In late September, several U.S. senators from both parties introduced legislation seeking to create more oversight and transparency from the Bureau of Prisons, which has recently made headlines for corruption scandals, staffing crises, and its poor management of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Prison Oversight Act, if passed during the upcoming “lame duck” session, would require the DOJ to appoint an ombudsman to respond to complaints from inmates regarding conditions at BOP facilities and other grievances. It would also require the DOJ’s inspector general to review and evaluate conditions at the BOP’s 122 facilities.
The bill is sponsored by Senators Ossoff, Braun, and Durban, the “three founding members of the Senate Bipartisan Prison Policy Working Group,” which the AP describes as a panel brought together in February 2022 in light of the AP exposing corruption and poor conditions at BOP. There is a bill in the House of Representatives mirroring the federal bill’s requirements.
Click here to read the AP article.