Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway has completed a follow-up review of the Joplin municipal court, which found significant improvement in a number of areas since the initial court audit was released in December 2015.
"This report shows city and court officials have taken audit recommendations seriously and have made real efforts over the past nine months to improve court practices and operations," Auditor Galloway said. "Some of our recommendations were not quick fixes, and addressing these issues has taken the city and the court working together. In cases where we found the recommendations have not yet been fully implemented, we found work was well underway to address the issues."
As part of the follow-up review, auditors evaluated progress for 11 findings from the original report, and found the court had made necessary adjustments to accounting procedures, bond review processes, and concerns related to security of the court's electronic data.
The court also corrected issues related to fees that were identified as concerning or inappropriate. In many instances, this required the city council to pass ordinances to correct the issues. The city council repealed problematic arrest fees, and properly authorized the probation, electronic monitoring and work release program fees.
Of the 11 items reviewed, eight had been fully addressed, and three were in progress. The complete follow-up report is available online here.