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Audit: Inmate-Tracking Problems Cost Idaho Millions in Delayed Paroles

November 16, 2012 09:58:40 am
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An inability to manage data by administrators at the Commission of Pardons and Parole is creating inefficiency and delays in paroling Idaho inmates that have cost more than $7.2 million since 2009, reports the Associated Press. According to a report by legislative auditors, the commission and its staff continue to have problems managing inmate-tracking data and avoiding inefficiencies that have plagued the agency for more than a decade. The study is a followup to a 2010 report that criticized the commission's process for paroling inmates. That report determined delays in paroling eligible offenders had cost the state nearly $7 million between January 2007 and September 2009.

In the update, auditors found only slight improvement. They say 57 percent of the offenders examined in the study were released after their tentative parole date, an improvement from the 69 percent released late in the 2010 survey. Despite the statistical improvement, the delays from January 2009 to April 2012 cost an estimated $7.2 million. Auditors claim the biggest cause for the delays and inefficiency is in the commission's inability to manage, track and handle all the data it keeps on Idaho's inmate population. A fix like integrating computer software, such as Microsoft Excel, would enable staff to better track and parole more inmates in a timely fashion. Some data is still kept and maintained on handwritten notes by administrators, auditors said.

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