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Audit Audit of the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office

Audit examines the Northwestern District Attorney's Office to Juvenile Diversion and Victim Witness Assistance Programs. The audit examined the period of January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2017.

Organization: Office of the State Auditor
Date published: November 29, 2018

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 Northwestern District Attorney’s Office (NWDA) for the period January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2017.

In this performance audit, we examined NWDA’s compliance with Section 5 of Chapter 258B of the General Laws for the Victim Witness Assistance Program, as well as its administration of the Juvenile Diversion Program (JDP). There are no regulatory requirements for NWDA to operate a JDP, and therefore our review focused on existing NWDA policies and national best practices.

Below is a summary of our finding and recommendation, with links to each page listed.

Finding 1

NWDA’s JDP does not collect statistical data or conduct post-completion outcome evaluations.

Recommendation

NWDA should identify the relevant data that could be used to assess the effectiveness of the JDP, establish a formal process to collect and evaluate this information, and use it to make necessary program enhancements.

A PDF copy of the audit of the Northwestern District Attorney's Office is available here.

Post-Audit Action

After our audit period, the Criminal Justice Reform Act of 2018 was signed into law by the Governor. The legislation will create a process for mandatory juvenile diversion through the court system for less serious offenses. It will also standardize data collection and tracking of offenders by requiring a unique identifier for each offender to consolidate information about all criminal offenders (including juveniles). At this time, no specific instructions have been provided to NWDA on future data collection and reporting standards.

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