Report 2010-124 Recommendations and Responses in 2015-041

Report 2010-124: Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation: The Benefits of Its Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions Program Are Uncertain

Department Number of Years Reported As Not Fully Implemented Total Recommendations to Department Not Implemented After One Year Not Implemented as of 2014-041 Response Not Implemented as of Most Recent Response
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation 4 7 5 5 4

Recommendation To: Corrections and Rehabilitation, Department of

To ensure that the State does not spend additional resources on COMPAS while its usefulness is uncertain, Corrections should suspend its use of the COMPAS core and reentry assessments until it has issued regulations and updated its operations manual to define how Corrections' use of COMPAS will affect decision making regarding inmates, such as clarifying how COMPAS results will be considered when sending inmates to different prison facilities, enrolling them in rehabilitative programs to address their criminal risk factors, and developing expectations for those on parole.

Response

CDCR's Division of Rehabilitative Programs developed emergency regs adding a new section to the CCR, Title 15 Section 3375.6, Automated Needs Assessment which was adopted into law effective 2/25/13. Title 15, Section 3375.6 amendment filed 10/29/13 added Subsection (a)(3), which specified the criminogenic needs indicated by the COMPAS assessment. Additional established regulations include: Title 15 Section 3375(b) which states that the classification process shall take into consideration an inmate's needs, interests and desires, behavior, and placement score. Section 3375(l) states that an automated risk and needs assessment tool that identifies criminogenic needs shall be administered pursuant to Section 3375.6. Section 3375.6(b) states that the results of the automated needs assessment tool shall be evaluated during committee actions to assist determining the inmate's placement and sequencing into rehab programs. Section 3375(f)(7) states that Classification committee decisions shall be based on evaluation of available information. Reentry Hubs regs were put in place 10/29/13. In addition, the SOMS Case Plan which is under development will allow the Department to draw a direct line connecting an offender's program assignments to assessed criminogenic needs, providing a complete continuum of care throughout the lifecycle of incarceration.

CDCR's Division of Adult Parole Operations has decided not to promulgate regulations until a determination can be made on an appropriate re-entry needs assessment tool to use for parole case plan development. The criterion for considering an alternative is that it must ensure that the case plans will effectively address the parolee's needs and build upon the parolee's in-custody program achievements.

Due to character limitations, additional detail can be found in CDCR's submitted proof of practice.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: December 31, 2015
  • Response Date: September 2015

Recommendation To: Corrections and Rehabilitation, Department of

To ensure that the State does not spend additional resources on COMPAS while its usefulness is uncertain, Corrections should suspend its use of the COMPAS core and reentry assessments until it has demonstrated to the Legislature that it has a plan to measure and report COMPAS's effect on reducing recidivism. Such a plan could consider whether inmates enrolled in a rehabilitative program based on a COMPAS assessment had lower recidivism rates than those provided rehabilitative programming as a result of non-COMPAS factors.

Response

Offenders participating in substance abuse treatment (SAT) consistently have lower return to prison rates than offenders who do not participate in SAT. Offenders that were determined to have a substance abuse need by the COMPAS tool and participated in SAT had a return to prison rate of 43.3% while offenders who did not receive a COMPAS assessment and did not participate in SAT had a rate of 52.1%. The return to prison rate for offenders that were identified as having a substance abuse need by COMPAS but did not participate in SAT is the highest among all categories. Offenders assessed with the COMPAS tool with a substance abuse need, but did not receive SAT, had a return to prison rate of 59.4%, which is 5.1% points higher than the state-wide return to prison rate of 54.3% and 16.1 percentage points higher than the rate of offenders who had an identified substance abuse need and received SAT, indicating that SAT participation is effective in reducing the recidivism.

Due to character limitations, please see CDCR's submitted proof of practice for additional information.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement
  • Completion Date: December 2013
  • Response Date: September 2015

Recommendation To: Corrections and Rehabilitation, Department of

Once Corrections resumes its use of COMPAS core and reentry assessments, it should provide ongoing training to classification staff representatives, parole agents, and others that may administer or interpret COMPAS assessment results to ensure that COMPAS is a valuable inmate assessment and planning tool.

Response

CDCR has stressed to users that COMPAS assessment results are intended to drive programming decisions. During training sessions, all COMPAS users were trained in the correlation of COMPAS scales to rehabilitative programs and was included in the 6/26/13 memo titled "Reentry Hub Inmate Assignment Process", which provides direction and a matrix to assist with programming decisions.

The Division of Adult Parole Operations completed training for field staff and parole agents in 2013. Follow-up training was provided to Unit Supervisors and District Administrators in 2014-2015, reinforcing best practices including the use of COMPAS within the CPSRM. All new parole agents receive COMPAS training in the CPSRM curriculum while attending the Parole Agent Academy. On-going training occurs in unit meetings held on a regular basis to discuss relevant issues and reinforce training at the unit level. The field Unit Supervisors have the responsibility of identifying the need for remedial training if a field agent does not understand or does not follow the proper procedures for the use of the COMPAS assessments and case plans.

Due to character limitations, please see CDCR's submitted proof of practice for additional information.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: April 2013
  • Response Date: September 2015

Recommendation To: Corrections and Rehabilitation, Department of

Once Corrections resumes its use of COMPAS core and reentry assessments, it should develop practices or procedures to periodically determine whether its staff are using COMPAS core or reentry assessments as intended. Such a process might include performing periodic site visits to corroborate that COMPAS is being used as required.

Response

Within the Division of Rehabilitative Programs, business rules included in the SOMS Classification and Programs module provide an automated check against eligibility criteria prior to moving an offender from a waiting list to a program. For in-prison programs, regulations are in place and memoranda have been distributed instructing classification staff to use the COMPAS needs scores to determine an offender's program placement and sequencing. CDCR currently issues a quarterly report on goal 1.2 of the Strategic Plan, which indicates the number and percentage of offenders paroling who have received rehabilitative programming consistent with their identified needs. CDCR reporting indicates the number of offenders who have been assessed as having a criminogenic need and are currently enrolled in a rehabilitative program versus enrolled offenders without the required need. These reports are possible due to the implementation of the SOMS Classification and Program modules, which occurred on 4/25/14.

For the Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO), ongoing staffing issues prevent DAPO from being able to provide a more specific target date for the reinstatement of QA reviews.

Due to character limitations, please see CDCR's submitted proof of practice for additional information.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: December 31, 2015
  • Response Date: September 2015

Recommendation To: Corrections and Rehabilitation, Department of

Once Corrections resumes its use of COMPAS core and reentry assessments, it should develop practices or procedures to periodically compare the demand for certain rehabilitative programs, as suggested by a COMPAS core assessment, to the existing capacity to treat such needs.

Response

In April 2013, statewide T4T training was provided to designated institutional staff who provide periodic training at the institutional/unit level. In-prison programming capacity decisions are based on the Master Offender List, a comprehensive list of currently incarcerated offenders. This list includes COMPAS and TABE scores, as well as current assignment and housing information. Due to both the size of this file, and the sensitive nature of its content, this document cannot be offered as proof of practice. There are programs in prison, and the Day Reporting Center community programs which have contracts utilizing this methodology. The Blueprint indicates annual capacity figures which correlate to COMPAS needs scores. For example, CIW shows a planned capacity of 288 for the Substance Abuse program, and a review of offender COMPAS scores show 266 offenders with a substance abuse need who are eligible for the Substance Abuse program. ASP also shows 288 for planned capacity and 285 eligible offenders.

When renewing the Reentry Hub contracts, the Department reviews the Master Offender List to determine if any modifications in the annual capacity for a specific modality, is warranted. The Master Offender List contains multiple case factors which include, but are not limited to, COMPAS and TABE scores, as well as current assignment and housing information.

In addition, CDCR utilizes the above referenced list to help guide transfers in order to facilitate offender programming. CDCR also uses documents like the "Target Population versus Program Capacity FY 15-16 16-17 and 17-18" to determine transfer of offenders and capacities of programs.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented
  • Estimated Completion Date: September 2013
  • Response Date: September 2015

Current Status of Recommendations

All Recommendations in 2015-041