continue their vocational training while incarcerated. The cost
of classes for students without a pending release date could be funded
through other inmate programs.

For education to
benefit employment
opportunities, priority
should be given to
individuals who will
soon leave the
correctional facility.

Recommendations
1. We recommend that the Utah State Office of Education and
the Utah Department of Corrections partner to evaluate the
employment benefits resulting from providing high school
education programs to inmates.
2. We recommend that the Utah State Office of Education
require inmate programs to give priority to students who are
likely to leave the correctional facility within five years of
participating in the education program.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

19

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20

A Performance Audit of Inmate High School Education (August 2012)

Chapter IV
Inefficient Programs Reduce Funds
Available for Other Programs
Our evaluation of the number of contact hours for inmate
students revealed inefficiencies in both jail and prison programs.
Contact hours are defined as academic instruction time, which
excludes the time required for intake, assessment, and counseling. The
inefficient use of limited resources reduces funds available for other
programs including other inmate programs and the traditional adult
education programs. While Adult Education policies require student
goals to be realistic and attainable by the end of the school year, our
file review identified inmate students with the same goal year after
year without demonstrating much progress. Also, many hours are
used educating inmates who already have a diploma or GED. High
school graduates are eligible for services if tests show they are below
post-secondary skill levels in reading, writing, or math computation.
The Utah State Office of Education (USOE) should consider limiting
the number of hours used for these students.

Monitoring Is Needed to Ensure Inmate
Contact Hours Are Reasonable
Comparison of contact hours revealed inefficiencies in some jail
and prison programs. These programs’ contact hours were excessive
and students did not always demonstrate much progress in achieving
their goals.
Inmate programs averaged more contact hours per student and per
outcome than the traditional education program due to inefficiencies
in specific programs. Figure 4.1 compares average contact hours per
student and hours per outcome (diplomas, GEDs, credits, and level
gains) for jail, prison, and the traditional adult education programs. As
shown, despite lower funding, jail programs are more efficient than
prison programs. Jail programs averaged 75 hours per student and 26
hours to achieve each outcome (diploma, GED, credit, or level gain).
Prison programs averaged 158 hours per student and 55 hours per
outcome. Traditional programs used fewer (103) contact hours per
student than prison programs but required 75 hours per outcome.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

Some inmate
programs’ contact
hours were excessive
and some students did
not show much
progress.

21

Figure 4.1 Fiscal Year 2011 Contact Hour Comparisons. Jail programs
appear more efficient than prison programs at educating inmates.
Hours*

Outcomes
School District

Enrolled
Students

Dipl/
GED

Credits

Level
Gains

Contact
Hours

Per
Student

Per
Outc

Jails

2,408

669

5,458

930

180,953

75

26

Prisons

2,860

514

6,547

1,213

452,583

158

55

Total Inmates
Adult Ed
Minus Inmates

5,268

1,183

12,005

2,143

633,536

120

41

18,985

3,050

14,975

8,125

1,947,845

103

75

All Adult Ed

24,253

4,233

26,980

10,268

2,581,381

106

62

*Hours per student = contact hours divided by students
Hours per outcome = contact hours divided by total outcomes (diplomas, credits, level gains). Adult
Education distribution information combines diplomas and GED counts.

Prison program administrators believe the higher contact hours in
prison programs occur for two reasons. First, they believe prison
inmates are at a lower functioning level than inmates in jail programs
when they enter the program and therefore require more educational
services. Second, the length of stay of a prison inmate is longer than
that of a jail inmate, so the prison inmates have time to obtain a
diploma, which takes longer to complete but is thought to be more
valuable than a GED. Prison officials also pointed out another purpose
of inmate education is to help manage the incarcerated population by
keeping inmates engaged and diverting problem behavior.

Programs should not
be designed to take
longer because an
inmate has more time
available.

22

However, our evaluation disputes some of these assumptions. We
evaluated data collected by USOE for 2011 federal reports (The
National Reporting System) and concluded that the entering
functioning level of students from prisons and jails is about the same.
In 2011, about 85 percent of inmates in both jail and prison programs
entered with an educational functioning level below a ninth grade
level. And, as the appendix shows, many jail programs also help
students to obtain diplomas but in less time than the prison programs.
In our opinion, programs should not be designed to take longer
simply because an inmate has more time available. Not only is there a
disparity of contact hours between jail, prison, and traditional adult
education, but some inmate programs have what appears to be an
excessive number of contact hours.

A Performance Audit of Inmate High School Education (August 2012)

Contact Hours Appear Excessive in
Some Jail and Prison Programs
We found both prison and jail programs with high contact hours.
As shown in the appendix, contact hours ranged from 22 hours per
student (Nebo School District) to 410 hours per student (San Juan
School District). Hours needed to achieve each outcome (diplomas,
GEDs, credits, and level gains) ranged from 9 hours per outcome
(Davis School District) to 473 hours per outcome (San Juan School
District). Higher hours per student are acceptable if students are
achieving more because of different functioning levels. For example,
one student may need only a few credits to graduate while another
needs basic literacy and all 26 credits. Despite this allowance, our
evaluation of programs with high contact hours still revealed concerns.
One prison’s program had almost half as many hours per student
as the other prison’s program had, accomplishing more in less time
with less money. One reason the less efficient prison program offers
more classes may be because they receive more funding than any other
program. Also, one jail program with high contact hours included
seven students who each logged over 1,000 hours of class time. This
compares to other jail programs (excluding this exception) with an
average of only 62 hours per student. In fact, the 90 students in this
program logged almost 37,000 hours compared to the largest jail
program, whose 676 students logged less than 23,000 hours. School
district comparisons are provided in the appendix at the end of the
report.

One jail program had
students who each
logged over 1,000
hours of class time
compared to other
programs with an
average of only 62
hours per student.

After pointing out our concerns, the director of the program with
the highest hours said he had erroneously counted some hours.
Although he reduced the hours to 32,000, the hours are still much
higher than other programs. The director also identified differences in
his program that he felt warranted additional hours. He said that his
students have unique needs because of the type of offense leading to
their incarceration. Students may have already received a diploma or
GED before entering his program, but still need to improve their life
skills in order to increase their chances for employment upon release.
Education provided to inmates who already have a diploma is
discussed in the next section. We also found that students in this
program did not have a lower functioning level when entering the
program compared to other programs. We recognize that differences
may warrant special treatment. However, additional needs should be

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

23

funded separately and not reduce funding to other adult education
programs.
Programs Are Structured Differently
Although contact hours will not be uniform across programs
because legitimate differences exist, USOE should still monitor for
reasonableness. Each school district’s adult education program decides
how they will structure their program within the policy guidelines
provided by the USOE. Programs can be designed based on the
amount of time a student has available to complete a program, the
student’s choice, the values of the director, and the funds that are
provided.
Discussions with program directors revealed several differences
that impact contact hours. One jail program focuses on helping
inmates quickly obtain a GED, the prisons focus on diplomas, which
take much longer to achieve, and other programs let students decide.
Some programs operate traditional classrooms with a teacher lecturing
in front of the class; others supervise students working on
computerized education programs. Students may attend classes daily
for many months or be limited to only a few hours to prepare for
GED tests. Since these decisions affect contact hours, and
consequently funding, USOE should monitor to ensure that contact
hours are reasonable for what a program accomplishes.

Many Contact Hours Are Used for
Students Who Already Have Diplomas

Many students with
diplomas are eligible to
continue receiving
services because test
show they are still at a
low educational
functioning level

24

A related issue is that many contact hours are used for inmate
students who already have a diploma or its recognized equivalent, the
GED. Utah statutes state that adult high school completion programs
are for adults who do not have a diploma (Utah Code 53A-17a-119).
But according to administrative rule, adults with a high school
diploma are eligible to receive services if they pretest at a functioning
educational level less than a post-secondary level (grade 12.9) or if
they lack sufficient English language skills to obtain or maintain
employment (Utah Administrative Code R277-733-8 (V)). Many
students are eligible, even shortly after obtaining a diploma, and
continue to receive many hours of services. Policies require that

A Performance Audit of Inmate High School Education (August 2012)

priority be given to students lacking a diploma. Thus, we feel USOE
should establish limits on the number of contact hours used for these
students.
Figure 4.2 identifies the number of students receiving services who
already have a diploma or GED. The figure also shows the number of
students with 200 or more contact hours. Information by school
district is provided in the appendix.
Figure 4.2 Fiscal Year 2011 Number of Inmates Receiving
Educational Services Who Already Have a Diploma or GED.

Jail Programs
Prison Programs
Total Inmates

Total
Students

Students
with
Diploma
or GED

Percent

2,408
2,860
5,268

418
762
1,180

17.4%
26.6%
22.4%

Students
with
200+ hrs

79
155
234

As shown in the appendix, not all school districts provided inmate
services to inmates who already had a diploma or GED. In some
programs, the students received only a few additional hours, but in
other programs, students logged over 200 contact hours. Two
noticeable programs we reviewed are the San Juan jail program and
the Gunnison prison program.
In 2011, most (82 of 90) of the San Juan program students had
diplomas. Students received on average 427 contact hours, but
53 students who each logged over 200 hours appeared to have
accomplished very little. For example, one student realized only one
level gain after over 1,000 contact hours.
The appendix also shows that over half of the Gunnison prison
program students had diplomas. Students averaged 152 contact hours,
but 148 students logged over 200 hours. After we identified our
concerns, the program director indicated he did not realize student
hours could only be counted if they related to their established goal.

Over half of the
students at the
Gunnison prison
already have a diploma.

Our review of a sample from each school district’s inmate program
revealed that students who already have diplomas generally have
established goals to improve their basic skills, gain employment, or
enter post-secondary training. The goal to improve basic literacy skills

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

25

seems reasonable if the person graduated many years ago and needs to
brush up on skills to improve chances for employment. However, we
found students whose goal was to improve their literacy skills right
after obtaining a diploma.
For example, a student was awarded a diploma through the
correctional facility and achieved a 3.49 GPA. But he was then
immediately eligible to continue attending classes because tests
showed his educational functioning levels were at or below a seventh
grade level. His language skills were at a third grade level even though
he had previously tested at an eighth grade level. A student in another
program also received a diploma with a high GPA. After over 3,000
contact hours, tests showed his math skills were still at only a first
grade level. We question the value of a diploma awarded with a high
GPA when the student continues to function at such low levels.
USOE should review the practice of continuing to provide many
hours of service with little gain.

Limits should be
placed on the number
of contact hours for
inmate students who
already have a
diploma.

USOE policy states priority should be given to students without a
diploma. Therefore, USOE should consider placing limits on contact
hours for inmate students who already have diplomas, especially
diplomas issued by the jail or prison. USOE should also establish
guidelines for how many contact hours are reasonable for what is
achieved and monitor that contact hours are not excessive. Goals for
students should, according to USOE policy, be measurable and
accomplished within the current year.
In conclusion, prison programs spend twice as much per enrolled
student as jail programs do but do not demonstrate any additional
benefit. To encourage efficiency, it is important to distribute funds
equitably and limit hours for students who already have diplomas.
With a limited amount of adult education funds that are distributed
based largely on the number of enrollees and contact hours, funds
distributed to inmate programs reduce funds available for traditional
adult education programs. More efficient inmate programs will allow
additional funds to be available for traditional adult education
programs.

26

A Performance Audit of Inmate High School Education (August 2012)

Recommendations
1. We recommend that the Utah State Office of Education
establish guidelines for the number of contact hours that are
reasonable in relation to a student’s accomplishments and
monitor that contact hours are not excessive.
2. We recommend that the Utah State Office of Education
consider limiting the number of contact hours used for inmate
students who already have a diploma.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

27

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28

A Performance Audit of Inmate High School Education (August 2012)

Appendix

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

29

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30

A Performance Audit of Inmate High School Education (August 2012)

Appendix
Fiscal Year 2011 Inmate Education Outcome Comparison

Outcomes

School District

Enrolled
Students

Diplomas GEDs

Credits

Contact Hours

Outcomes

Level
Gains

Contact
Hours

Students With
Diploma/GED Receiving
Services

Percent
Outcomes Students
Hours
per
Received
per
Hours per
200+
Student Dipl or GED Student Outcome Students Percent Hours

Beaver
Box Elder
Cache
Carbon
Daggett
Davis
Duchesne
Garfield
Granite
Iron
Kane
Millard
Nebo
San Juan*
Sevier
S Sanpete
Tooele
Uintah
Wasatch
Washington
Jails
Draper
Gunnison
Prisons

222
67
33
29
15
291
69
78
676
27
9
76
303
90
15
37
23
177
58
113
2,408
1,959
901
2,860

119
13
0
6
0
69
44
7
63
0
2
16
5
1
3
6
4
6
9
8
381
364
108
472

28
12
10
0
0
0
1
0
48
10
0
6
132
0
0
7
0
1
1
32
288
26
16
42

1298
160
0
48
8
1352
852
71
965
17
6
151
18
13
45
84
64
118
131
57
5,458
5,091
1,456
6,547

263
66
3
10
5
77
93
37
60
7
9
6
9
64
18
9
3
62
35
94
930
858
355
1,213

21,652
5,226
2,428
1,541
754
13,674
14,013
11,661
22,673
987
769
6,576
6,519
36,886
2,741
4,750
895
15,687
3,362
8,160
180,953
242,147
210,436
452,583

7.7
3.7
0.4
2.2
0.9
5.1
14.3
1.5
1.7
1.3
1.9
2.4
0.5
0.9
4.4
2.9
3.1
1.1
3
1.7
2.9
3.2
2.1
2.9

66%
37%
30%
21%
0%
24%
65%
9%
16%
37%
22%
29%
45%
1%
20%
35%
17%
4%
17%
35%
28%
20%
14%
18%

98
78
74
53
50
47
203
149
34
37
85
87
22
410
183
128
39
89
58
72
75
124
234
158

13
21
187
24
58
9
14
101
20
29
45
37
40
473
42
45
13
84
19
43
26
38
109
55

2
0
0
28
1
9
1
73
6
0
7
45
0
82
2
19
6
110
8
19
418
243
519
762

91.1%
13.3%
51.4%
26.1%
62.1%
13.8%
16.8%
17.4%
12.4%
57.6%
26.6%

9
0
1
79
7
148
155

Total Inmates
Adult Ed
Minus Inmates
TOTAL
ADULT ED

5,268

853

330

12,005

2,143

633,536

2.9

22%

120

41

1,180

22.4%

234

336

14%

26

18,985

3,050

14,975

8,125

1,947,845

1.4

16%

103

75

24,253

4,233

26,980

10,268

2,581,381

1.7

17%

106

62

62

22

0.9%

96.6%
6.7%
3.1%
1.4%
93.6%
0.9%
0.0%
77.8%
59.2%

12

4
53

*Contact hours for San Juan School District were reduced to 32,262 hours after the audit identified concerns.

Jails Total Excluding San Juan
2,318

 

380

288

5,445

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

366

144,067

2.8

29%

31

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A Performance Audit of Inmate High School Education (July 2012)

Agency Response

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

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A Performance Audit of Inmate High School Education (July 2012)

July 10, 2012

John M. Schaff, Auditor General
Office of the Legislative Auditor General
W315 Utah State Capitol Complex
PO Box 145315
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-5315
Dear Mr. Schaff:
Thank you for the opportunity to review A Performance Audit of Inmate High School Education
(Report No. 2012-11). We appreciate the thorough and amicable way in which this audit was
conducted. The recommendations put forth are both well-reasoned and timely. Utah Code
53A-1-403.5, the specific funding authority for corrections education, was enacted in 1987, when
the management of offenders by the Utah Department of Corrections was very different, especially
in terms of contracting with county jails throughout the state to ease crowding at its prison sites.
We will use this audit as a catalyst for change and look forward to improvements in corrections
education and adult education as a result.
Sincerely,

Larry K. Shumway, Ed.D.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
.

Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General

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