WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today spoke on the Senate floor about the unacceptable dysfunction within the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and the urgent need for new leadership. Durbin pointed to egregious examples of misconduct by BOP staff highlighted in a recent Associated Press report, such as prison workers convicted of crimes including sexual abuse, murder, and introducing contraband into prisons.
“It’s a recurring pattern of misconduct by officials within the Bureau of Prisons who believe they can abuse inmates and break the laws with impunity,” Durbin said.
In addition to highlighting crimes committed by employees, Durbin detailed years of failings by top Bureau leadership, including failing to implement many of the reforms enacted by the landmark First Step Act nearly three years after its passage. Durbin finished by reiterating his call for Attorney General Merrick Garland to dismiss BOP Director Michael Carvajal, who was appointed during the Trump Administration.
“Since day one, Director Carvajal has shown no intention of reforming the institution… For years, the Bureau of Prisons has been plagued by corruption, chronic understaffing, and misconduct by high-ranking officials. In the nearly two years since Director Carvajal took control of the Bureau, he has failed to address the mounting crises in our nation’s federal prison system. It is far past time for new, reform-minded leadership in the Bureau of Prisons,” said Durbin.
Video of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.
Audio of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.
Footage of Durbin’s floor speech is available here for TV Stations.