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October 24, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE, COVID-19, and BOP BLOG



Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here)


Confirmed active cases at 89 BOP facilities and 10 RRCs

Currently positive-testing inmates: 170 (up from 168) Currently positive-testing staff: 365 (up from 363) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 48,478 (down from 48,501) Recovered staff: 14,272 (up from 14,267)


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

Houston FCI: 18 (up from 19)

McKean FCI: 17 (unchanged)

Phoenix FCI: 16 (unchanged)


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

Central Office HQ: 58 (unchanged)

Rochester FMC: 27 (unchanged)

Fairton FCI: 27 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 143,477 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 14,005 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,677 (down from 128,688) Positive tests: 55,325 (down from 55,336)


Total vaccine doses administered: 332,643 (up from 332,363)


Prison Policy Notes: Last May 25, President Biden issued Executive Order 14074 on Advancing Effective, Accountable Policing and Criminal Justice Practices to Enhance Public Trust and Public Safety. The Executive Order includes numerous goals in the criminal justice arena including many regarding prisons and conditions of confinement, and sets deadlines for the completion of related studies. Anyone with clients in the BOP should be aware of them. Highlights include:


From Section 1:

It is also the policy of my Administration to ensure that conditions of confinement are safe and humane, and that those who are incarcerated are not subjected to unnecessary or excessive uses of force, are free from prolonged segregation, and have access to quality health care, including substance use disorder care and mental health care. We must provide people who are incarcerated with meaningful opportunities for rehabilitation and the tools and support they need to transition successfully back to society. Individuals who have been involved in the criminal justice system face many barriers in transitioning back into society, including limited access to housing, public benefits, health care, trauma-informed services and support, education, nutrition, employment and occupational licensing, credit, the ballot, and other critical opportunities. Lowering barriers to reentry is essential to reducing recidivism and reducing crime.

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Finally, no one should be required to serve an excessive prison sentence. When the Congress passed the First Step Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-391), it sought to relieve people from unfair and unduly harsh sentences, including those driven by harsh mandatory minimums and the unjust sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses. My Administration will fully implement the First Step Act, including by supporting sentencing reductions in appropriate cases and by allowing eligible incarcerated people to participate in recidivism reduction programming and earn time credits.


Section 16:

kj Supporting Safe Conditions in Prisons and Jails. (a) For the duration of the HHS public health emergency declared with respect to COVID-19, the Attorney General shall continue to implement the core public health measures, as appropriate, of masking, distancing, testing, and vaccination in Federal prisons. In addition, the Attorney General shall undertake, as appropriate, the following actions within 120 days of the date of this order:

(i) updating Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and United States Marshals Service (USMS) procedures and protocols, in consultation with the Secretary of HHS, as appropriate, to facilitate COVID-19 testing of BOP staff and individuals in BOP custody who are asymptomatic or symptomatic and do not have known, suspected, or reported exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19;

(ii) updating BOP and USMS procedures and protocols, in consultation with the Secretary of HHS, to identify alternatives consistent with public health recommendations to the use of facility-wide lockdowns to prevent the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, or to the use of restrictive housing for detainees and prisoners who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 or have known, suspected, or reported exposure;

(iii) identifying the number of individuals who meet the eligibility requirements under the CARES Act (Public Law 116-136), the First Step Act, 18 U.S.C. 3582(c), 18 U.S.C. 3622, and 18 U.S.C. 3624, for release as part of the DOJ’s efforts to mitigate the impact and spread of COVID-19; and

(iv) expanding the sharing and publication of BOP and USMS data, in consultation with the Secretary of HHS, regarding vaccination, testing, infections, and fatalities due to COVID-19 among staff, prisoners, and detainees, in a manner that ensures the thoroughness and accuracy of the data; protects privacy; and disaggregates the data by race, ethnicity, age, sex, disability, and facility, after consulting with the White House COVID-19 Response Team, HHS, and the Equitable Data Working Group established in Executive Order 13985 of January 20, 2021 (Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government), as appropriate.

(b) The Attorney General shall take the following actions relating to other conditions of confinement in Federal detention facilities:

(i) within 180 days of the date of this order, submit a report to the President detailing steps the DOJ has taken, consistent with applicable law, to ensure that restrictive housing in Federal detention facilities is used rarely, applied fairly, and subject to reasonable constraints; to ensure that individuals in DOJ custody are housed in the least restrictive setting necessary for their safety and the safety of staff, other prisoners and detainees, and the public; to house prisoners as close to their families as practicable; and to ensure the DOJ’s full implementation, at a minimum, of the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (Public Law 108-79) and the recommendations of the DOJ’s January 2016 Report and Recommendations Concerning the Use of Restrictive Housing; and

(ii) within 240 days of the date of this order, complete a comprehensive review and transmit a report to the President identifying any planned steps to address conditions of confinement, including steps designed to improve the accessibility and quality of medical care (including behavioral and mental health care), the specific needs of women (including breast and cervical cancer screening, gynecological and reproductive health care, and prenatal and postpartum care), the specific needs of juveniles (including age-appropriate programming), recovery support services (including substance use disorder treatment and trauma-informed care), and the environmental conditions for all individuals in BOP and USMS custody.


Section 17:

Advancing First Step Act Implementation. (a) The Attorney General is reviewing and updating as appropriate DOJ regulations, policies, and guidance in order to fully implement the provisions and intent of the First Step Act, and shall continue to do so consistent with the policy announced in section 1 of this order. Within 180 days of the date of this order and annually thereafter, the Attorney General shall, in consultation with the Director of OMB, submit a report to the President summarizing:

(i) the rehabilitative purpose for each First Step Act expenditure and proposal for the prior and current fiscal years, detailing the number of available and proposed dedicated programming staff and resources, the use of augmentation among BOP staff, and BOP staffing levels at each facility;

(ii) any additional funding necessary to fully implement the rehabilitative purpose of the First Step Act, ensure dedicated programming staff for all prisoners, and address staffing shortages in all BOP facilities; and

(iii) the following information on the BOP’s risk assessment tool, Prisoner Assessment Tool Targeting Estimated Risk and Needs (PATTERN):

(A) the number of individuals released early due to Earned Time Credits who were subsequently convicted and sentenced, as defined by United States Sentencing Guideline sec. 4A1.1(a), in the year following their release, disaggregated by their PATTERN risk level category of “Minimum,” “Low,” “Medium,” or “High” at time of release;

(B) an assessment of any disparate impact of PATTERN, including the weighting of static and dynamic risk factors and of the statutorily enumerated offenses and prior convictions that render individuals ineligible to earn time credits; and

(C) a strategic plan and timeline to improve PATTERN, including by addressing any disparities and developing a needs-based assessment system.


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) No new deaths within the BOP have been announced, leaving the reported inmate death toll at 309. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7.

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