Semiannual Report to Congress

October 1, 2006-March 31, 2007
Office of the Inspector General

Federal Bureau of Prisons

BOP logo The BOP operates a nationwide system of prisons and detention facilities to incarcerate those imprisoned for federal crimes and detain those awaiting trial or sentencing in federal court. The BOP has approximately 36,000 employees and operates 114 institutions, 6 regional offices, and 2 staff training centers. The BOP is responsible for the custody and care of approximately 192,000 federal offenders, 162,000 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 2,765 complaints involving the BOP. The most common allegations made against BOP employees included job performance failure and other official misconduct and force, abuse, and rights violations. The vast majority of complaints dealt with non-criminal issues that the OIG referred to the BOP’s Office of Internal Affairs for review.

At the close of the reporting period, the OIG had 254 open cases of alleged misconduct against BOP employees. The criminal investigations cover a wide range of allegations, including introduction of contraband into BOP facilities, bribery, and sexual abuse. The following are examples of cases involving the BOP that the OIG’s Investigations Division handled during this reporting period:

Ongoing Work

The BOP’s Efforts to Manage Inmate Health Care

The BOP is required to provide medical, dental, and mental health care to inmates in its custody. However, escalating health care costs have challenged the BOP’s ability to meet the health care needs of an aging inmate population. The OIG is auditing whether the BOP is providing necessary health care services, effectively administering its medical services contracts, and effectively monitoring its medical services providers.

The BOP’s Administration of the Witness Security Program

The Witness Security Program (WITSEC) provides protection to federal witnesses and their family members. The OIG previously audited the USMS’s and the Criminal Division’s role in the WITSEC program. Our third audit in this series is assessing the BOP’s role in the WITSEC program, including the BOP’s security for WITSEC prisoners in its custody.

Review of Health and Safety Issues at BOP Computer Recycling Facilities

The OIG is investigating allegations that the BOP failed to adequately address 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 Federal Prison Industries, Inc. (UNICOR). The OIG initiated this investigation after the Office of Special Counsel concluded that an earlier investigation by the BOP failed to adequately address allegations by a BOP safety manager that UNICOR’s computer recycling operations were unsafe.

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