Thursday, May 10, 2012

Eligibility and Capacity Impact Use of Flexibilities to Reduce Inmates' Time in Prison

Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a study on the Bureau of Prisons entitled Eligibility and Capacity Impact Use of Flexibilities to Reduce Inmates’ Time in Prison. Their conclusions:

Federal inmate populations have been increasing and BOP is operating at more than a third over capacity. In addition, the absence of parole in the federal system and other federal statutes limit BOP’s authority to modify an inmate’s period of incarceration. Inmates, who earn their good conduct time, as most do, end up serving about 87 percent of their sentences. BOP’s housing of inmates in community-based facilities or home detention is a key flexibility it uses to affect a prisoner’s period of incarceration. However, BOP does not require its RRC contractors to separate the price of home detention services from the price of RRC beds. As a result, BOP lacks information on the price of home detention that could assist it in weighing the costs and benefits of alternative options for supervising inmates in home detention. While BOP is working to develop a process to require contractors to submit separate prices for the price of RRC beds and home detention services, without establishing a plan, including a time frame for development, BOP does not have a road map for how it will achieve this goal.

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