Prison Reform and Redemption Act: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

An overhead view of the U.S. House of Commons, with the American flag in the centre

By Christopher Zoukis Introduction On July 24, 2017, Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) introduced a bill in the House of Representatives titled the “Prison Reform and Redemption Act” (PRRA).1 The bill is co-sponsored by nine members of the 115th Congress, four of whom are fellow Republicans. According to the text of the…

Continue reading

As BOP Plans Staff Reductions, Does “Augmentation” Show Efficiency or Understaffing?

us-prison-guards-greeting

By Christopher Zoukis In February 2018, federal union officials from across the nation met with legislators in Washington to lobby against proposed cuts in the fiscal year 2019 federal budget that would prevent the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) from filling an estimated 7,100 currently vacant staff positions in federal…

Continue reading

BOP Orders Staff Cuts of Nearly 14 Percent

By Christopher Zoukis In twin developments as the Trump administration developed its new budget proposal, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) told federal prison officials to prepare for across-the-board reductions in authorized staffing levels of nearly 12 percent, and ordered them to identify inmates now in federally-run facilities who could…

Continue reading

Absurd, Abusive, and Outrageous: The Creation of Crime and Criminals in America

By Christopher Zoukis The U.S. is a world leader in the jailing and imprisoning of its own citizens. The FBI estimates that local, state, and federal authorities have carried out more than a quarter-billion arrests in the past 20 years. As a result, the American criminal justice system is a…

Continue reading

Bureau of Prisons Selects New Health Care Accrediting Body

By Christopher Zoukis The Federal Bureau of Prisons has contracted with the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) to provide accreditation services at the 122 BOP institutions that provide medical, dental and mental health services to prisoners. The AAAHC was founded in 1979 and according to its website is…

Continue reading

BOP Fails and Prevails in Prison Guard Discrimination Complaint

By Christopher Zoukis Robert T. Aranda, an “inmate systems officer” (prison guard), was a very litigious Bureau of Prisons employee. Between 1996 and 1998, while working at multiple BOP facilities in several capacities, Aranda filed at least six complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). He alleged variations of…

Continue reading

Eighth Circuit: Prior Convictions Not Relevant to Escape

By Christopher Zoukis Leonard Lester Slaughter III was serving a 115-month sentence at a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility when he escaped. After pleading guilty to the escape, the District Court concluded that two prior convictions were not “relevant conduct” and thus counted them as felony convictions when calculating Slaughter’s…

Continue reading

Former Ohio Politician’s Negligence Case Against CCA Goes Forward

By Christopher Zoukis James Dimora, 61, was a Cuyahoga County, Ohio commissioner when he was indicted on federal racketeering and corruption charges in April 2012. While awaiting trial at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center, operated by Corrections Corporation of America (now known as CoreCivic), Dimora was involved in a slip…

Continue reading

DOJ Inspector General Outlines Challenges for Federal Prisons

By Christopher Zoukis As has been done annually since 1998, in October, the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general released a list of what he sees as the leading management and performance challenges confronting the agency in the year ahead. One of the eight areas identified by Inspector General Michael…

Continue reading