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Program B: Field Services

Program Authorization: R.S. 15:574.2-15:574.12 and R.S. 401-409

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The mission of the Field Services Program is to supervise adult offenders who are released on probation or parole.

The goals of the Field Services Program are:

1. Protect public safety.

2. Facilitate the adjustment and reintegration of offenders into society.

The Field Services Program provides skilled supervision of remanded clients; supplies competent investigative reports involved with sentencing, release, and clemency; and fulfills extradition requirements. Supervision is also exercised over three contract work release centers and the intensive parole cases in the IMPACT program. The division is in charge of collecting various criminal justice funds, supervision fees, victim's restitution, and so forth. Services are provided through offices located in Alexandria, Amite, Baton Rouge, Chalmette, Clinton, Harvey, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Leesville, Minden, Monroe, Natchitoches, New Iberia, New Orleans-West, New Orleans-East, Port Allen (West Baton Rouge), Shreveport, Tallulah, Thibodaux, and Ville Platte.

According to a 1997 Legislative Fiscal Office survey, Louisiana has the fifth highest caseload per agent among southern and south central states. Louisiana's "contact" rate (the number of contacts a supervision officer makes with an offender under supervision during a month) remains approximately one-half that of most other states in the southern region.

Caseload is not the same as workload. Workload considers not only the number of cases but the level of supervision and number of contacts as well. Although Louisiana law (R.S. 15.571.20) requires a 50-unit workload for adult probation and parole officers, that workload level has been routinely exceeded in many field offices. Act 394 of 1995 requires that, beginning July 1, 1995, the number of work units assigned to each probation and parole specialist performing supervisory and investigative functions be reduced until the number of work units assigned does not exceed fifty. In FY 1995-96, 90 additional probation and parole agent positions were added. Act 394 further specifies that, beginning July 1, 1997, the department shall not assign more than 50 work units to any probation and parole specialist. However, this goal is contingent upon the availability of funding.

OBJECTIVES AND PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

1. In FY 1998-99, the Field Services Program will provide efficient and effective control, supervision, and reintegration of offenders into society while, at the same time, striving to comply with statutory workload limits.

1 Presentence investigations are investigations completed by field staff for the sentencing judge to assist in the sentencing decision making process.

2 Preparole investigations are investigations completed by field staff for the Parole Board to assist in the granting or denying of parole decision making process.

3 Postsentence investigations are investigations completed by filed staff after the judge has imposed sentence to assist in classification and rehabilitation of the offender.

4 Pre-exit/work release investigations are investigations completed by field staff for the Parole Board to assist in the granting or denying of entrance into a work release program.

5 Clemency investigations are investigations completed by field staff for the governor and/or the Pardon Board to assist in the granting or denying of the offenders' requested relief.

6 Transfer investigations are investigations completed by field staff and sent to other states for the purpose of either transferring a Louisiana case out of state or the acceptance of another state's case for supervision in Louisiana.

7 Supervision assistance requests are investigations completed by field staff of one district (within Louisiana) to another district (within Louisiana) for the purpose of transferring cases, securing information, and securing any assistance that the requesting district may need.

The following table (based on data from 1995, 1996, and 1997 Louisiana Fiscal Office surveys and reports on adult correctional systems in the Southern Legislative Conference states) compares trends in probation and parole caseloads (number of offenders per probation and parole agent) in Louisiana and the southern region. (Caseload is not the same as workload. Workload considers not only the number of cases but the level of supervision and number of contacts as well.

COMPARISON OF TRENDS IN PROBATION AND PAROLE CASELOADS, LOUISIANA AND SOUTHERN REGION

 

 

 

JULY 1,

1995

 

JULY 1,

1996

PERCENTAGE CHANGE

1995 -1996

 

JULY 1,

1997

PERCENTAGE CHANGE

1996 -1997

Number of offenders under supervision - Southern Region

1,053,839

1,083,987

2.86%

1,059,333

-2.28%

Number of offender under supervision - Louisiana

50,424

49,821

-1.20%

51,139

2.64%

Average caseload (number of offenders per agent - Southern Region

79.7

76.0

-4.65%

75.2

-1.06$

Average caseload (number of offenders per agent) - Louisiana

102.3

101.1

-1.18%

95.1

-5.94

Source: Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Office of Corrections Services, citing data from Adult Correctional Systems: A Comparable Data Report Submitted to the Fiscal Affairs and Government Operations Committee, Southern Legislative Conference, Council of State Governments, Fall 1995, Fall 1996, and Fall 1997 editions.

RESOURCE ALLOCATION FOR THE PROGRAM

SOURCE OF FUNDING

This program is funded with state general fund and fees and self-generated revenues. The fees and self-generated revenues are derived from fees collected from those individuals who are on probation and parole to partially reimburse the agency for the cost of their supervision.

ANALYSIS OF RECOMMENDATION

GENERAL FUND

TOTAL

T.O.

 

DESCRIPTION

 

 

 

 

 

$25,611,840

$31,825,677

822

 

ACT 18 FISCAL YEAR 1997-1998

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BA-7 TRANSACTIONS:

$34,913

$34,913

0

 

Carryforward for acquisitions

 

 

 

 

 

$25,646,753

$31,860,590

822

 

EXISTING OPERATING BUDGET - December 10, 1997

 

 

 

 

 

($34,913)

($34,913)

0

 

Non-Recurring Carryforward for acquisitions

$167,593

$167,593

0

 

Equipment/Major Repairs Adjustment(s) (Non-recurring: -$297,957; Replacement/New: +$465,550)

$507,648

$507,648

0

 

Annualization of 1997 -'98 Merit Pay Adjustment(s)

$649,062

$649,062

0

 

1998 -'99 Merit Pay Adjustment(s)

($1,163,578)

($1,163,578)

0

 

Attrition Adjustment(s)

($135,652)

($135,652)

0

 

Retirement Rate Adjustment(s)

($6,152)

($6,152)

0

 

Rent in State-owned Buildings Adjustment(s)

($3,524)

($3,524)

0

 

Maintenance of State-owned Buildings Adjustment(s)

($49,222)

($49,222)

0

 

Reductions in various Expenditure Categories; Including Reductions to fully fund salaries

$0

$140,005

5

 

Workload - 5 additional Accounting Specialist positions to collect Probation and Parole fees

($142,000)

$0

0

 

Means of Financing Substitutions - Replace state general fund with self-generated revenues through increased collections of supervision fees

($262,848)

$0

0

 

Technical adjustment to realign the Self-Generated Revenues generated through the collection of Probation and Parole Supervision Fees between programs to properly reflect the correct means of financing in the appropriate programs

($14,635)

($14,635)

0

 

Adjustment for Interagency Transfers with the Department of Public Safety for radio user fees and automotive expenditures

 

 

 

 

 

$25,158,532

$31,917,222

827

 

TOTAL RECOMMENDED

 

 

 

 

 

($488,221)

$56,632

5

 

DIFFERENCE (TOTAL RECOMMENDED AND EXISTING OPERATING BUDGET)

 

 

 

 

 

The total means of financing for this program is recommended at 101.0% of the existing operating budget. It represents 61.2% of the total request ($52,188,993) for this program. The net increase in the recommended level is primarily attributed to the salary funding of five Accounting Specialist positions for the collection of supervision fees and the funding of acquisitions.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

$355,320

 

Transfer America, Inc.; contract to return prisoners to Louisiana

 

$355,320

 

TOTAL PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

OTHER CHARGES

 

 

Interagency Transfers:

$212,072

 

Rent in state-owned buildings

$13,200

 

User fee for radio system - Department of Public Safety

$6,265

 

Purchase of gasoline from State Police

$59,800

 

Maintenance of State Buildings

 

 

 

$291,337

 

TOTAL INTERAGENCY TRANSFERS

ACQUISITIONS AND MAJOR REPAIRS

$431,328

 

Replace 23 vehicles

 

 

 

$431,328

 

TOTAL ACQUISITIONS AND MAJOR REPAIRS


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