Rep. Norton Asks Bureau of Prisons to Share Information on Residents Leaving Custody and Returning to DC


Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) wrote the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to request that BOP provide information on District of Columbia residents leaving BOP custody so that the District can help with reentry into the community. Alternatively, Norton requested that if BOP continues to take the position that providing this information would violate the Privacy Act, inmates be provided a waiver form to sign before their release.

“D.C. has many programs that can help people coming from BOP custody back into the community, but first we have to know they’re coming and how to contact them,” Norton said.

Norton’s full letter is below.

April 6, 2021

Michael Carvajal
Federal Bureau of Prisons
320 First Street NW
Washington, DC 20534

Dear Director Carvajal:

I understand that the District of Columbia government has requested that the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) provide information on D.C. residents leaving BOP custody so that D.C. can help these returning citizens with their reentry, but has been told that BOP cannot, under federal law, provide this information.  I ask BOP to reconsider this position.

During the previous administration, BOP took the position that providing this information to D.C. would violate the Privacy Act and other federal privacy laws.  I disagree with this position, and, given the change in administration, I ask BOP to reconsider.

Should BOP not change its position, and continue to contend that the Privacy Act and other federal laws prohibit BOP from sharing information with D.C. in the same way that BOP shares information with the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for D.C., I ask that BOP provide each inmate who will soon be released a privacy waiver form so that they can exercise the option to have BOP share their information with D.C.

I ask that you response to this request in writing by April 20, 2021.


Eleanor Holmes Norton