FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rabiah Burks
FAMM Statement on FY18 BOP Staff and Programming Cuts
FAMM President Kevin Ring released the following statement after reviewing the FY 2018 budget request for the Federal Bureau of Prisons:
Last week, Attorney General Sessions issued a charging memo that will result in more federal prosecutions, more mandatory minimum sentencing, and, ultimately, more federal prisoners. This week, the attorney general proposed to eliminate nearly 2,000 prison guards (a 9 percent reduction) and more than 6,000 program and administrative staff (a 14 percent reduction).
This is reckless and dangerous. Overcrowded and understaffed prisons jeopardize the physical safety of guards and prisoners. Just last month, BOP warned that despite recent progress in reducing the federal prison population, high- and medium-security prisons remain “very crowded.” High-security prisons today are filled to 125 percent of capacity, and medium-security facilities are at 120 percent of capacity.
Overcrowded prisons are not conducive to successful reentry programming and rehabilitation. Nearly half of all federal prisoners are rearrested within eight years of their release. That number will almost certainly rise if the Sessions budget plan is implemented. Since roughly 96 percent of federal prisoners are expected to return home someday, BOP must be able to provide adequate mental health services, vocational training, educational opportunities, and substance abuse treatment to decrease prisoners’ chances of reoffending. It can’t do this if it doesn’t have enough staff.
The attorney general’s promises to enhance public safety are belied by his budget choices. We call on Congress to reject this dangerous budget proposal and to work with us to reduce crime by reducing recidivism among federal prisoners.
FAMM, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, promotes commonsense sentencing and prison policies that increase public safety.
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