UDC Outcomes

Utah Department of Corrections

Department Leadership:

Tom Patterson, Executive Director

Mission Statement:

Our dedicated team of professionals ensures public safety by effectively managing offenders while maintaining close collaboration with partner agencies and the community. Our team is devoted to providing maximum opportunities for offenders to make lasting changes through accountability, treatment, education and positive reinforcement within a safe environment.

Performance Reports

(Click report below; view to right)
  • Overview
  • Prison Capacity
  • Parole Recidivism
  • Level of Service Inventory
  • Urinalysis Monitoring
  • Expand all reports on one (1)

More Department Performance:

Emerging Issues and Strategies for Corrections
External Link Learn more at the Department's website

Overview

Our Vision - We envision a culture where honor, accountability, and integrity are reflected in our conduct. In so doing, we foster an environment rich in professionalism, compassion, collaboration, and dedication. Together, we are a fair, focused, innovative, and energized team.

The Utah Department of Corrections performance measures were developed to reflect the agency's priorities and to provide a means to assess whether these priorities are being addressed. Currently, the department has developed Balanced Scorecard reports for the Division of Institutional Operations, the Division of Adult Probation and Parole, the Division of Correctional Industries, the Division of Offender Program Services and a Department Rollup Scorecard for key department-level indicators.

In an attempt to provide information for the Governor's Performance Website, Corrections is highlighting some of the key measurement data. Hopefully, this will allow interested parties a means to periodically review Corrections' progress in fulfilling its primary mission and major agency goals.

Prison Capacity

In order to ensure the state of Utah has adequate secure prison housing, Corrections is constantly monitoring the demand for housing. Keeping a close eye on prison capacity and count improves the ability of the State to plan for future housing need. Corrections looks at two key capacity elements. First, the maximum capacity count, which is the total maximum number of beds in the system. Second, the operational capacity, which is some number less than the total maximum capacity that allows for smooth daily operation of the prison system. This number is usually about 95% of the total maximum capacity. By maintaining a 5% vacancy in beds, Corrections is able to respond to the daily need for offender movement and housing adjustment. Corrections' 10-Year Master Plan for housing uses operational capacity as the planning target.


Data Source: Corrections

Why this is important:

This graph shows the monthly percentage of total maximum capacity that the average daily incarcerated population is utilizing. For Corrections' scorecard data, we are using a target of 96.8% of total maximum capacity. Corrections is trying to operate the prison system at 96.8% of total maximum capacity or below. When the count of inmates moves above the target area, management and movement of offenders becomes problematic and safety and security concerns become elevated. As illustrated in the chart, the inmate population is beginning to climb above the operational capacity mark.

Data Source: Corrections

Why this is important:

These graphs show the average daily incarcerated count for the entire adult prison population as a whole, as well as for males and females separately. These data inform agency management staff about the current pattern of growth, and they provide the information needed to project future demand for housing.

As shown in the graphs, the female incarcerated population has remained consistently below operational capacity, while the male population has exceeded operational capacity in the last six months.

Parole Recidivism

Corrections is constantly monitoring the parole release population to determine what percentage of that population returns to prison as a recidivist. There are two primary ways that an offender can return to prison. First, parolees can be returned to the prison for a technical violation of the conditions of their parole, as set by the Board of Pardons and Parole. For example, the Board may require an offender to have a curfew, to not associate with other offenders, to be monitored for drug use, etc. If an offender does not comply with these conditions, the Board may issue a warrant for return to prison. Second, parolees may also be returned to prison for committing a new crime. Corrections looks at each of these two major types of return for each parole release group in each year.

The standard length of parole is approximately 36 months. As parolees move through the 36 month period, some percentage of the original release population will be returned to prison for a technical violation or a new criminal episode.



Data Source: Corrections

Why this is important:

Corrections is constantly looking at offender management processes in an attempt to reduce the total percentage of parolees who are being returned to prison for a new criminal event. When the percentage of parolees returning to prison for new crime is reduced, the prevalence of parolee crime is also assumed to be reduced. Therefore, the reduction of this event is evidence of enhanced community safety.

The above chart shows a 2007, 2008, and 2009 reduction in the percentage of parolees being returned to prison for a new criminal episode, when compared to parolees who were released in 2000 through 2006. Corrections believes that this is evidence of an improvement in community safety.


Data Source: Corrections

Why this is important:

Corrections is constantly looking at offender management processes in an attempt to reduce the total percentage of parolees who are being returned to prison for technical violations of the conditions of parole. When the percentage of parolees returning to prison for a technical violation is reduced, Corrections is interpreting that reduction as evidence of an improvement in the reintegration of offenders back into society.

The above chart highlights the 2007 through 2009 technical violation return rates. These rates are above the percentage of returns for 2000 through 2006 parolees. Corrections is concerned about the increased percentage of return for this population, and plans to open a 300-bed Parole Violator Center to address this issue.

The Parole Violator Center will focus primarily on the specific conditions that a parolee seems to be having problems with. Instead of returning the technical violator back to the prison, this facility will be designed to quickly and efficiently address problematic issues and return the parolee back to the community. The intent of this program is to allow for a more rapid treatment and programming response to problems, and to reduce the demand for prison housing created by the technical violation return population. The contract will be operated out of the Salt Lake County area, where the majority of parolees are supervised.

Level of Service Inventory

When an offender is sentenced to the custody of Corrections, a number of evaluation instruments are used to assess their level of risk and their need for treatment and programming. Corrections administers the Level of Service Inventory (LSI), to each offender that has been referred to the Department. This instrument helps the agency determine the risk of each offender and also provides information about treatment and programming needs. When an offender has a high score they are considered to be higher risk, requiring more need for treatment and programming.


Data Source: Corrections

Why this is important:

Corrections re-administers the LSI assessment at key points in an offender's supervision experience. When the total score of an offender is reduced, Corrections interprets that as a reduction in the risk posed by that offender. When the total percent of offenders with an LSI score reduction goes up, the risk to the community posed by that population goes down.

Corrections has an LSI reduction scorecard target of 48% of the total population. As the chart indicates, there has been a steady increase in the trend of LSI score reduction over the past four and a half years. Corrections believes that the overall risk posed by the probation and parole population has been reduced over this same time period.

Urinalysis Monitoring

Because a large percentage of the adult offender population have drug and alcohol problems, Corrections randomly tests probationers and parolees for these substances. The majority of probationers and parolees have a conditional agreement to not use drugs and alcohol during their supervision experience. Agents monitor compliance with these conditions and report violations to either the court or the Board of Pardons or Parole.

Data Source: Corrections

Why this is important:

Corrections has developed a scorecard measurement to monitor what percentage of the total probation and parole population tests positive for drugs or alcohol. While it would be ideal for the target to be zero, Corrections is using a target of 10% of the total population tested.

As the chart indicates, the total percentage of the offender population that is testing positive for drugs or alcohol has hovered around the target of 10% tested over the last two and a half years. In addition, the trend indicates that the percentage of positive urinalysis detection is going down.

As part of a broader, statewide attempt to further reduce illegal drug use and positive drug detection, Corrections has collaborated with local substance abuse authorities to implement the Drug Offender Reform Act (DORA), which was funded during the 2007 General Session. This effort established a partnership between the Department of Corrections and local substance abuse treatment agencies. For offenders involved in DORA, a supervision team is established, comprised of the offender's supervision agent and the treatment delivery staff. This model of supervision and treatment delivery was developed to improve the likelihood that an offender will receive a sustained level of substance abuse treatment capable of reducing further abuse.