A recent expose by the Associated Press reported that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) “is a hotbed of abuse, graft and corruption, and has turned a blind eye to employees accused of misconduct.” According to the report, over 100 federal prison workers have been arrested, convicted or sentenced for crimes since the start of 2019. The list includes a warden indicted for sexual abuse, an associate warden charged with murder, guards taking cash to smuggle drugs and weapons, and supervisors stealing property such as tires and tractors.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL), called for the Attorney General to remove BOP Director Michael Carvajal, stating “It is past time for Attorney General Garland to replace Director Carvajal with a reform-minded Director who is not a product of the BOP bureaucracy.”
Two-thirds of the criminal cases against Justice Department personnel in recent years have involved federal prison workers, who account for less than one-third of the DOJ’s workforce. Of the 41 arrests this year, 28 were of BOP employees or contractors.
The AP report was preceded by the release of a DOJ Office Of Inspector General report critical of the BOP’s implementation of First Step Act (FSA). A Forbes article on the report noted that the BOP had failed to implement much of the FSA’s central purpose which is to further reduce institutional prison populations by offering incentives to inmates to earn credits toward more halfway house through certain educational programs.