IG Review Finds Fault With BOP Handling of Female Inmates

IG Review Finds Fault With BOP Handling of Female Inmates

The Office of the Inspector general has published a report entitled “Review of the Federal Bureau of Prison’s Management of Its Female Inmate Population” that is critical of the BOP’s performance. Following is the Executive Summary of the report, followed by a link to the full report. 

We concluded that BOP has not been strategic in its management of female inmates. We determined that BOP needs to take additional steps at the Central Office level to ensure that female inmate needs are met at the institution level. Our review identified instances in which BOP’s programming and policy has not fully considered the needs of female inmates, which has made it difficult for inmates to access certain key programs and supplies. Further, while BOP is adhering to federal regulations and BOP policies requiring that only female Correctional Officers conduct strip searches of female inmates, BOP’s method for ensuring compliance with these requirements assigns staff inefficiently. Finally, we found that BOP’s conversion of Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Danbury to house male inmates negatively affected certain female inmates who had been housed there.

BOP’s Approach to Managing Female Inmates Has Not Been Strategic, Resulting in Weaknesses in Its Ability to Meet Their Specific Needs

We found that during the period of our review BOP could not ensure that its institutions adhered to policies pertaining to female inmates because BOP had only recently taken steps to formalize a process for verifying compliance. As of April 2018, BOP was drafting planning documents that it believes will enhance its ability to perform internal oversight of these policies and better ensure compliance with female inmatefocused policies and protocols. Further, while BOP established a Central Office branch that serves as BOP’s source of expertise on the management of female inmates in BOP custody, this branch may not have adequate staffing to fully fulfill its mission. Female inmates are just one of six special populations about which the Women and Special Populations Branch is responsible for providing national direction and subject matter expertise and for ensuring that the needs of each of these populations are met at BOP institutions. For example, this branch designs and delivers training to institution staff and ensures that programming run by other BOP divisions is responsive to the needs of each subpopulation. Given the branch’s wide range of responsibilities, its four staff members may not be sufficient to accomplish its mission and to ensure that BOP adequately addresses the distinctive needs of women in its custody.

Link to the full Office of the Inspector General Report

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