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BOP:"Bloat of Prisoners" in the United States.
Taxpayers cost to operate the Bureau of Prisons
Pursuant to Pub. L. No. 71-218, 46 Stat. 325 (1930), the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) was established within the Department of Justice and charged with the "management and regulation of all Federal penal and correctional institutions." They initially operated 11 Federal Prisons. Since their establishment the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 was established, parole was abolished, and several mandatory minimum sentencing provisions were enacted in 1986, 1988, and 1990. Today the BOP has grown to 121 Institutions, 6 regional offices, 2 staff training centers, 26 residential reentry management offices, and 14 contracted correctional institutions. They currently employ 39,500 employees at a cost of $6,589,000,000.00. (*per BOP website 3/25/2015)
BOP: By the (Astonishing) Numbers:
Number of Federal Inmates: FY 1980= 24,600 vs FY 2013= 219,350
This represents an increase of 790% in the number of inmates over this period of time.The average increase from 1980 to 2013 was 5900 inmates per year.
Facilities are 35% over rated capacity. Many facilities living quarters that were designed to house one inmate are now holding two or three. Major overcrowding is taking place at most federal facilities. This means that inmate safety, employee safety, and programming needs are all compromised.
Congressional Appropriation Budgets for the BOP:
FY 1980= $330,000,000.00
FY 2014= $6,859,000,000.00.
Increase of $173,200,000.00 per year between FY 1980 and FY 2014.
BOP Salaries and Expenses:
FY 1980= $323,884,000.00
FY 2014= $6,769,000,000.00
*Congressional Research Services, Nathan James, Analyst in Crime Policy
March 4, 2014
Interesting BOP Statistics of Federal Inmates:
73% of sentences imposed were over 5 years
48.7% of all sentences imposed were Drug Offenses
93.3% of inmates are male
43% of inmates are over the age of 40
37.4% of inmates are Black
16.5% of inmates are of Mexican citizenship
34.4% Hispanic Ethnicity
55.8% of inmates are at Minimum and Low security levels
*As of 2/21/2015 BOP Statistics
45% have a form of mental illness** (not including many unreported cases).
**American Psychological Association, Incarceration nation, Oct 2014, Vol 45, No. 9.
Over 70 % of inmates have used illegal drugs regularly prior to their incarceration.
A Better Way
- Find alternatives to incarceration and warehousing of inmates for first-time, low-level, non-violent offenders.
- Reduce or abolish mandatory minimums for first- time, low-level, non-violent drug offenders. Support FAMM- Families Against Mandatory Minimums.
- Use community supervision by PO's for first-time, low-level, non-violent offenders instead of custodial incarceration,
- Increase good time credits for early releases.
- Restore federal parole.
- Offer drug and mental health rehabilitation instead of incarceration.
- Offer more vocational job training for inmates to reduce recidivism. .
- Support legislation to allow an expungement process for first- time, low-level, non-violent federal offenders.
- Increase community service and fines in lieu of incarceration for first-time, low-level,non-violent offenders.
- Restructure outdated U.S. Sentencing Guidelines to lower incarceration periods for first-time, low-level, non-violent offenders.