Oct 01, 2018

DoJ IG Report Highlights Urgent Need for Prison Reform

Post by Geoff Holtzman

Arlington, VA – In a report released Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) “has not managed female inmates strategically” and “needs to take additional steps … to ensure that female inmates needs are met at the institutional level.”

The report noted that BOP, which currently incarcerates nearly 13,000 female inmates, “did not fully consider the needs of female inmates” when it came to “trauma treatment programming, pregnancy programming, and feminine hygiene.”

The bipartisan FIRST STEP Act, which the U.S. House of Representatives passed earlier this year by a vote of 360-59, would ban the shackling of women during childbirth. The bill currently awaits a vote in the Senate. Meanwhile, the bipartisan Pregnant Women in Custody Act would also prohibit the shackling of federal prisoners who are pregnant or who have given birth within the last eight weeks and establish minimum standards for healthcare for pregnant women, fetuses, and newborns in federal custody.

Freedom Partners Chairman Mark Holden issued the following statement:

“This extremely disturbing report shows that our government is failing when it comes to the basic task of keeping female inmates and their babies safe and healthy. In a free society, all people, including those who make mistakes, are entitled to a fundamental level of human dignity and respect. We need prison reforms like the FIRST STEP Act that will treat incarcerated women as people and help them successfully return to their communities.”

BACKGROUND

ABC News: Female inmates failed by federal prisons: Report

Freedom Partners Launches Six-Figure Campaign Urging Senators to Support the FIRST STEP Act

FIRST STEP Act Backed By 70% of Likely Voters

Pregnant Women in Custody Act Will Restore a Measure of Human Dignity to our Prisons