'Growing Crisis' in Federal Prisons

Andrew Cohen provides an in-depth analysis of the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General annual report that focuses on the DOJ’s top management and performance challenges.

A main focus of the report is on the “growing crisis” in the nation’s federal prisons:

“The first part of the prison crisis is financial: the number of federal inmates has increased dramatically over the past few years while the government funding available to safely house those federal inmates has decreased.”

Second: “the lack of workable ideas offered up so far to ease the crisis by reforming the system.”

Third: “poor management. The Bureau of Prisons, and thus the Justice Department, are not adequately ‘managing and leveraging’ existing programs.”

Finally: “The OIG reveals that the Justice Department has failed or refused for a number of years to adequately implement the [‘compassionate release’] program [(in which inmates who don’t impose a security threat are released)], revising its policies on the same day that the OIG issued a report critical of those very policies.”

Other areas focused on in the report include: national security (v civil rights and liberties), mismanagement at the DOJ, cybersecurity, and effective and efficient law enforcement.

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