U.S. Rep. Randy Weber – Tuesday, February 1, 2022. U.S. Rep. Randy Weber (TX-14) released a statement on the deadly incident that occurred yesterday at Beaumont Federal Prison:
I am deeply troubled by the loss of life that occurred yesterday, January 31, 2022, at the United States Penitentiary, Beaumont. While we await more information from officials at the facility and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), our office has also offered assistance. I am thankful that no Correctional Officers were harmed during yesterday’s incident. I am also thankful that these officers put their lives on the line, every day, for work that must be done.
While instances of prison violence are not always avoidable, staffing shortages across the federal system—and especially at the Federal Correctional Center (FCC) in Beaumont—contribute to dangerous working conditions that endanger the lives of guards and inmates alike. As a member of the BOP Reform Caucus, I have worked to address staffing shortages by introducing H.R. 5761, the Pay Our Correctional Officers Fairly Act. When this bill is signed into law, it will make wages more competitive for BOP employees at FCC Beaumont and throughout the nation.
Additionally, I was joined by Reps. Clay Higgins (R-LA) and Brian Babin (R-TX) in sending a letter to BOP Director Michael Carvajal on September 29, 2021, addressing the staffing issues at FCC Beaumont. To date, I have not received a response from Director Carvajal.
If the underlying issues that plague the BOP are not addressed, I am afraid that we will continue to see instances of violence throughout the federal prison system. I will continue to work with my colleagues on the BOP Reform Caucus to address these concerns, and I call on Director Carvajal to fulfill his duty as Director of the BOP to take immediate action to secure our prisons and to work with Congress to solve the staffing problems.
While it’s great that we actually have someone taking an interest at this point in prison violence when it occurs, the downfall is that the solution they offer is misguided.
As politicians do not actually “create” anything, but rather move money and pay lip service at self-serving times, it should not come as a shock to most people who have been in the federal system, that throwing more money at the already inflated BOP is not a solution to anything.
Biden released a detailed budget proposal of $7.8 billion for the BOP in 2022 and included $300 million in one-time supplemental appropriations related to pandemic response.
Do you know what the BOP will do with that money? Probably the same thing they did in 2019, and buy some cloth, and made inmates wear cloth masks that Unicor (other inmates in the feds) manufactured. They have them go to the laundry with people’s underwear and sweat-covered clothing. But, it will cost them next to nothing. Those will be some great bonus they will be able to get here in 2022!
Considering the fact that the prison population in 2012 was 218,687 in federal prisons:
and there budget was about 6.1 billion:
How is it that now they need 7.8 billion, plus another $300 million when they have 134,604 inmates in custody, which by the way is
84,083 fewer inmates than they have now, according to their own statistics:
1.7 billion (excluding the 300 million, and rounding down) more in U.S. taxpayer’s money?
It’s pure insanity. You want to reduce the violence in federal prison stop locking guys down for a year at a time, stop letting the BOP throw people in SHU under the guise of “covid quarantine”, start making video visits possible, if you cannot make real visits a thing. There are people that are locked up that are constantly losing familial ties because they are not allowed to see their family because institutions have no visits and have had no visits for a year in some cases. Many places strip inmates of phones, email even when someone tests positive. What did you think was going to happen?
You’re stripping these men and women of their families, putting them in punitive environments for no reason aside from the fact that it makes you look proactive in “combating covid”.
Enact some oversight. Instead of giving the BOP billions more set up a civilian oversight committee that has power, and can institute real reform. Talk to someone besides the people who work there and profit off of the incarceration of individuals.
You have facilities like FMC Devens who takes all the minimum-security inmates when someone tests positive for covid there and puts them all in SHU, where they have a shared ventilation system, and no access to anything in the way of familial contact (letters included) on a 24 (not 23) hour lockdown, for weeks or months. They have no oversight and have consistently ranked as the top 5 or 10 for deaths. Do something about that.
How would you react if you knew that you would be grouped together with sick people at a moment’s notice and lose everything?
But, hey, it’s good you are “deeply troubled and glad no correctional staff got injured”. They didn’t get injured because when someone is getting stabbed, they stand by and watch until the person is done, and they have enough backup to do something about it. You have heard of inmates attacking guards but I have never heard of a guard who gave his life to protect an inmate. It just doesn’t happen. BOP employees sit on their asses all day, the ONLY thing they have to do is a count, every couple of hours. Acting like they are self-less and are on some front line, is absurd because if you had ever been there you would know they are not. Even during an inspection they kick out senators and don’t let them see things. Do some research before trying to throw them more billions.
Try doing something for the people that are there, suffering from the loss of family, and even more restrictive conditions than what any judge could have ever imagined (given the fact no federal judge has ever been there either).
Go become an inmate, or better yet convict, see how the system runs and I promise you, you will not be talking this nonsense about how they need more funding. They need more oversight.
Even the head of the BOP is running away, and some of his lackeys are with him. Or what about the rapist correctional staff and wardens that support and attempt to cover it up? We have covered that here too. Much of the BOP staff are more criminal and cold-hearted than the people they have in there “care and custody”. We have covered this in-depth here.
Before you go trying to give away the taxpayers money in the billions, why don’t you give away some of that million + you have in assets to those poor BOP staff that are not earning enough bring in cellphones and drugs, and stealing OT?
If you make a living at talking (being a politician) you should try learning a bit about what you’re talking about.