Housing Federal Prisoners in Non-Federal Facilities Is Becoming More Difficult

GGD-77-92: Published: Feb 23, 1978. Publicly Released: Feb 23, 1978.

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The Attorney General contracts with State prisons, local jails, and halfway houses to house individuals who are awaiting trial for a Federal offense, serving short-term Federal sentences, or being transported between Federal facilities. Non-Federal facilities are also used to relieve overcrowding in Federal institutions, offer protection to Federal offenders in danger in Federal institutions, keep individuals near their homes, and provide programs not generally available in Federal institutions.

Housing Federal Prisoners in non-Federal facilities is becoming more difficult and costly. Many local jails, due to overcrowding and deteriorating conditions, do not have sufficient space for Federal offenders. Four alternatives for solving the local jail problem are: contracting with other available jails in the surrounding area and transporting prisoners as necessary, building and operating Federal facilities, providing some type of Federal assistance to local jails to expand and improve their facilities, and using excess or underused military correction facilities. The Bureau of Prisons' past contracting practices with local jails and halfway houses did not follow Federal Procurement Regulations. The regulations were inconsistently applied, causing some contractors to be overpaid and some underpaid.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Attorney General should determine the most economical, long-range solution for each major metropolitan problem area by: determining whether smaller Federal facilities could be economically built and operated, investigating the possible use of excess and underutilized military correction facilities, and identifying instances where the situation could be alleviated through increased Federal assistance. The Attorney General should insure that contracting personnel use contractor cost data when negotiating contracts for the care of prisoners and should adopt a revised billing practice for contractors.

    Agency Affected:


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