Escapes Raise Concern About Security at Federal Prisons, Says DOJ Inspector General

The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General sent a notification to the Federal Bureau of Prisons about safety concerns including inmate escapes.

“The purpose of this memorandum is to advise you of concerns the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has identified in connection with inmate accountability and security at the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Federal Prison Camp (FPC) and Satellite Prison Camp (SPC) locations,” Inspector General Michael Horowitz wrote to Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal. “The OIG identified these concerns in connection with multiple investigations involving prison escapes, including an investigation at the Federal Correctional Complex (FCC), SPC, Beaumont, Texas, where the escape of 4 inmates went undetected for more than 12 hours despite 3 overnight inmate counts during that period of time.”

“The OIG’s investigation at FCC Beaumont did not substantiate allegations that Correctional Officers violated policy, because (1) the evidence showed that the inmates who escaped may have had other inmates pose as them or placed dummies in their beds to deceive Correctional Officers during the nighttime counts; and (2) the evidence showed that the Correctional Officers likely complied with BOP and FCC Beaumont policy when conducting the nighttime counts,” Horowitz continued in the June 4 memo. “However, the OIG identified security concerns that enabled the inmates’ escape, and we are told that FCC Beaumont has already begun taking actions to address these concerns. We believe similar steps should be taken by the BOP at FPCs and SPCs BOP-wide. In this memorandum, the OIG makes three recommendations, which are consistent with actions already initiated at FCC Beaumont, to address the concerns we identified.”

“…The OIG has determined that gaps in security at FPCs and SPCs present risks that inmates will escape and, if they return, smuggle contraband back into facilities undetected, which endangers the community, other BOP inmates, and correctional staff.”

Read the management advisory memorandum

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