Beginning in early-March 2020, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) promptly shifted a significant portion of its oversight efforts toward assessing the DOJ’s readiness to respond to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. Through this assessment, and the subsequent passage of the CARES Act on March 27, 2020, the OIG determined that the most immediate challenges to DOJ operations involved preventing the spread of the virus among federal inmates and detainees; safely operating immigration courts; and ensuring robust oversight of $850 million in pandemic-related grant funding being disbursed to state, local, and tribal organizations. Since that time, these efforts have been expanded to include areas such as the impact of COVID-19 on DOJ law enforcement and other day to day operations.
Our completed pandemic related work is linked below, along with a description of our ongoing work. Any reports of pandemic-related fraud may be submitted using the button below.
Remote Inspections of Facilities Housing Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmates during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The OIG is conducting a series of remote inspections of facilities housing BOP inmates during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic. These inspections will assess whether BOP-managed institutions, contract institutions, and contract Residential Reentry Centers are complying with available guidance and best practices regarding preventing, managing, and containing potential COVID-19 outbreaks in correctional and residential reentry settings. The OIG’s objectives include providing information gathered during these inspections to assist BOP in mitigating the health risks arising from the pandemic. As part of this work, the OIG is examining the Department’s and the BOP’s use of home confinement and other early release authorities provided under the CARES Act to manage the spread of COVID-19 within BOP facilities.
Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)
Review Examining BOP’s Use of Home Confinement as a Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has initiated a review of the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) use of home confinement as a tool to mitigate the effect of the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic on the federal prison population. The review will assess the BOP’s process for implementing the use of home confinement as authorized under the CARES Act, the process for its consideration of the eligibility criteria outlined in the Attorney General’s March 26 and April 3, 2020 memoranda, and the process by which BOP headquarters evaluated wardens’ recommendations that inmates who did not meet the Attorney General’s criteria be placed in home confinement. The review will also select particular cases for examination to determine whether there were irregularities in the BOP’s processes. If circumstances warrant, the OIG will consider including other issues that may arise during the course of the review. The OIG is undertaking this review in response to requests from Members of Congress, and issues the OIG identified during the series of remote inspections it has conducted regarding the BOP’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)
Review of EOIR's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The OIG is conducting a limited scope review of the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s handling of certain challenges presented in conducting operations during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID 19) pandemic. The OIG will assess EOIR’s communication to staff, parties to proceedings, and the public about immigration court operations; its use of personal protective equipment; its use of worksite flexibilities; and its ability to mitigate health risks while maintaining operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.