December 10, 2022

ACN Center

Area Control Network

Second Chance Reentry Grants: DOJ Should Report Limitations When Publishing Performance Data

15 min read

What GAO Found

The Department of Justice (DOJ) awarded $136 million in grants from fiscal years 2019 to 2020 to entities that assist individuals reentering society after serving their prison sentence under the Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2018. Specifically, DOJ awarded 144 grants to entities such as state and local governments and nonprofit organizations (see figure below). Grantees are to use funds to deliver services (e.g., employment and housing assistance), build local partnerships, and evaluate the effectiveness of their programs.

Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2018 Grant Awards, by Grantee Type, Fiscal Years 2019 to 2020

Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2018 Grant Awards, by Grantee Type, Fiscal Years 2019 to 2020

DOJ has two approaches to evaluate the effectiveness of the reentry grants on individuals’ success at reentering the community and avoiding recidivism. First, DOJ is funding an evaluation designed to provide evidence of the effectiveness of three selected grantees. Second, some grantees are required to evaluate their programs, and others may choose to do so. However, grantees have latitude in some cases to determine the type and focus of their evaluation. Generally, these evaluations are due after the grant period ends, and it is too soon to know what these evaluations will show regarding grant effectiveness, according to DOJ.

Second Chance grantees are generally required to submit performance data to DOJ, and DOJ has published the data it received in congressional budget justifications and grant program fact sheets that GAO reviewed. However, DOJ did not identify limitations of the data or discuss what conclusions could or could not be drawn from the data in these products. DOJ has previously stated that these performance data cannot be used as evidence of the effectiveness of Second Chance grant programs. Taking steps to identify limitations of the data in published documents, consistent with leading practices for transparently reporting performance information, would provide the necessary context for Congress and other readers to appropriately interpret the information and make informed decisions about Second Chance grant programs.

Why GAO Did This Study

More than 600,000 individuals were released from U.S. prisons in 2019 after serving their sentences. DOJ awards grants to organizations that assist these individuals in obtaining employment, housing, and mental health treatment, among other services.

The Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2018 includes a provision for GAO to review DOJ’s reentry grants. This report (1) describes Second Chance Reauthorization Act grants awarded by DOJ from fiscal years 2019 to 2020, (2) examines steps that DOJ is taking to evaluate the effectiveness of these grants, and (3) describes the reentry grant performance data that DOJ reported in products shared with external parties and assesses whether DOJ disclosed any limitations of the data.

GAO analyzed DOJ data and documents (e.g., grant solicitations) related to reentry grants awarded in fiscal years 2019 and 2020. GAO also interviewed agency officials to discuss performance data and evaluation planning. GAO interviewed representatives from a nongeneralizable sample of eight grantees. The sample was selected based on factors including organization type (e.g., state government agencies or nonprofit organizations) and population served.

More from:

  • TriWest Healthcare Alliance Corp. Agrees to Pay $179.7 Million to Resolve Overpayments from the Department of Veterans Affairs
    In Crime News
    TriWest Healthcare Alliance Corp. has agreed to pay the United States $179,700,000 to resolve claims that it received overpayments from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in connection with its administration of certain VA health care programs, the Department of Justice announced today.

    [Read More…]

  • NASA Establishes Board to Initially Review Mars Sample Return Plans
    The board will assist [Read More…]
  • Federal Court Bars Florida Tax Preparation Businesses and Their Tax Return Preparers From Preparing Tax Returns
    In Crime News
    The Justice Department announced today that a federal court in Orlando, Florida, permanently enjoined Advanced Tax Services Inc. and Genson Financial Group LLC from preparing federal tax returns for others and ordered the businesses to disgorge $710,191.55, jointly and severally, representing the ill-gotten gains that they received for the preparation of tax returns. The court also entered permanent injunctions and disgorgement judgments against defendants Lenorris Lamoute and Dosuld Pierre, whom the court found prepared tax returns for compensation at Advanced Tax Services. The order was entered on default because the defendants failed to defend against the government’s allegations.

    [Read More…]

  • Electronic Health Records: VA Needs to Address Data Management Challenges for New System
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) relies on health data in its electronic health record (EHR) system and Corporate Data Warehouse to support its mission. VA has undertaken an effort to replace its legacy EHR system with a commercial system developed by Cerner Government Services, Inc. (Cerner). As shown in the figure, health data management activities planned for the department’s EHR modernization (EHRM) include the following: Migrating data from the legacy EHR system to the new system. Supporting the continuity of reporting by preserving existing or delivering new reporting capabilities. Planned Data Management Activities Supporting the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Electronic Health Record (EHR) Modernization VA has made progress toward implementing its planned data management activities. Consistent with its plans, the department migrated selected data to the new EHR system prior to the initial system deployment in October 2020. Although these efforts included testing intended to help ensure migrated data were accurate and matched expected results, VA’s analyses and GAO’s work indicated that clinicians experienced challenges with the quality of migrated data, including their accessibility, accuracy, and appropriateness. For example, a VA report issued after the initial deployment identified risks to patient safety in the new system related to incomplete data migration. The challenges occurred, in part, because the department did not establish performance measures and goals for migrated data quality. Until VA uses such measures and goals to better ensure the quality of migrated data, the department could deploy a new EHR system that does not meet clinicians’ needs and poses risks to the continuity of patient care. In addition, consistent with its plans, VA began preserving existing reporting capabilities and delivering new ones. The department also took steps to identify and engage stakeholders, including incorporating their requirements into plans for reporting continuity. Nevertheless, the department did not use a key tool known as a stakeholder register to identify and engage all key stakeholders. Consequently, certain relevant stakeholders were overlooked. By using a stakeholder register, the department would be better positioned to meet their continuity of reporting needs. Why GAO Did This Study VA clinicians use health data to provide health care services to the nation’s veterans. Stakeholders across the department also rely on health data to support reporting capabilities that can help monitor patient safety and measure the quality of care, among other things. GAO was asked to review VA’s EHRM data management plans. The objectives of this review included describing the department’s plans for (1) migrating data to the new EHR system and determining the extent to which VA has implemented its plans and (2) continuity of reporting and determining the extent to which the department has implemented its plans. To do so, GAO reviewed VA’s plans and progress reports discussing data migration and reporting continuity for EHRM. GAO also compared these efforts to applicable federal guidance for data management and relevant project management practices. In addition, GAO interviewed knowledgeable VA officials.

    [Read More…]

  • Congress Urged to Adopt Judicial Security Measures
    In U.S Courts
    Citing the recent fatal attack at the home of a federal judge in New Jersey and increasing threats against federal judges, the Judiciary has asked Congress to enact a package of safety measures that would improve security at judges’ homes and at federal courthouses.

    [Read More…]

  • Eleventh Round of the Columbia River Treaty Negotiations
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Uzbekistani Foreign Minister Kamilov
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • A New Video Captures the Science of NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover
    With a targeted launch [Read More…]
  • Securing, Stabilizing, and Developing Pakistan’s Border Area with Afghanistan: Key Issues for Congressional Oversight
    In U.S GAO News
    Since 2002, destroying the terrorist threat and closing the terrorist safe haven along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan have been key national security goals. The United States has provided Pakistan, an important ally in the war on terror, with more than $12.3 billion for a variety of activities, in part to address these goals. About half of this amount has been to reimburse Pakistan for military-related support, including combat operations in and around the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Despite 6 years of U.S. and Pakistani government efforts, al Qaeda has regenerated its ability to attack the United States and continues to maintain a safe haven in Pakistan’s FATA. As the United States considers how it will go forward with efforts to assist Pakistan in securing, stabilizing, and developing its FATA and Western Frontier bordering Afghanistan, it is vital that efforts to develop a comprehensive plan using all elements of national power be completed and that continued oversight and accountability over funds used for these efforts are in place.This report provides background information on Pakistan; the status of U.S. government efforts to develop a comprehensive plan; and information on the goals, funding, and current status of U.S. efforts to use various elements of national power (i.e., military, law enforcement, development and economic assistance, and diplomacy) to combat terrorism in Pakistan. The scope of this report does not include the plans, goals, operations, activities, and accomplishments of the intelligence community.

    [Read More…]

  • Retirement Security: Debt Increased for Older Americans over Time, but the Implications Vary by Debt Type
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found Americans age 50 or older had significantly more debt in 2016 than in 1989, according to GAO’s analysis of Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) data. Debt. The share of older households with debt was 71 percent in 2016 compared to 58 percent in 1989 (see figure). The median debt amount for older households with debt was about three times higher in 2016 ($55,300) than in 1989 ($18,900 in real 2016 dollars) and the share of older households with home, credit card, and student loan debt was significantly higher in 2016 than in 1989. Debt stress. The median ratio of debt to assets—known as the leverage ratio, a measure of debt stress—for older households was twice as high in 2016 than in 1989. Adverse debt outcomes. Measures of older individuals’ adverse debt outcomes, including their share of mortgage and credit card debt that was late by at least 90 days, generally followed economic trends, peaking after the Great Recession of 2007-2009, according to GAO’s analysis of Consumer Credit Panel (CCP) data from 2003 to 2019. However, the share of student loan debt that was late was significantly higher for older individuals in 2019 than in 2003. These trends in debt, debt stress, and adverse debt outcomes varied by older Americans’ demographic and economic characteristics, including their age, credit score, and state of residence. For example, from 2003 to 2019, individuals in their late 70s often had higher shares of credit card and student loan debt that was late than those aged 50-74. In addition, older individuals with credit scores below 720—including those with subprime, fair, or good credit—had median student loan debt amounts that were more than twice as high in 2019 as in 2003. Further, older individuals in the Southeast and West had much higher median mortgage and student loan debt, as well as student loan delinquency rates, in 2019 than in 2003. Percent of Households Age 50 or Older with Any Debt (Left) and Median Leverage Ratio (Right) for These Households, 1989 to 2016 Note: The bars above and below the lines represent the bounds of 95 percent confidence intervals. While older Americans’ overall debt and debt stress decreased as they aged, those in low-income households experienced greater debt stress according to GAO’s analysis of Health and Retirement Study (HRS) data, a nationally representative survey that follows the same individuals over time. The share of older households in this cohort that had debt continuously decreased as they aged, from about 66 percent of households in 1992 to 38 percent in 2016, and the median leverage ratio declined from about 19 to 13 percent over this period (see figure). However, low-income households in this cohort consistently had greater levels of debt stress than high-income households. This disparity in debt stress increased as these households aged. Estimated Percent of Households with Any Debt for Those Born in 1931-1941 (Left) and Median Leverage Ratio for Those Households from 1992-2016 (Right) Notes: The lines overlapping the bars represent 95 percent confidence intervals. According to experts GAO interviewed, differences in debt type (that is, credit card versus housing debt) and debt stress levels will have varying effects on the retirement security of different groups. For example, experts noted that credit card debt has negative implications for older Americans’ retirement security because credit cards often have high, variable interest rates and are not secured by any assets. In contrast, an increase in mortgage debt may have positive effects on retirement security because a home is generally a wealth-building asset. Experts also said that older individuals with lower incomes and unexpected health expenses are likely to experience greater debt stress, which can negatively affect retirement security. Similarly, experts noted that the increased debt stress faced by low-income households is also faced by non-White households. Further, GAO’s analysis of data from the Survey of Consumer Finances found that in 2016, debt stress levels were about two times higher for Black, Hispanic/Latino, and Other/multiple-race households than for White households. Experts GAO interviewed noted it is too early to evaluate the retirement security implications of the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, in part because CARES Act provisions suspend or forbear certain debt payments. However, as with past recessions, the COVID-19-related recession may reveal any economic fragility among older Americans who, for example, lost jobs or cannot work because of the pandemic. Why GAO Did This Study GAO reported in 2019 that an estimated 20 percent of older American households aged 55 or older had less than $22,000 in income in 2016 and GAO reported in 2015 that about 29 percent of older households had neither retirement savings accounts (such as a 401(k) plan) nor a defined benefit plan in 2013. Older Americans held nearly half of the total outstanding debt in 2020—and these debts may affect retirement security. The Census Bureau projects the number of older Americans will increase. GAO was asked to report on debt held by older Americans. This report examines (1) how the types, levels, and outcomes of debt changed for older Americans over time, including for different demographic and economic groups; (2) how the types and levels of debt held by the same older Americans changed as they aged, including for those in different demographic groups; and (3) the implications of these debt trends for the general retirement security of older Americans and their families. GAO analyzed data from two nationally representative surveys–the SCF (1989 through 2016 data) and the HRS (1992 through 2016 longitudinal data)–and nationally representative administrative data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s CCP (2003 through 2019). These datasets were the most recent available at the time of GAO’s analyses. GAO also reviewed studies and interviewed experts that GAO identified from these studies to further analyze the relationship between debt and retirement security. For more information, contact Kris Nguyen, (202) 512-7215 or NguyenTT@gao.gov.

    [Read More…]

  • The Impact of the Pandemic on Pregnancy: A Research Response
    In Human Health, Resources and Services
    Maternal health and [Read More…]
  • Home Health Agency and Former Owner to Pay $5.8 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations
    In Crime News
    Doctor’s Choice Home Care, Inc. and its former owners, Timothy Beach and Stuart Christensen, have agreed to pay $5.15 million to resolve allegations that the home health agency provided improper financial inducements to referring physicians through sham medical director agreements and bonuses to physicians’ spouses who were Doctor’s Choice employees, the Department of Justice announced today. 

    [Read More…]

  • Queens Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Payroll Tax Fraud
    In Crime News
    A New York woman pleaded guilty today to employment tax crimes.

    [Read More…]

  • Wisconsin Pain Management Companies To Settle False Claims Act Allegations
    In Crime News
    The Department of Justice announced today that Advanced Pain Management Holdings Inc. (APMH), its wholly-owned subsidiaries,  APM Wisconsin MSO (“APM MSO”) and Advanced Pain Management LLC (APM LLC); and Advanced Pain Management S.C. (APMSC) (collectively the “APM Entities”) have agreed to pay $885,452 to settle claims that they violated the False Claims Act by paying kickbacks and by performing medically unnecessary laboratory tests.  The APM Entities are headquartered in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. 

    [Read More…]

  • Secretary Michael R. Pompeo At the Three Seas Virtual Summit and Web Forum
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
  • Three Former U.S. Intelligence Community and Military Personnel Agree to Pay More Than $1.68 Million to Resolve Criminal Charges Arising from Their Provision of Hacking-Related Services to a Foreign Government
    In Crime News
    On Sept. 7, U.S. citizens, Marc Baier, 49, and Ryan Adams, 34, and a former U.S. citizen, Daniel Gericke, 40, all former employees of the U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) or the U.S. military, entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) that restricts their future activities and employment and requires the payment of $1,685,000 in penalties to resolve a Department of Justice investigation regarding violations of U.S. export control, computer fraud and access device fraud laws.

    [Read More…]

  • Afghanistan Security: U.S. Efforts to Develop Capable Afghan Police Forces Face Challenges and Need a Coordinated, Detailed Plan to Help Ensure Accountability
    In U.S GAO News
    Since 2005, the Department of Defense (Defense), with support from the Department of State (State), has directed U.S. efforts to develop the Afghan National Police (ANP) into a force capable of enforcing the rule of law and supporting actions to defeat insurgency, among other activities. This testimony discusses (1) U.S. efforts to develop a capable ANP; (2) challenges that affect the development of a capable ANP; and (3) GAO analysis of U.S. efforts to develop a coordinated, detailed plan for completing and sustaining the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), which comprise the ANP and the Afghan National Army (ANA). This statement is based on a concurrently issued GAO report titled Afghanistan Security: Further Congressional Action May Be Needed to Ensure Completion of a Detailed Plan to Develop and Sustain Capable Afghan National Security Forces, GAO-08-661 (Washington, D.C.: June 18, 2008).Although the ANP has reportedly grown in number since 2005, after an investment of more than $6 billion, no Afghan police unit (0 of 433) is assessed by Defense as fully capable of performing its mission and over three-fourths of units (334 of 433) are assessed at the lowest capability rating. In addition, while the ANP has reportedly grown in number to nearly 80,000 personnel, concerns exist about the reliability of this number. Several challenges impede U.S. efforts to develop capable ANP forces. First, the shortage of police mentors has been a key impediment to U.S. efforts to conduct training and evaluation and verify that police are on duty. Second, the ANP continues to encounter difficulties with equipment shortages and quality. Third, the ANP faces a difficult working environment, including a weak Afghan judicial sector and consistent problems with police pay, corruption, and attacks by insurgents. Defense has recognized challenges to ANP development and, in November 2007, began a new initiative called Focused District Development–an effort to train the police as units–to address them. This effort is too new to fully assess, but the continuing shortfall in police mentors may put the effort at risk. Despite a 2005 GAO recommendation calling for a detailed plan and a 2008 congressional mandate requiring similar information, Defense and State have not developed a coordinated, detailed plan with clearly defined roles and responsibilities, milestones for completing and sustaining the ANSF, and a sustainment strategy. In 2007, Defense produced a 5-page document intended to address GAO’s 2005 recommendation. However, the document does not identify the role or involve the participation of State–Defense’s partner in training the ANP. Further, State has not completed a plan of its own. In the absence of a coordinated, detailed plan that clearly defines agency roles and responsibilities, a dual chain of command exists between Defense and State that has complicated the efforts of mentors training the police. Defense’s 5-page document also contains few milestones, including no interim milestones that would help assess progress made in developing the ANP. Without interim milestones, it is difficult to know if current ANP status represents what the United States intended to achieve by 2008. In addition, Defense’s 5-page document lacks a sustainment strategy. Without a detailed strategy for sustaining the ANSF, it is difficult to determine how long the United States may need to continue providing funding and other resources for this important mission.

    [Read More…]

  • New York Businessman Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion
    In Crime News
    A Woodsburgh, New York, businessman pleaded guilty today to tax evasion, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

    [Read More…]

  • Commending New Zealand’s New Sanctions Regime
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Man Sentenced for Posing As Covert CIA Officer in Elaborate $4 Million Fraud
    In Crime News
    A former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) public affairs officer was sentenced today to seven years in prison for defrauding at least a dozen companies of over $4.4 million by posing falsely as a covert officer of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

    [Read More…]

Source: Network News
Area Control Network

Copyright © 2022 ACN
All Rights Reserved © ACN 2020

ACN Privacy Policies
ACN TOS
Area Control Network (ACN)
Area Control Network
Area Control Network Center