Skip to content

Bureau of Prisons

The Scandal Of US Prisons

Michael Carvajal, director of the Justice Department’s Bureau of Prisons (BOP), resigned in disgrace last week after being overwhelmed by scandals, none of which were necessarily of his doing so much as they were a result of his unwillingness or inability to make changes to the Justice Department’s largest and best-funded bureau. The scandals—and his resignation—reinforce the conventional wisdom that the BOP is broken and must be overhauled dramatically. The Associated Press reported that Carvajal, a Trump appointee, was forced to resign after more than 100 BOP employees had been arrested for or convicted of crimes during his short two-year tenure. The employees were prosecuted for crimes ranging from smuggling drugs and cell phones into prisons to sell to prisoners, to theft, to a warden raping a prisoner.

Prisoners Won The Right To Stimulus Checks

Last week, Thomas Root emailed his weekly legal newsletter from his office in Ohio to nearly 11,000 federal prisoners around the country — just as he’s done every Monday since 2015. That same day, attorney Brandon Sample in Vermont fired off his own weekly legal updates to more than 6,700 federal prisoners — as he’s done for three years. Within days, the men were flooded with rejection emails declaring that the Federal Bureau of Prisons had abruptly banned their newsletters, saying they were “detrimental to the security, good order, or discipline of the facility, or might facilitate criminal activity.”

Federal Prisons Locked Down To Quash Black Lives Matter Protests

On June 2, for the first time in 25 years, the Bureau of Prisons directed all federal jails and prisons to implement a full lockdown, confining nearly 160,000 people to their cells and severely limiting contact with the outside world. The following day, on the orders of Attorney General William Barr, the Bureau pulled some of its most militarized units out of BOP facilities and deployed them to confront protesters on the streets of Washington, D.C.  Typically, a lockdown occurs in a single facility at the discretion of the warden, usually in response to temporary incidents like fights or, more rarely, longer-term issues like inadequate staffing levels. 
Sign Up To Our Daily Digest

Independent media outlets are being suppressed and dropped by corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our daily email digest before it’s too late so you don’t miss the latest movement news.