GAO’s recommendations database contains report recommendations that still need to be addressed. GAO’s priority recommendations are those that we believe warrant priority attention. We sent letters to the heads of key departments and agencies, urging them to continue focusing on these issues. Below you can search only priority recommendations, or search all recommendations.

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As of April 18, 2018, there are 5,184 open recommendations, of which 465 are priority recommendations. Recommendations remain open until they are designated as Closed-implemented or Closed-not implemented.

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Subject Term: "Prison overcrowding"

1 publication with a total of 2 priority recommendations
Director: Maurer, Diana C
Phone: (202) 512-9627

2 open priority recommendations
Recommendation: To ensure that the Department of Justice effectively measures its efforts to address incarceration challenges, the Attorney General should explore additional data collection opportunities and modify its Smart on Crime indicators to incorporate key elements of successful performance measurement systems.

Agency: Department of Justice
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: In August 2015, DOJ reported that it has taken steps to obtain new, more granular data elements that it hoped to incorporate into its indicators. However, DOJ also stated that it did not believe that measureable targets were appropriate for its Smart on Crime indicators because prosecutors need to make case by case decisions without regard to targets or concerns for any other incentive. In October 2016, when we checked in with DOJ again for a status update, they had nothing new to report. In March, 2017, with another request for status, DOJ noted that, due to a change in administration, the consequences of the Smart on Crime initiative were uncertain, and did not provide any further updates on its progress addressing our recommendation. As of June 19, 2018, we are still awaiting a response for a more recent update. Until DOJ provides this information, the recommendation will remain open.
Recommendation: To ensure that the Department of Justice effectively measures its efforts to address incarceration challenges, the Attorney General should direct the Office of the Pardon Attorney, in conjunction with the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, to (1) track how long it takes, on average, for commutation of sentence petitions to clear each step in the review process under DOJ's control, and (2) identify and address, to the extent possible, any processes that may contribute to unnecessary delays.

Agency: Department of Justice
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: In August 2015, DOJ reported that tracking the steps of its review would not provide meaningful data because the Department prioritizes those cases for review that appear likely to meet the Clemency Initiative factors announced in April 2014. Nevertheless, DOJ stated that it agreed that identifying and addressing unnecessary delays in the review process is important, and that it has been regularly working to identify and address such delays. When we checked with DOJ in October 2016, DOJ did not have any further updates. In March 2017, when we requested another status update, DOJ noted that due to the accelerated clemency review process implemented in 2015, it currently has no standard process to evaluate, and did not provide any further updates on its progress in addressing our recommendation. As of June 19, 2018, we are still awaiting a response for a more recent update. Until DOJ provides this information, the recommendation will remain open.