A federal audit of a Newton company that manages two halfway houses in Wichita found problems in “several areas,” according to a Department of Justice report released Wednesday.
Mirror Inc. has a five-year, $10.4 million contract with the Bureau of Prisons to operate two residential re-entry centers in Wichita, at 236 S. Pattie and at 3820 Toben.
The audit found that Mirror “did not consistently comply with its contract requirements in several areas,” according to a statement released by the Department of Justice. Those included requirements related to inmate progress reviews, release plans and terminal reports, employment verifications and record keeping.
The most significant issues revolved around Mirror not always collecting required inmate subsistence payments or reporting collected subsistence on invoices submitted to the Bureau of Prisons or administering inmate discipline for nonpayment. Those lapses resulted in the questioning of costs totaling $9,636.
Barth Hague, president and chief executive officer of Mirror, called the problems “a paperwork issue.”
“Often, there are things flagged in the work that we do where we need to make some corrections,” Hague said. “Clearly, there were some things that were cited in their audit of us, which was very thorough.”
Mirror operates a 53-bed facility on Toben for male inmates nearing release from prison and a seven-bed center for female inmates on South Pattie.
There were 60 incidents of inmate subsistence payments that were not made, were underpaid or were collected and unreported, according to a copy of the audit provided by the Department of Justice. Those incidents amounted to $8,180.
Though he’s not involved in the day-to-day operation of the two halfway houses, Hague said he’s had conversations with staff members about the compliance issues.
“I don’t think the issues that led to those findings will happen again,” he said. “We’re pretty quick to respond whenever there’s an audit.”
His staff has “taken the steps necessary” to address the issues raised in the audit, Hague said.
“If the auditors were to return tomorrow, they would find all of those things have been corrected,” he said.