|The BOP operates a nationwide system of prisons and detention facilities to incarcerate individuals imprisoned for federal crimes and detain those awaiting trial or sentencing in federal court. The BOP has approximately 36,000 employees and operates 115 institutions, 6 regional offices, and 2 staff training centers. The BOP is responsible for the custody and care of approximately 209,000 federal offenders, more than 172,000 of whom are confined in BOP-operated correctional institutions and detention centers. The remainder are confined in facilities operated by state or local governments or in privately operated facilities.|
During this reporting period, the OIG received 2,755 complaints involving the BOP. The most common allegations made against BOP employees included job performance failure; force, abuse, and rights violations; and security and custody failure. The vast majority of complaints dealt with non-criminal issues that the OIG referred to the BOP’s Office of Internal Affairs for its review.
At the close of the reporting period, the OIG had 207 open cases of alleged misconduct against BOP employees. The criminal investigations covered a wide range of allegations, including introduction of contraband, bribery, and sexual abuse. The following are examples of cases involving the BOP that the OIG’s Investigations Division handled during this reporting period:
- An investigation by the OIG’s Chicago Field Office resulted in the arrest of a BOP correctional officer at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota, on charges of bribery of a public official. The investigation determined that the correctional officer had provided contraband to inmates in exchange for $3,500 in bribes. During an undercover operation, the correctional officer accepted tobacco, hydroxycut (a muscle building and weight loss supplement), and two cellular telephones from a cooperating witness for introduction into the prison in exchange for $1,500. The correctional officer pled guilty and was sentenced to 12 months’ incarceration and 24 months of supervised release.
- An investigation by the OIG’s Washington Field Office led to the arrest of a BOP correctional counselor on charges of conspiracy, providing contraband in prison, tampering with witnesses, and soliciting to commit a crime of violence. The investigation uncovered evidence that the correctional counselor maintained a cadre of inmate enforcers who assaulted other inmates at his request. The correctional counselor sought to have two of his enforcers maimed or killed because they possessed information about his own misconduct. No inmates were injured as a result of the correctional counselor’s actions. Judicial proceedings continue.
- An investigation by the OIG’s Dallas Field Office resulted in the arrest of a BOP correctional officer on bribery charges. The investigation determined that the correctional officer received approximately $3,000 in cash bribes to smuggle heroin and tobacco into the Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma. Pursuant to his guilty plea, he was sentenced in the Western District of Oklahoma to 14 months’ incarceration followed by 2 years of supervised release.
- An investigation by the OIG’s Denver Field Office led to the arrest of a BOP unit secretary at the United States Penitentiary in Florence, Colorado, on charges of sexual abuse of a ward and abusive sexual contact. OIG investigators determined that the secretary engaged in sexual acts with a federal inmate on five occasions from April 2009 to June 2009. The unit secretary resigned her position with the BOP following her initial OIG interview. Judicial proceedings continue.
Review of the BOP’s Hiring Process
The OIG is reviewing procedures the BOP uses when hiring correctional officers to determine how effectively the process identifies unsuitable applicants for these positions.
The OIG is investigating whether the BOP adequately addressed allegations that workers and inmates at several BOP institutions were exposed to unsafe levels of lead, cadmium, and other hazardous materials in computer recycling plants operated by UNICOR, a government corporation within the BOP that employs staff and inmates at federal prisons throughout the United States.
The OIG is conducting a follow-up audit of the BOP’s efforts to manage inmate health care. We are examining whether the BOP established and updated privileges, practice agreements, or protocols for its health care practitioners.