State springs surprise audits at DWCRC

The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation hit the Dakota Womens Corrections and Rehabilitation Center in New England with two surprise audits in the span of a week.

Staff Report

The first audit, Jan. 24, was announced to the DWCRC warden, Rachelle Juntunen, the morning after she testified to a House subcommittee about the governor’s sudden plan to close the correction facility in New England.

Seven officials from the DOCR and office of Facilities Inspections arrived for the first audit.

Four more state officials participated in a second audit on Jan. 31.

The result was the surprise audits claimed to have found 14 deficiencies.

According to the warden, in neither case was she notified of the findings or shortcomings reportedly found in the audits until she was surprised with the results almost two weeks later.

The results were used in Bismarck Feb. 11 during a House committee hearing when it was announced that the DWCRC had 14 major deficiencies uncovered by the audits.

According to the warden, what was interesting was an audit less than a year ago found ‘no significant issues’.

with the facility.

In addition, the warden commented that some of the deficiencies were listed twice and most involved documents.

In addition, the state officials cited a lack of medication-assisted therapy that they claimed was required.

That was never mentioned in earlier audits and the warden said the DWCRC officials were instructed to remove plans from budget requests years ago.

According to the warden, several of the deficiencies involved documents reportedly asked for prior to the audits – specifically, an education schedule, mission statement, New England Public School welding contract and a North Dakota DHS program license.

According to John Plaggemeyer, the chairman of the six-county consortium which administers the facility, the way the audits were handled tells a lot about the people and the reasons they were done.

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