Bureau of Prisons

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Open Recommendations (14 total)

Bureau of Prisons: Enhanced Data Capabilities, Analysis, Sharing, and Risk Assessments Needed for Disaster Preparedness

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5 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Bureau of Prisons The Director of BOP should establish cost-effective and feasible analytic features—such as project milestones and cost indicators, as well as queries and alerts—that would position BOP to have better visibility into the monitoring of projects for possible delays and cost escalation. (Recommendation 3)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

BOP did not concur with this recommendation. In its January 2021 comment letter, BOP stated that it believes that establishing the recommended features into a system not designed for this type of analysis could require additional funding and that it already has process in place to monitor projects through its contract monitoring process. We agree that any features that BOP establishes should be cost-effective and feasible. Given that BOP is currently working to make its data systems interoperable, which includes developing new features and requirements, the timing presents an opportunity for BOP to consider the costs and feasibility of establishing and incorporating the analytic features to determine which features would be most feasible and cost-effective, and take steps to incorporate them. Further, while BOP does have processes in place to monitor individual maintenance and repair projects, its mechanisms to oversee projects overall across the agency could be improved. In August 2022, BOP provided an update noting that that the implementation of the interoperable systems will begin in fiscal year 2023 and that it does not plan to implement the enhancements we recommended at this point. However, BOP noted that it will conduct a cost-benefit analysis of adding the analytical features and will determine the timeframes of this analysis once BOP transitions to the new interoperable systems. We maintain that implementing this recommendation remains important and we will continue to monitor BOP's efforts.
Bureau of Prisons The Director of BOP should establish in policy a clear definition of "disaster" for the purposes of tracking maintenance and repair project information. (Recommendation 1)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

BOP concurred with this recommendation and stated in January 2021 that it would take steps to establish a definition of disaster for tracking maintenance and repair projects. In August 2022, BOP provided an update noting that it is currently working with multiple stakeholders to develop its definition. We will continue to monitor BOP's efforts as it takes these steps.
Bureau of Prisons The Director of BOP should ensure that the plans to make financial and property management data systems interoperable incorporate the newly established analytic features, as appropriate, to ensure that project information is collected systematically. (Recommendation 4)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

BOP did not concur with this recommendation. In its January 2021 comment letter, BOP stated that it believes that incorporating the recommended features into a system not designed for this type of analysis could require additional funding and that it already has process in place to monitor projects through its contract monitoring process. We agree that any features that BOP incorporates should be cost-effective and feasible. Given that BOP is currently working to make its data systems interoperable, which includes incorporating new features and requirements, the timing presents an opportunity for BOP to consider the costs and feasibility of incorporating the analytic features and take steps to incorporate those that it determines are cost-effective and feasible. Further, while BOP does have processes in place to monitor individual maintenance and repair projects, its mechanisms to oversee projects overall across the agency could be improved. In August 2022, BOP provided an update noting that that the implementation of the interoperable systems will begin in fiscal year 2023 and that it does not plan to implement the enhancements we recommended at this point. However, BOP noted that it will conduct a cost-benefit analysis of adding the analytical features and will determine the timeframes of this analysis once BOP transitions to the new interoperable systems. We maintain that implementing this recommendation remains important and we will continue to monitor BOP's efforts.
Bureau of Prisons The Director of BOP should establish codes or other tracking mechanisms for the purposes of tracking disaster-related projects. (Recommendation 2)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

BOP concurred with this recommendation and stated in January 2021 that it would take steps to establish codes or other tracking mechanisms to track its disaster-related projects. In August 2022, BOP provided an update noting continued use of its current tracking mechanism, which will change once BOP has established a definition of "disaster" for the purposes of tracking its disaster-related projects. BOP reports that efforts to establish such a definition are in progress--as we note with respect to the status update for recommendation 1. We will continue to monitor BOP's efforts as it takes these steps.
Bureau of Prisons The Director of BOP should, once the financial and property management data systems are interoperable, regularly conduct an analysis of trends using the established analytic features, as appropriate, and make changes, when warranted, to avoid unnecessary delays or costs. (Recommendation 5)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

BOP did not concur with this recommendation. In its January 2021 comment letter, BOP stated that it believes that establishing the recommended features into a system not designed for this type of analysis could require additional funding and that it already has process in place to monitor projects through its contract monitoring process. We agree that any features that BOP establishes should be cost-effective and feasible. Given that BOP is currently working to make its data systems interoperable, which includes developing new features and requirements, the timing presents an opportunity for BOP to consider the costs and feasibility of establishing and incorporating the analytic features to determine which features would be most feasible and cost-effective, and take steps to incorporate them. Further, while BOP does have processes in place to monitor individual maintenance and repair projects, its mechanisms to oversee projects overall across the agency, such as analyzing trends across projects, could be improved. In August 2022, BOP provided an update noting that that the implementation of the interoperable systems will begin in fiscal year 2023 and that it does not plan to implement the enhancements we recommended at this point. However, BOP noted that it will conduct a cost-benefit analysis of adding the analytical features and will determine the timeframes of this analysis once BOP transitions to the new interoperable systems. We maintain that implementing this recommendation remains important and we will continue to monitor BOP's efforts.

Law Enforcement: Federal Agencies Should Improve Reporting and Review of Less-Lethal Force

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Bureau of Prisons The Director of BOP should update BOP's use of force policy to address the use of force during demonstrations occurring near and far from federal institutions. (Recommendation 1)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

In August 2022, the Department of Justice provided us with a written response describing actions it plans to take to address this recommendation. We will continue to monitor the agency's progress and will provide updated information after we confirm what actions the agency has taken.

Bureau of Prisons: Opportunities Exist to Better Analyze Staffing Data and Improve Employee Wellness Programs

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4 Open Recommendations
2 Priority
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Bureau of Prisons The Director of BOP should utilize the suicide data it collects to routinely assess the suicide rate among BOP staff and tailor its suicide prevention training materials to address the unique challenges that high-risk groups may face. (Recommendation 7)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

DOJ concurred with our recommendation. When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Bureau of Prisons
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Director of BOP should assess the outcomes of the staffing incentives it utilizes by developing performance measures and goals, measuring outcomes against them, and adjusting incentives, as appropriate. (Recommendation 4)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

BOP concurred with this recommendation and indicated it has begun taking early steps to address it. In June 2021, BOP reported that it hired a contractor to assist the agency over several months by analyzing past usage of incentives and developing recommendations on whether to adjust incentives in the future, among other things. We will continue to monitor BOP's progress toward addressing this recommendation.
Bureau of Prisons The Director of BOP should develop and implement a plan for analyzing data to help identify and address the causes and potential impacts of staffing challenges on staff and inmates. (Recommendation 2)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

BOP concurred with this recommendation and has begun taking early steps to address it. In June 2021, BOP reported that it hired a contractor to assist the agency over several months in analyzing data to identify and address impacts of staffing challenges. We will continue to monitor BOP's progress toward addressing this recommendation.
Bureau of Prisons
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Director of BOP should develop and implement a reliable method, or amend existing methods, for calculating staffing levels at BOP institutions. (Recommendation 1)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

BOP concurred with this recommendation and has begun taking early steps to address it. In June 2021, BOP reported that it hired a contractor to assist the agency in calculating staffing levels at BOP institutions. The contractor will work over several months with staff across BOP Human Resources, BOP regional offices, and BOP institutions to assess existing methods for calculating the BOP's current staffing levels and recommend improvements. We will continue to monitor BOP's progress toward addressing this recommendation.