Report 2011-129 Recommendations and Responses in 2015-041

Report 2011-129: Juvenile Justice Realignment: Limited Information Prevents a Meaningful Assessment of Realignment's Effectiveness

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
Board of State and Community Corrections 3 8 8 8 7

Recommendation To: State and Community Corrections, Board of

To improve the usefulness of its reports so that they can be used to assess the outcomes of realignment, the board should work with counties and relevant stakeholders, such as the committee that established performance outcome measures for the block grant, to determine the data that counties should report. To minimize the potential for creating a state mandate, the board should take into consideration the information that counties already collect to satisfy requirements for other grants.

Response

On June 20, 2014, Governor Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1468, establishing the California Juvenile Justice Data Working Group (JJDWG). The JJDWG was mandated to recommend a plan for improving the current juvenile justice reporting requirements for the Youthful Offender Block Grant (YOBG) and the Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act (JJCPA) by April 30, 2015. The JJDWG submitted the required report to the BSCC Board and the Board discussed the report's recommendations at its June 10, 2015 meeting but did not approve at that point given some concerns. Since that time, there has been significant progress made toward building consensus around which recommendations will be adopted and how they will be implemented. The process of drafting any needed legislative changes has begun and it is anticipated that amended requirements, should the law be changed, will be in place by the end of the current legislative session.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: November 1, 2016
  • Response Date: October 2015

Recommendation To: State and Community Corrections, Board of

To improve the usefulness of its reports so that they can be used to assess the outcomes of realignment, if the Legislature chooses not to change the law as suggested, or if the counties are unable to report countywide statistics, the board should discontinue comparing outcomes for juveniles who receive block grant services to those who do not in its reports.

Response

Historically, the YOBG annual reports have included data comparing outcomes for juveniles who received block grant services to those who did not as this is one of the few ways we have had to present outcomes. Given the recommendations of the JJDWG, it appears likely the outcome reporting requirements will change in a way that will make this recommendation obsolete. Therefore, we anticipate this recommendation will be "fully implemented" by the end of the current legislative session.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: November 1, 2016
  • Response Date: October 2015

Recommendation To: State and Community Corrections, Board of

To maximize the usefulness of the information it makes available to stakeholders and to increase accountability, the board should create policies and procedures that include clear, comprehensive guidance to counties about all aspects of performance outcome and expenditure reporting. At a minimum, such guidance should include specifying how counties should define when a juvenile has received a service and whether certain services, such as training, should qualify as serving juveniles.

Response

As noted in our original response to the audit report, BSCC past practice has been to provide training to county personnel responsible for submitting data. In addition, BSCC historically made available a "user's manual" to guide those responsible for data submission. Further, instructions are incorporated into all reporting forms. In response to this recommendation, those instructions have been updated where possible to address the concerns of the State Auditor.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Response Date: October 2015

Recommendation To: State and Community Corrections, Board of

To maximize the usefulness of the information it makes available to stakeholders and to increase accountability, the board should publish performance outcome and expenditure data for each county on its Web site and in its annual reports.

Response

BSCC partially adopted this recommendation and presented county level expenditure data in its legislative reports dated March 15, 2013, March 15, 2014, and March 15, 2015. In addition, there are summaries posted of all counties' planned expenditures for fiscal year 2015-16. The latest legislative report is also posted online.

Regarding performance outcome data, BSCC does not intend to implement CSA's recommendation. Implementing the recommendation would in some instances result in publishing outcome results in a given year for a given county based on only two juveniles. It is difficult to comprehend how this information could be useful for purposes of assessing trends within and between counties, especially when one considers that a majority of counties (approximately 30) report outcome results based on five or fewer juveniles. Indeed, in Table 5 of CSA's report, the performance outcome results reported for Yuba County are based on only two juveniles. Furthermore, on page 21 of CSA's report the reader is warned about drawing conclusions about the differences between Los Angeles County and Sacramento County with respect to offenders who received YOBG-funded services versus offenders who did not receive YOBG-funded services given that Los Angeles County spends more of its YOBG funds on high risk offenders, while Sacramento County uses YOBG funds on juvenile offenders at various risk levels. Consistent with our stance on this issue, CSA's admonition seems contrary to reporting performance outcome results by county for purposes of assessing trends within and between counties.

The above concerns notwithstanding, the BSCC is uncertain how performance outcome reporting will change as a result of JJDWG recommendations but is prepared to re-evaluate this recommendation in light of any changes to said reporting.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Response Date: October 2015

Recommendation To: State and Community Corrections, Board of

To maximize the usefulness of the information it makes available to stakeholders and to increase accountability, the board should consider verifying the counties' data by conducting regular site visits on a rotating basis or by employing other procedures to verify data that counties submit.

Response

The BSCC relies on counties to use their own quality assurance measures to ensure that reported data are correct and the BSCC posts all public information to its website.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement
  • Response Date: October 2015

Recommendation To: State and Community Corrections, Board of

To increase the amount of juvenile justice data the counties make available to the public, the board should work with counties on how best to report these data.

Response

The JJDWG membership included broad representation of counties and disciplines. In addition, the Chief Probation Officers of California was consulted regarding the impact to counties of the recommendations of the JJDWG. Given the recommendations of the JJDWG, and considering the input from counties, it is quite possible the outcome reporting requirements will change in a way that will increase the amount of juvenile justice data counties make available to the public. Therefore, we anticipate this recommendation will be fully implemented by the end of the current legislation session.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: November 1, 2016
  • Response Date: October 2015

Recommendation To: State and Community Corrections, Board of

To assist the Legislature in its effort to revise state law to specify the intended goals of juvenile justice realignment, the board should work with stakeholders to propose performance outcome goals to use to measure the success of realignment.

Response

This is precisely what the JJDWG has done by submitting its recommendations to the BSCC in its April 1, 2015 report. As noted in Recommendation #1, the recommendations in the Report have not been approved as stakeholders work towards consensus.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: May 2015
  • Response Date: October 2015

Recommendation To: State and Community Corrections, Board of

To ensure that counties do not maintain excessive balances of unexpended block grant funds, the board should develop procedures to monitor counties' unspent funds and follow up with them if the balances become unreasonable.

Response

Since there were no YOBG reporting requirements during 2008-09 and 2009-10, data to assess county levels of unspent funds are incomplete. In 2010, reporting requirements were enacted and BSCC began collecting expenditure data from counties. Appendices D and E of BSCC's March 2013, March 2014, and March 2015 legislative reports show planned versus actual expenditures for each county. BSCC does not plan to develop anything further in this area.

This topic invites an important reminder about the changed nature of public safety since enactment of YOBG. Given today's post-realignment and post-Proposition 30 landscape, it is essential to allow counties the flexibility to manage their funds in accordance with local needs and priorities. Indeed, Proposition 30 clearly stated "The [realignment] legislation shall provide local agencies with maximum flexibility and control over the design, administration, and delivery of Public Safety Services..." (Section 36(a)(2) of Article XIII of the California Constitution) For the purposes of this section, Public Safety Services is defined (in part) as "... providing housing, treatment and services for, and supervision of, juvenile and adult offenders." (Section 36(a)(1) of Article XIII of the California Constitution)

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: November 1, 2016
  • Response Date: October 2015

Current Status of Recommendations

All Recommendations in 2015-041