Reducing Use of Private Prisons
On August 18, 2016, Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates directed the Bureau of Prisons to reduce and ultimately eliminate the use of privately operated prisons. In a memorandum to Acting Director Thomas Kane, Deputy Attorney General Yates indicated that as each contract with private prison companies reaches the end of its term, “the Bureau should either decline to renew that contract or substantially reduce its scope in a manner consistent with law and the overall decline of the Bureau’s inmate population.” The Bureau's population has declined by nearly 12,500 inmates in FY 2016, and we expect an additional decrease of 1,975 in FY 2017.
The President's FY 2017 Budget request reduces contract confinement by $211 million. As a result, the Bureau is amending an existing contract solicitation to reduce an upcoming contract award from a maximum of 10,800 beds to a maximum of 3,600. Additionally, the Bureau recently decided not to exercise an option on a contract for approximately 1,200 beds in Cibola, NM. As
a result, by May 1, 2017, the Bureau will have reduced the number of inmates in private prisons to 14,200 inmates; this represents more than a 50 percent decrease as compared to 2013.
Yates said, “(reducing the use of privately operated prisons) would be neither possible nor desirable without the Bureau’s superb and consistent work at our own facilities. I am grateful for the tremendous and often unheralded work done by Bureau staff. When a higher proportion of America’s prison population benefits from those efforts, we will improve outcomes for them, for law enforcement, and for the wider community we serve.”
The memorandum is accessible on the Department of Justice website here. The "Phasing Out Our Use of Private Prisons" Justice Blog can be found here.
Message from the Acting Director and CPL-33 President Eric Young
Topic: Cut/Puncture Resistant Gloves
July 22, 2016
[Director and Union President]
Over the past few months, agency leaders from both management and labor worked closely to further enhance the safety and security of staff, inmates and the public. We are proud of all the accomplishments we have achieved through our partnership relationship over the past several years including deploying OC spray, issuing the stab proof vests, and substantially enhancing the technology available to detect contraband in our prisons. In a few months we will be adding another significant accomplishment to this list: all staff will be provided cut/puncture resistant gloves.
These new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items will be used in conducting area searches inside our institutions. An operations memorandum will be published soon explaining details about the purchase and use of the gloves. A BOP-Learn training video is being developed to provide staff clear instructions regarding the use of the gloves. A national contract is being awarded for the gloves to ensure we provide staff the best possible protection without interfering with the performance of their duties. We expect the gloves to be available for institutions in the next few months.
The partnership relationship between labor and management in the Federal Bureau of Prisons continues to pay dividends on a regular basis. We work together to continue developing modern and progressive work practices to allow our most valuable resource (staff) to perform the essential functions of their duties in the safest manner possible while carrying out the agency’s mission.
The Bureau of Prisons supports veterans working at our 122 prisons around the country. The Bureau's Battle Buddy (B3) program provides direct support to staff returning home from active duty, and assists newly hired veterans acclimate to their jobs in the Bureau. B3 connects new staff who are veterans with seasoned Bureau staff who also are veterans, and ensures the availability of other resources provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs "Vet Center" Program. For more information, see the recently issued Battle Buddies policy, Program Statement 3792.09.
FCC Allenwood began conducting Veteran Retreats in May 2015. Veteran Retreats focus on coordinating resources for veterans from the local community, including supporting their reintegration back into the workforce. Representatives from the local area come to the facility and explain the services they have available for veterans and their families. Veteran Retreats are now being conducted at several other institutions to help support our veterans; at least 40 Bureau staff have received assistance from these local resources.The Bureau conducted national training, and showcased the program originated at FCC Allenwood, to provide guidance on the implementation of this program at every facility
Protective Vest Carriers
In furtherance of the Bureau's efforts to encourage the use of stab resistant vests, a decision was made to allow staff to wear the vest on the outside of their uniform (through the use of external "vest carriers"). This opportunity, intended to respond to concerns regarding comfort and expense (associated with adjusting wardrobes to fit the vests under clothing) was made possible through the partnership between Labor and Management in the Bureau of Prisons.
A Change Notice to the National Protective Vest Procedures Program Statement will be published soon explaining the purchase and use of the vest carriers. A national contract will be solicited for the vest carriers to ensure we provide staff the best protection without interfering with the performance of their duties. The vest carriers will be available for institutions to purchase for staff in the next few months.
By working together, Labor and Management in the Bureau of Prisons continues to develop, improve, and maintain the practices and procedures that allow staff to perform their duties safely and the agency to achieve its mission.
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