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Open Recommendations (32 total)

Bureau of Prisons: Additional Actions Needed to Improve Restrictive Housing Practices

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8 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Bureau of Prisons The Director of BOP should develop and implement a process to routinely analyze administrative remedy program data. (Recommendation 7)
Open
BOP concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to implement it. When we confirm what actions BOP has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Bureau of Prisons The Director of BOP should develop and implement a mechanism for routinely monitoring the extent to which facilities are applying the SMU placement criteria consistently and equitably across all BOP facilities should BOP reinstate the SMU program. (Recommendation 5)
Open
BOP concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to implement it. When we confirm what actions BOP has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Bureau of Prisons The Director of BOP should develop and implement a mechanism to identify causes of common deficiencies that recur across multiple facilities and take steps to address those causes. (Recommendation 3)
Open
BOP concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to implement it. When we confirm what actions BOP has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Bureau of Prisons The Director of BOP should develop and implement a process to address any identified patterns of noncompliance related to restrictive housing policies and other areas of program weaknesses. (Recommendation 8)
Open
BOP concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to implement it. When we confirm what actions BOP has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Bureau of Prisons The Director of BOP should develop and execute an approach to fully implement all the 2014 and 2016 restrictive housing reports recommendations. For each recommendation that has not yet been implemented, the approach should include assigning implementation responsibility to appropriate officials, establishing a time frame for completion, and monitoring progress. In instances where BOP does not concur with a 2014 recommendation or deems it impractical, it should document its rationale and the alternative steps, if any, it plans to take. (Recommendation 1)
Open
BOP concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to implement it. When we confirm what actions BOP has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Bureau of Prisons The Director of BOP should develop and implement a mechanism for routinely evaluating SMU review documentation to ensure that incarcerated individuals progress through the SMU program levels in accordance with SMU policy should BOP reinstate the SMU program. (Recommendation 6)
Open
BOP concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to implement it. When we confirm what actions BOP has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Bureau of Prisons The Director of BOP should conduct an evaluation of previous SMU placements to determine and address the cause of disproportionate representation of individuals in certain racial groups in the SMU population. (Recommendation 4)
Open
BOP concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to implement it. When we confirm what actions BOP has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Bureau of Prisons The Director of BOP should enhance oversight by developing and implementing a process to verify and document that facilities have implemented corrective actions that fully address all deficiencies. (Recommendation 2)
Open
BOP concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to implement it. When we confirm what actions BOP has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Federal Prisons: Bureau of Prisons Should Improve Efforts to Implement its Risk and Needs Assessment System

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Bureau of Prisons
Priority Rec.
The Director of BOP should use and document the results of its ongoing monitoring of the frequency at which it conducts risk and needs assessments, and take appropriate corrective actions, as needed. (Recommendation 3)
Open
In March 2023, we reported that BOP has not confirmed if its planned monitoring efforts will measure whether risk and needs assessments are completed according to First Step Act requirements and BOP internal timeframes. As such, BOP may not have any results from its monitoring efforts that could be utilized to document and determine whether it is conducting assessments on time and taking appropriate corrective action when it is not. We recommended that BOP should use and document the results of its ongoing monitoring of the frequency at which it conducts risk and needs assessments, and take appropriate corrective actions, as needed. BOP concurred with this recommendation. In response, in September 2023, BOP officials stated they planned to enhance its auto-calculation time credits application to integrate risk, needs, and time credits assessments into a single, monthly automated process. According to BOP, this application will automate and independently generate these assessments and will more clearly document completion of each of these assessments at the intervals prescribed by the First Step Act and BOP requirements. In February 2024, BOP officials stated that it will take at least 1 year after implementation of these changes to generate data necessary to evaluate the need for corrective actions. To fully address this recommendation, BOP will need to implement its monitoring efforts and demonstrate through documentation how they are using the results.

Federal Prisons: Bureau of Prisons Should Improve Efforts to Implement its Risk and Needs Assessment System

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Bureau of Prisons
Priority Rec.
The Director of BOP should collect and monitor participation data for unstructured productive activities that incarcerated people are able to participate in and earn First Step Act time credits. (Recommendation 8)
Open
In March 2023, we reported that BOP did not collect or monitor participation data on unstructured productive activities that incarcerated people are able to participate in and earn First Step Act time credits. We recommended that BOP collect and monitor such data. BOP did not concur with this recommendation. In response to our report, BOP stated that it was not statutorily required to do so, nor would it be helpful, to monitor these activities. While the First Step Act and implementing regulations do not explicitly require BOP to monitor these activities, the Act and regulations do provide an opportunity for eligible incarcerated people to earn First Step Act time credits if they successfully participate in programs or productive activities recommended based on their risk and needs assessment. In February 2024, BOP officials stated that unstructured productive activities do not have an impact on opt-in status, and that opt-in status is how BOP defines "successful participation" for the purposes of First Step Act time credits. BOP revised its First Step Act Approved Programs Guide in September 2023 to clarify this point. However, this is not consistent with BOP's program statement that states eligible incarcerated people who successfully participate in evidence-based recidivism reduction programs or productive activities, including unstructured productive activities, may earn time credits. It further states that successful participation requires a determination by BOP staff that an eligible person has participated in the evidence-based recidivism reduction programs or productive activities that BOP has recommended based on the person's risk and needs assessment and the person has complied with the requirements of each program or productive activity. BOP officials stated they are aware of the inaccuracies in the program statement and are in the process of revising it, with a goal to complete internal development in 2024. To fully address this recommendation, BOP will need take these actions or update its policy to reflect these changes.