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Sens. Ossoff, Durbin Press Bureau of Prisons Director for Answers on Staffing Shortages in Federal Prisons

Last week, AG Garland signaled his support for Sen. Ossoff’s work to reduce violence in American prisons

Washington, D.C. –– Georgia U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff is continuing his push to reform Federal prisons and protect the safety of prison staff and incarcerated people.

Today Sen. Ossoff and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) urged Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Director Michael Carvajal to address severe staffing shortages affecting prisons nationwide and work to ensure Congress has the information needed to conduct Federal oversight of the BOP.

Sens. Ossoff and Durbin asked Carvajal to provide data about the scope and nature of the problem and requested answers by November 12.

“We have been troubled by reports that employees who are critical to the success of FSA reforms — including psychologists, teachers, unit managers, and medical staff — are regularly reassigned from their traditional assignments to perform correctional duties, such as monitoring showers or escorting inmates during recreational time,” Sens. Ossoff & Durbin wrote. “We look forward to working with you to better address staffing shortages at Federal prisons nationwide and for your immediate attention to this request.”

Sen. Ossoff continues to champion prison reform efforts in the U.S. Senate.

Last month, the Senate passed Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan Prison Camera Reform Act of 2021, which would require the Federal Bureau of Prisons to ensure all correctional facilities have the security camera coverage necessary to protect the civil rights and safety of incarcerated people and staff.

Last week in a Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, Attorney General Merrick Garland signaled his support for Sen. Ossoff’s efforts to reduce violence in American prisons and committed that the Justice Department would work with Sen. Ossoff to address his concerns regarding staffing shortages.

Click here to read a copy of Sens. Ossoff and Durbin’s letter.

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