Prison Expansion:

Staffing New Facilities Will Be a Challenge for BOP

GGD-92-75: Published: May 12, 1992. Publicly Released: May 12, 1992.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Henry Wray
(202) 512-5156
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Bureau of Prisons' (BOP) ability to staff an unprecedented number of new and existing correctional facilities, focusing on: (1) BOP difficulties in filling positions; (2) the effectiveness of the BOP practice of filling management positions for future positions; and (3) the effectiveness of BOP training plans for future needs.

GAO found that BOP: (1) has generally met its recruitment staffing goals, although staffing in some of its occupational series fell below the 80 percent goal; (2) attributed the position vacancies on funding delays, pay increases, and salaries that are not competitive with those offered by state and local governments; (3) anticipates that it will have to recruit almost 16,000 new employees between 1992 and 1995, staff 13 institutions in fiscal year (FY) 1993, and staff 14 new institutions in FY 1994 and FY 1995; (4) would like to continue its policy of using internal promotions and lateral transfers to fill management and supervisory positions, but has not developed the information it needs to assess the number of eligible internal staff; and (5) could have difficulty filling some positions internally if past promotion rates do not increase. GAO also found that: (1) a forecasting model that evaluates BOP ability to meet its future management needs could indicate how well BOP is accomplishing its staffing objectives; (2) BOP needs to continue monitoring the effects of increasing promotion rates and training plans on employee ability to assume increased responsibilities; and (3) BOP has not had sufficient time to measure the effectiveness and use of its newly developed training initiatives.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: BOP completed a projection of mid-level management needs which indicates forecasted vacancies can be filled internally and external recruitment of managers will not be necessary.

    Recommendation: To identify and respond to potential problems, the Attorney General should have the Director, BOP, in ongoing human resource management efforts, assess the need to increase external recruitment of higher grade level employees.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: BOP began tracking the accomplishments of career development plans to determine the quality and availability of candidates for technical positions.

    Recommendation: To identify and respond to potential problems, the Attorney General should have the Director, BOP, in ongoing human resource management efforts, collect information on whether a sufficient number of employees are taking actions to prepare themselves for technical positions.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: BOP began tracking results of management skills assessment tools to determine the quality and availability of candidates.

    Recommendation: To identify and respond to potential problems, the Attorney General should have the Director, BOP, in ongoing human resource management efforts, extend its identification of potential managers to include lower grade level employees as well as upper grade level employees.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: BOP completed a projection of mid-level management needs which indicates forecasted vacancies can be filled internally and external recruitment will not be necessary.

    Recommendation: To identify and respond to potential problems, the Attorney General should have the Director, BOP, in ongoing human resource management efforts, use forecasting to project the number of staff expected to be eligible to fill management and technical position requirements for future years.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: BOP has analyzed space requirements and determined it needs additional means of training an increasing number of students. BOP is seeking funding from Congress to expand video conferencing, computer-based instruction, and self-study courses. BOP believes the combination of these initiatives with its traditional training courses to be a cost-effective way to handle increased training needs.

    Recommendation: To identify and respond to potential problems, the Attorney General should have the Director, BOP, in ongoing human resource management efforts, analyze space requirements for fiscal years 1992 through 1995 to determine whether planned expansions will be able to accommodate the increased demand for training.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 21, 2016

Aug 3, 2016

Aug 1, 2016

Jul 14, 2016

Jul 5, 2016

Jun 30, 2016

Jun 28, 2016

Jun 23, 2016

Jun 22, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here