Wayne County Probation Department – Restitution Payments (S9-20-6)

Issued Date
December 14, 2021

[read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Wayne 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 never receive the payments to which they are entitled.

  • 24 of the 26 restitution orders reviewed had uncollected payments totaling $31,118.
  • 13 probationers with delinquent restitution totaling $7,767 were not reported to the court, as required.
  • 16 outstanding restitution checks totaling $618 were not properly followed up on and officials did not always make reasonable efforts to locate victims promptly.

In addition, officials did not maintain a complete list of unsatisfied restitution orders or maintain sufficient undisbursed restitution records. Without legal basis, the Department removed victims from its list of unsatisfied restitution orders.

Key Recommendations

  • Establish clear 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 disagreed with some of our findings and recommendations. Appendix B includes our comments on issues raised in the County’s response letter.