Rensselaer County Probation Department – Restitution Payments (S9-20-5)

Issued Date
December 14, 2021

[read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Rensselaer County (County) Probation Department (Department) officials enforced restitution orders, notified the court when a probationer violated the court order and disbursed victim restitution payments promptly and appropriately.

Key Findings

Department officials did not always properly enforce restitution orders, notify the court when a probationer violated the court order or disburse victim restitution payments appropriately. As a result, some victims may not receive the payments to which they are entitled.

  • Officials did not establish adequate policies and procedures to enforce and monitor restitution obligations.
  • 13 of 28 restitution orders reviewed had uncollected payments totaling $25,772.
  • 155 outstanding checks totaling $27,935 were not properly followed up on.
  • Officials did not make reasonable efforts to locate victims.

In addition, officials did not make undisbursed restitution payments or maintain sufficient undisbursed restitution records.

Key Recommendations

  • Establish adequate policies and procedures for enforcing and monitoring restitution obligations.
  • Provide meaningful oversight.
  • Enforce and monitor restitution according to court orders and Department policies and procedures.

County officials agreed with our recommendations and indicated they will take corrective action.