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November 15, 2021: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG


Quick Facts (Full BOP Stats can be found here) Currently positive-testing inmates: 134 (down from 145) Currently positive-testing staff: 255 (up from 253) Recovered inmates: 42,428 (down from 42,459) Recovered staff: 8,384 (up from 8,372)


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

Terre Haute FCI: 30 (unchanged)

Canaan USP: 22 (down from 28)

Forrest City Medium FCI: 10 (down from 15)

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

Central Office HQ: 15 (unchanged)

Florence ADMAX USP: 15 (up from 13)

Carswell FMC: 13 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 133,635 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 14,733 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 125,151 (down from 125,162) Positive tests: 42,144 (down from 42,186)


Total vaccine doses administered: 248,907 (up from 248,467)

News Note: We've been discussing the dismal vaccination rates for BOP employees. As an article in U.S. News and World Report observes,


The Bureau of Prisons, which houses more than 150,000 federal inmates and employs about 37,500 people, has lurched from crisis to crisis in the past few years, from the rampant spread of coronavirus inside prisons and a failed response to the pandemic to dozens of escapes, deaths and critically low staffing levels that have hampered responses to emergencies. [Ed. note: Today's stats (above) reflect 134 presently positive-testing inmates and 255 positively-testing staff, notwithstanding there are some four times as many inmates as staff]


The article cites an AP investigation highlighting the rampant misconduct among BOP prison workers:


More than 100 federal prison workers have been arrested, convicted or sentenced for crimes since the start of 2019, including a warden indicted for sexual abuse, an associate warden charged with murder, guards taking cash to smuggle drugs and weapons, and supervisors stealing property such as tires and tractors.


An Associated Press investigation has found that the federal Bureau of Prisons, with an annual budget of nearly $8 billion, is a hotbed of abuse, graft and corruption, and has turned a blind eye to employees accused of misconduct. In some cases, the agency has failed to suspend officers who themselves had been arrested for crimes.


Two-thirds of the criminal cases against Justice Department personnel in recent years have involved federal prison workers, who account for less than one-third of the department’s workforce. Of the 41 arrests this year, 28 were of BOP employees or contractors. The FBI had just five. The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives each had two.


x x x


Federal prison workers in nearly every job function have been charged with crimes. Those employees include a teacher who pleaded guilty in January to fudging an inmate's high school equivalency and a chaplain who admitted taking at least $12,000 in bribes to smuggle Suboxone, which is used to treat opioid addiction, as well as marijuana, tobacco and cellphones, and leaving the items in a prison chapel cabinet for inmates to retrieve.


At the highest ranks, the warden of a federal women's prison in Dublin, California, was arrested in September and indicted this month on charges he molested an inmate multiple times, scheduled times where he demanded she undress in front of him and amassed a slew of nude photos of her on his government-issued phone.


Warden Ray Garcia, who was placed on administrative leave after the FBI raided his office in July, allegedly told the woman there was no point in reporting the sexual assault because he was “close friends” with the person who would investigate the allegation and that the inmate wouldn't be able to “ruin him.” Garcia has pleaded not guilty.


Of course, it's the inmates who ultimately pay the highest price for employee misconduct and neglect, whether it's the increase dangers resulting from low employee vaccination rates, general abuse, withholding of programming, lack of adequate medical care, limitations on visitation, etc. We have all encountered BOP employees who take their jobs seriously, treat inmates and their families with decency, and do a difficult and dangerous job with due respect for the humanity of the inmate population. But it's the time-worn "one rotten apple" story, and the failure to remove those apples from the BOP barrel lies with the BOP leadership.


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) The BOP has identified no new COVID-19 fatalities. Total inmate COVID-related deaths remain at 266. Ten of the inmate fatalities died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7.

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