DOJ issues report on top management and performance challenges facing the Department

On November 10, 2014, the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issued its annual list of "Top Management and Performance Challenges Facing the Department of Justice." A number of points in the memorandum may be of interest to capital 2255 teams. The challenges discussed in the OIG's report touch on issues pertaining to conditions in BOP facilities, law enforcement accountability, and recommended reforms of DOJ's attorney misconduct review process and include:

  • Substantial projected increase in the cost of BOP inmate healthcare, as a result of an aging prison population and rising costs of inmate treatments and prescription drugs.
  • Persistent, BOP-wide overcrowding projected to increase to 38% by FY 2018. 
  • Recognition that "overcrowding presents the most significant threat to the safety and security of BOP staff and inmates."
  • Rioting in privately-managed BOP contract facilities, related to prisoners' reactions to perceptions of inadequate medical care and mistreatment at the facilities.
  • Persistence of sexual abuse of prisoners in state and federal facilities and failure of BOP to implement certain standards from the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA).
  • Failure of BOP x-rays to detect certain contraband. 
  • Reports that the OIG is reviewing whether the DEA's use of confidential informants adhered to the Attorney General's Guidelines regarding the use of confidential informants.
  • "Alarming" rates of violent crime, sexual assault, and substance abuse on tribal lands. "Serious deficiencies in the design, implementation, and overall management" of the case review process adopted to address problems in the FBI Laboratory revealed in a 1997 OIG report. The design, implementation, and management deficiencies include  -
    • "failure to ensure that capital cases were the [reviewing] Task Force's top priority and treated with urgency," resulting in the execution of three state prisoners before their cases had been identified and reviewed and "
    • failure to review all cases involving an FBI Lab Examiner whose misconduct was identified in the OIG's 1997 report[.]"
  • Lack of transparency and institutional independence in the current Department of Justice attorney misconduct review process. The OIG has called upon BOP to "pursue strategies to reduce prison overcrowding[,]" "provide effective oversight of privately managed contract facilities, reduce the incidence of inmate sexual abuse, and prevent the smuggling of weapons and contraband into prison." The OIG has further called upon the Department of Justice to "ensure that oversight of its operations promotes the fair and impartial administration of justice." Finally, the OIG has called upon Congress to amend the Inspector General Act to enable the OIG to investigate allegations of attorney misconduct.

The report can be read here.