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January 10, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG


Quick Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here) Currently positive-testing inmates: 3,761 (up from 3231) Currently positive-testing staff: 922 (up from 881) Recovered inmates: 42,275 (up from 41,981) Recovered staff: 8,902 (up from 8,848)


Institutions with the largest number of currently positive-testing inmates:

Brooklyn MDC: 254 (down from 255)

Yazoo City Medium FCI: 231

Guaynabo MDC: 187

Institutions with the largest number of currently positive-testing staff:

Carswell FMC: 34 (up from 30)

Fairton FCI: 33 (up from 29)

Central Office HQ: 33 (up from 28)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 135,427 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 14,890 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,646 (up from 128,530) Positive tests: 45,356 (up from 44,827)


Total vaccine doses administered: 282,076 (up from 281,393)


Case Note: BOP chief to retire...


Fate did not smile upon Michael Carvajal, who was appointed Director of the BOP in February 2020, a mere month before COVID struck. His management of the pandemic has won him few supporters. During his tenure nearly 42,000 inmates and just under 9,000 staff have recovered from COVID-19 (and many more are presently infected), and 275 federal inmates and seven BOP staff have died with the disease. The present inmate BOP population is around 135,000.


Now, he's retiring, ahead of calls for him to be fired. Reuters reports, "In November Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, called on Carvajal to be dismissed, including for "failing to protect BOP staff and inmates from the COVID-19 pandemic.... His resignation is an opportunity for new, reform-minded leadership at the Bureau of Prisons," Durbin said on Wednesday.


Damning him with faint praise, "Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said in a statement that Carvajal's operational experience and knowledge of the BOP 'helped steer it during critical times, including during this historic pandemic.'"


Of course, the weaknesses in the BOP that helped exacerbate the pandemic behind bars and prisons' inherent susceptibility to spreading disease predate Carvajal's tenure. And the situation has not been helped by the reluctance of many BOP staff to get vaccinated, mandates notwithstanding. Let's hope the next Director not only takes a more aggressive, clever and enlightened approach to protecting inmates and staff but also immediately begins planning for how it will better handle the inevitable next variant -- or an entirely new pandemic.


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) BOP inmate COVID-related fatalities remain at 275. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7.



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