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Audit Audit of the Massachusetts Department of Correction (DOC)

The audit revealed DOC did not always provide inmates with requested healthcare services within required timeframes and was not providing proper individual reentry planning. The audit examined the period of July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2018.

Organization: Office of the State Auditor
Date published: January 9, 2020

Executive Summary

In accordance with Section 12 of Chapter 11 of the Massachusetts General Laws, the Office of the State Auditor has conducted a performance audit of the Department of Correction (DOC) for the period July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2018. In this performance audit, we examined inmate access to healthcare, including sick call requests, reentry healthcare services, and women’s specific healthcare services related to pregnancy and annual preventive examinations.

Below is a summary of our findings and recommendations, with links to each page listed.

Finding 1

During the audit period, Sick Call Request Forms (SCRFs) were not processed or triaged within 24 hours (72 on weekends) and/or were not completely filled out by nurses and/or physicians, and inmates were not always seen by a qualified healthcare professional within seven days after they submitted SCRFs.

Recommendation

DOC should ensure that there are internal controls and monitoring in place to ensure compliance with DOC policies and procedures.

Finding 2

DOC did not always maintain documentation to support the following: that Individual Reentry Plans were reviewed with the inmates, signed by the inmates, and provided to the inmates before release; that physical and mental health appointments for post-release services were scheduled with external medical providers when necessary; and that DOC obtained signed Authorizations for Release of Medical Records from inmates.

Recommendations

  1. DOC should ensure that its staff is properly trained in reentry service standards and provide job aids for all aspects of the reentry process.
  2. DOC should evaluate whether it would be useful to have employees work solely in reentry rather than doing multiple jobs, thereby ensuring that these employees can focus on reentry and the applicable standards and timelines.

 

A PDF copy of the audit of the Department of Correction is available here.

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