Program Authorization: R.S. 15:574.2-574.21; R.S. 821-840.2; R.S. 15:111; R.S. 46:1844(A)(3); Act 541 of 1995; Hayes Williams, et al v. John McKeithen, et al CA 71-98-B (M.D. La.)
The mission of the Office of the Secretary Program is to oversee development and implementation of departmental policy and to give direction and lend support in the administration, control and operation of departmental programs and other activities related to offenders placed in state custody by the courts.
The goals of the Office of the Secretary Program are:
1. Maximize public safety through appropriate and effective correctional custodial and supervisory programs.
2. Provide for the safety of correctional staff and inmates by maintaining an organized and disciplined system of operations that promotes stability in institutional and other field operations.
3. Ensure the basic well-being of the inmate population by providing adequate food, clothing, medical care, and shelter.
4. Provide an environment that enables behavior change by making rehabilitation opportunities available for inmates who demonstrate motivation for change and the desire to participate in rehabilitative programs.
To afford departmentwide direction and support, the Office of the Secretary Program provides departmentwide administration, policy development, financial management and leadership, sets the standards for ongoing audit programs, and maintains a corporate culture for management excellence.
The department secretary is responsible for the functioning and control of all programs within the department. The secretary formulates regulations and determines policies regarding management, personnel, and total operations. The deputy secretary is responsible for special duties and functions as assigned by the secretary. Executive support staff ensure that all administrative functions are carried out. The Legal Services Section represents and defends the department in pertinent litigation, including civil service matters. The chief of staff serves as chief administrative officer of the department's executive and administrative operations, coordinates headquarters policies, and addresses and resolves broad administrative issues that impact the whole department.
The Office of the Secretary Program also maintains the Crime Victims Services Bureau, which (as authorized by Act 541 of 1995) publicizes and provides a way for crime victims and their family members to be kept informed about: successful court appeals; parole board or pardon board hearings or other release hearings; information regarding dates of possible release from physical custody, escape, apprehension or otherwise; and inquiries concerning the department's policies and programs for inmates.
The office is also responsible for implementation and reporting on Project Clean-Up, a joint effort of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Corrections Services, and the Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), which was developed and implemented to support the commitment of the governor and first lady to improve the appearance of roads and highways across the state. The project involves DPS&C inmate crews for litter pickup and DOTD work crews for mowing and litter collection. In addition to picking up litter, adult inmates and juvenile offenders suitable for outside work details are assigned to clean out ditches, mow grass, and perform general maintenance tasks to help improve the state's appearance. Project Clean-Up inmate crews are supervised by correctional officers who are equipped with radio and telephones.
OBJECTIVES AND PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
1. The Office of the Secretary will maintain American Correctional Association (ACA) accreditation departmentwide. In so doing, the department will demonstrate that it can govern itself without the federal court's continued supervision.
1 The ACA accreditation process involves an internal audit whereby a facility is recommended for accreditation. The auditors' recommendation is then considered during hearings conducted by a panel of auditors. Every three years following the initial accreditation, the facility will be reaudited and, if successful, reaccredited through the panel hearing process.
2 All eleven adult correctional institutions and all four juvenile secure institutions are accredited by ACA. The adult Probation and Parole Division, which received a 100% score on its accreditation audit, is ACA accredited. Elayn Hunt Correctional Center's IMPACT program (for adult males) was accredited in 1994 and recommended for reaccreditation in October 1996, with a perfect score of 100%. The Division of Youth Services had a successful audit of May 1-2, 1995, with a score of 100% in mandatories and nonmandatories. The Tallulah Correctional Center for Youth had a successful audit of October 2-3, 1995, with a score of 100% in mandatories and 96.3% in nonmandatories. All Prison Enterprises programs have met all appropriate ACA standards in cooperation with each audited adult correctional institution. All adult work release facilities also have been accredited. All continuing juvenile community residential centers and day treatment programs have been successfully accredited. All new contractors are required to be accredited within one year of the contract start date.
Outcome Indicator: During 1997, 10 adult state prisons were released from the federal consent decree, under which all state prisons had operated since 1983 (except for a brief period of time when nine had been released from the consent decree). Only Louisiana State Penitentiary remains under the consent decree.
2. The Office of the Secretary will assure the department's compliance with federal consent decrees governing the state's adult and juvenile correctional systems and will continue to seek modifications of federal court mandates.
1 The department is under several court mandates pertaining to systemic and specific issues:
Hamilton v. Morial (regarding conditions in Orleans Parish): The department is a party to the suit because state inmates are being housed there.
Hayes Williams, et al v. Bruce N. Lynn, et al (regarding medical conditions at Louisiana State Penitentiary): A three-week trial was held in September 1994 and post-trial pleadings have been submitted. The federal magistrate will make rulings on post-trial motions and a ruling on the merits of the case, and then submit a report and recommendations to the federal judge for approval. As of January 1998, there was no change in status.
Hayes Williams, et al v. John McKeithen, et al (consent decrees at all institutions regarding general conditions of confinement): On September 26, 1996, United States District Court Judge Frank Polozola approved a settlement releasing 105 of the 110 state and local correctional facilities from court control, effective April 1, 1997. The agreement transfers total responsibility for the institutions back to the state and local officials.
3. The Office of the Secretary Program, through the Crime Victims Services Bureau, will offer crime victims and other directly affected persons the ability to register for notification about specified events in an inmate's movement through the corrections system and to request other assistance and information.
Explanatory Note: In November 1993 the department reconfigured existing resources to establish an Crime Victims Services Bureau. The bureau offers victims (and, since 1995, witnesses) a direct means of continued participation in the criminal justice system after a criminal offender is sentenced to state custody. The bureau provides victims, witnesses, and/or their surviving family members a telephone number and a person to contact if they have questions about the department's policies and programs and the laws that underlie them and/or if they want to make a standing request for formal notification about specific changes in an inmate's circumstances (such as a court ruling affecting sentence length, a scheduled hearing before the Parole Board or Pardon Board, escape, furlough, or release from prison). In 1995 the legislature added bureau functions to statute. Recently, the department began advertising the bureau's telephone number as the number for persons to call if they receive unwanted communications from an inmate in state custody. In 1995, the sex offender laws were amended to require most sex offenders to give notice of their name, crime, and address and to provide pictures for the newspaper and certain public officials. Prison staff and probation and parole officers are essential parts of these procedures.
1 Figures for FY 1993-94 are for seven months only. The first available data are for December 1993
4. In FY 1998-99, the Office of the Secretary Program will oversee implementation of Project Clean-Up in state adult and juvenile institutions, maintaining an overall average project service level of at least 15,000 manhours per week.
SOURCE OF FUNDING
This program is funded entirely with state general fund.
ANALYSIS OF RECOMMENDATION
The total means of financing for this program is recommended at 103.0% of the existing operating budget. It represents 90.5% of the total request ($1,395,827) for this program. The increase in the recommended level is primarily attributed to the transfer of one position along with related funding from the Adult Services Program to properly reflect funding in the appropriate programs. The personnel reduction is due to the elimination of one (1) vacant position. The elimination of this vacant position along with the attrition adjustment and the reduction of other lines items are recommended to fully fund the 21 recommended positions.
ACQUISITIONS AND MAJOR REPAIRS
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