The OIG is participating in a cross-agency oversight initiative involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing data from federal programs, including the BOP. The OIG is conducting this effort through its membership in the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) . The PRAC was created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act and aims to promote transparency, support coordinated oversight of the federal government's coronavirus response, and mitigate major risks that cross program and agency boundaries. OIG members of the PRAC with involvement in healthcare programming will be working to produce a data brief describing COVID-19 testing in federal health-related programs. The DOJ OIG portion of this project is focused on testing of federal inmates in the custody of the BOP.
COVID-19 Ongoing Work
Cross-agency Project on COVID-19 Testing across Select Federal Healthcare Programs
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.
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.