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Bureau of Prisons Ranks Last Again

Director Peters Promised Change. Bureau of Prisons Comes In Last Second Year In A Row

It’s May 22, 2024 which means it’s time once again for the annual ranking of the best and worst places to work in the Federal Government. The report, published by the Partnership for Public Service, Ranks every single one of the over 430 federal agencies.

Under the leadership of Michael Carvajal in 2022 the Bureau of Prisons ranked 432nd which was good for the second lowest ranking in the survey only beat out for the bottom by the Department of Homeland Security. However with true team camaraderie under the leadership of a new leader who promised system wide change, 2024 marks the second year in a row that the Federal Bureau of Prisons has ranked dead last.

The report groups all 430+ agencies by size and in categories of large, medium and small. For example the Air Force, Army and Navy are all large agencies with 15,000 or more employees. The GAO and the SEC led the mid-sized agencies, which according to Fedweek.com, have 1,000-15,000 employees. Small agencies of course have less than 1,000 employees.

In the actual mid-sized category it’s important to note that the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, the agency that supervises federal inmates on supervised release among other things, ranked last in the category. The Bureau of Prisons with 30,000 plus employees is in that category but winning the title as the worst in the category hasn’t been good enough for the BOP. The BOP has actually ranked dead last in the report for the second consecutive year under Colette Peters leadership.

Agencies are graded in categories like, effective leadership, teamwork, pay, recognition and performance according to LISA LEGAL.

It’s important to note that the bureau was coming off that 2nd to last ranking, in the summer of 2022 when Colette Peters took over as the agency’s director. Peters promised that they were going to build “better neighbors not better inmates” and that was to start with treating her internal customers, BOP staff, better. The bureau has been plagued with a system wide employee shortage with the last report indicating they had to fill over 8,000 positions. This shortage is taking a toll on employees who have to cover other shifts (mandatory overtime). Some staff members in departments like education, facilities and business operations have had to double as prison guards because of the shortage, which has adverse effects on both other staff members and inmates.

Senator Dick Durbin, a staunch advocate for prison reform, has been pushing for Senate confirmation of the BOP Director. Currently the BOP Director is appointed and serves at the leisure of the President.

Director Peters has been great in garnering national media attention for the BOP. Earlier this year she was featured in a 1:1 interview with 60 minutes addressing “rape culture” among other things in the BOP. Peters took to Aliceville Federal Correctional Institute in Alabama, a women’s prison, for the interview. During that interview several inmates told 60 minutes, and their comments aired, that they were being given a dog and pony show. Peters attributed the staffing shortage for many issues, however when asked how many employees they needed Peters was unable to answer on camera. Peters also could not answer that question before the Senate Judiciary Committee just weeks later. At the end of 2023 National Public Radio did an expose on healthcare in the BOP. They uncovered that for the past two years the agency had been lying about their accreditation.

Normally in situations like this one would say there’s only one way to go and that’s up, but obviously that didn’t work this year.

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Source: Fedweek