Joint statement by DHHS and Corrections: The way forward

Our commitment to the incarcerated population and to the findings of “Healthcare in State Prisons,” and in-depth follow-up audit by the Office of the Legislative Auditor General

On Wednesday, May 17, 2023, the Utah Department of Corrections and the Utah Department of Health and Human Services appeared before the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee to respond publicly to a follow-up legislative audit of healthcare in Utah’s prisons. 

You can read the audit here

Utah DHHS and Corrections released the following statement after the hearing:

“These audits are very important,” said Tracy Gruber, executive director of the Utah Department of Health and Human Services. “And although audits like this aren’t comfortable, we’re confident that there is a path forward, not only to comply with the audit’s findings and recommendations, but also to do right by individuals who are incarcerated.”


DHHS is set to take over clinical services in Utah’s state correctional facilities in Salt Lake City and in Gunnison in July 2023. DHHS and Corrections have been supporting the work in both correctional facilities since January and are working on building a system of accountability with staff who will eventually be part of DHHS. 

Our departments are grateful for the Legislature’s support and investments in the Department of Corrections Clinical Services Bureau. The bureau will be renamed as the Division of Correctional Health Services (CHS) when it joins DHHS.

DHHS will implement some changes as early as July 2023, and other implementations for more complex recommendations will be in place by January 2024 and July 2024. DHHS has tasked its own director of Internal Audit to prioritize internal reviews. Both departments are committed to providing regular updates to the Office of the Legislative Auditor General. 

Neither department can do this work alone. We are committed to working together and share accountability on issues of culture and compliance. We’re confident we’re going to be able to get the right structures in place to serve our incarcerated population. And we’re grateful for the caring and committed staff who are serving them.