DCIST.com has reported that the Public Defender Service for D.C. has filed a class action lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Prisons, arguing that people from D.C. are treated unfairly in federal prisons. The lawsuit alleges that the system used to calculate security designations for people charged with crimes in D.C. “systematically” leads to higher criminal history scores. This means they are more likely to serve time in higher-security facilities and less eligible for early release programs than people serving sentences for federal crimes.
Formerly incarcerated D.C. residents have long said that they feel they received unequal treatment in the Bureau of Prisons, because of a combination of racism (D.C. residents sentenced to prison time are nearly exclusively Black people, while a majority of federal prisoners are white) and bias against people from the District. Reports from he D.C. Corrections Information Council ( the D.C. agency that monitors the treatment of D.C. residents in federal prison) often include the accounts of D.C. residents who feel they’re treated unequally in the federal system because of their race and hometown.