Semiannual Report to Congress

April 1, 2010 – September 30, 2010
Office of the Inspector General

Office of Justice Programs

Photo of police officer working on laptopOJP manages the majority of the Department’s grant programs and is responsible for developing initiatives to address crime at the state and local levels. OJP is composed of 5 bureaus – Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), and Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) – as well as the Community Capacity Development Office and the Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking Office. In this section, we discuss OJP’s oversight of grant funds awarded through the regular appropriations process. We discuss our work related to OJP’s oversight of grant funds awarded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in a separate section in this semiannual report.

Reports Issued

Office of Justice Programs’ Management of Offender Reentry Initiatives

The OIG’s Audit Division examined the Department’s management of grant programs that fund state and local offender reentry initiatives. Over 650,000 individuals are released from federal and state prisons annually, and a greater number reenter communities from local jails. According to the Department, over 50 percent of those released from prison will be in some form of legal trouble within 3 years.

Since FY 2002, OJP has implemented three offender reentry grant programs to reduce recidivism and to help state, local, and community organizations provide assistance to released inmates as they transition to life outside prison. In total, from FY 2002 through FY 2009, OJP awarded $173.9 million and 154 grants in all 50 states through its offender reentry grant programs. 

This audit identified design flaws in the initial implementation of the Department’s reentry grant programs. We determined that OJP did not adequately define key terms essential for determining whether program goals were met, did not require grantees to identify baseline recidivism rates needed to calculate changes in recidivism, and did not analyze performance measurement data. As a result of these design flaws, neither OJP nor the OIG could determine definitively the effectiveness of OJP’s grant programs in reducing recidivism. Additionally, as noted in the audit report, an independent national evaluation of the effectiveness of one of OJP’s grant programs concluded that the program had no significant impact on participant recidivism.

Our audit concluded that OJP could improve its management and oversight of offender reentry grant programs. In our review of specific OJP grants awarded under the first grant program, the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative, we found little documentation of OJP’s monitoring of grantees, and we questioned approximately $5.2 million in grant expenditures. While OJP increased the documentation of its grant monitoring activities under its second grant program, the Prisoner Reentry Initiative, we also found a decreased quality in the reviews of grantees that OJP performed. We did not evaluate the monitoring that OJP conducted of its third grant program, the Second Chance Act, because those grants were only recently awarded.

The report made 11 recommendations to assist OJP in designing and managing current and future reentry grant programs. OJP agreed with the recommendations, including enhanced training for grantees, clarification of grant solicitations, and initiation of a project to evaluate the reentry grant program.

Audits of OJP Grants to State and Local Entities

During this reporting period, the OIG continued to conduct audits of various grants and other financial assistance provided by OJP. Examples of findings from these audits included the following:


During this reporting period, the OIG received 14 complaints involving OJP. The most common allegation made against OJP employees, contractors, or grantees was grantee fraud. The OIG opened 5 cases and referred several complaints to OJP for its review and appropriate action.

At the close of the reporting period, the OIG had 28 open criminal or administrative investigations of alleged misconduct related to OJP employees, contractors, or grantees. The majority of these criminal investigations were grantee fraud. The following are examples of cases involving OJP that the OIG’s Investigations Division handled during this reporting period:


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