The Office of the Inspector General issued a report this month detailing the consequences of the Bureau of Prisons’ inability to implement key requirements of the First Step Act.
The First Step Act of 2018 aimed to reduce the number of federally incarcerated individuals by expanding programs that allow incarcerated individuals to receive credit for early release and allowing some incarcerated individuals to petition courts or the Bureau of Prisons for early release.
ACCORDING TO WALTER PAVLO, the BOP’s failure to implement some of these policies, a consultant who frequently writes about the BOP, stems from a standoff between BOP management and its union staff.
As a result, no “formal policy negotiations” have taken place in over 20 months, putting over 30 suggested policies in limbo.
Aside from the PATTERN system, which was designed to assign incarcerated individuals risk levels but has been criticized for racial bias, the BOP has failed to assign inmates to “evidence-based recidivism reduction programs” that can give them credit toward an earlier release or “pre-release custody,” such as going to a community center or being held at home.
These programs include educational or therapeutic sessions intended to assist incarcerated individuals in developing skills and addressing the difficulties that led to their incarceration. Of course, the BOP had stated that they only give credit for the programs that you were assigned to by your case manager, whom you may see as many times as 2-4 times a year. Most of the time, they would recommend for me, courses that were not available at the institution.
The BOP has set a deadline of January 15, 2022, to execute these activities.
The delay of the release of these incarcerated individuals allowed the BOP to earn even more money because they report that it takes about 125$ to care for an inmate on a per inmate basis. incarcerated individuals with medical conditions have significantly higher costs than the BOP can bill the federal government.
The OIG heavily criticized the BOP’s failure.
The study was released simultaneously as a bombshell piece by the Associated Press outlining fraud, abuse, and crimes committed by BOP employees since 2019.
Click here to read the OIG report.