Legislation comes after Senate passed Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan bill last year to reduce violence and civil rights abuses in Federal prisons
Washington, D.C. –– U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff is working to increase Federal oversight and accountability of the Federal prison system.
Today he joined with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Mike Braun (R-IN) to introduce the bipartisan Federal Prisons Accountability Act of 2022, which would make the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Director a U.S. Senate-confirmed position.
Currently, the BOP Director is appointed by U.S. Attorney General and not subject to Senate confirmation, despite having significant authority over taxpayer dollars and Federal personnel.
The bipartisan legislation would make the BOP Director a Senate-confirmed position for a single 10-year term, following a nomination from the President of the United States.
“The Bureau of Prisons has been afflicted by deep and persistent mismanagement. Our bipartisan legislation will assert the Senate’s authority to confirm nominees for the Bureau’s leadership and hold them to the highest standards,” said Sen. Ossoff.
This new bipartisan legislation comes after Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan Prison Camera Reform Act to reduce violence and civil rights abuses in America’s prisons passed the U.S. Senate in October.
“The Senate plays a vital role in staffing the federal government, evaluating the qualifications of more than a thousand presidential nominees to ensure transparency and accountability. The Director of the Bureau of Prisons oversees more than 36,000 employees and a multi-billion dollar budget, and should be subject to Senate review and confirmation as well,” said Sen. McConnell. “Our bipartisan bill would extend the Senate’s advice and consent role to the Bureau of Prisons Director and expand supervision over this federal agency. The thousands of Americans – and hundreds of Kentuckians – employed by the Bureau of Prisons deserve Senate oversight and an added layer of protection from harm.”
“No agency as large as the Bureau of Prisons should have so little accountability. Our bill ensures the concerns of those who work in prisons are heard and acted upon, and will provide much needed Senate oversight of a taxpayer funded system,” said Dr. Paul.
“Working across the aisle to strengthen accountability of the federal prison system protects Arizona’s corrections officers and Arizonans’ tax dollars,” said Sen. Sinema.
“Given the size and multi-billion budget of the Bureau of Prisons, it would be consistent and responsible to require the BOP Director to receive Senate confirmation. This legislation would bring greater accountability to the BOP and to federal prisons across the country, including in Indiana,” said Sen. Braun.
Click here to read the Federal Prisons Accountability Act of 2022.
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