Review of the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Management of Its Female Inmate Population

Review of the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Management of Its Female Inmate Population

Hello, I’m Michael Horowitz, Inspector General
for the U.S. Department of Justice. Today our office released a report on the
Federal Bureau of Prisons’, or BOP’s, management of its female inmates. BOP has implemented gender-responsive policies
and programs that affect female inmates’ conditions of confinement. We examined these efforts and identified several
areas needing improvement, both at the Headquarters level and at BOP’s prisons. At the Headquarters level, we found that BOP
has not ensured that its decision makers are trained about how female inmates’ needs
differ from those of male inmates. And BOP may not have adequate staff in their
Women and Special Populations Branch. We also found that, until recently, BOP didn’t
have a formal process to verify its prisons’ compliance with BOP policies for managing
female inmates. We also identified three main areas of concern
at the BOP’s prisons. • First, we found that low staffing limits
BOP’s ability to provide all eligible female inmates with trauma treatment, even though
a study relied upon by BOP shows that approximately 90 percent of female inmates are affected
by sexual, physical, or emotional trauma at some point in their lives. • Second, we found that only 37 percent
of sentenced pregnant inmates participated in BOP’s pregnancy programs. • Third, not all prisons ensured that female
inmates had sufficient access to feminine hygiene products. Our report also discusses several additional
findings related to female inmate searches; and the negative impact on female inmates
when BOP initially converted its Danbury facility from an all-female prison into a prison that
also houses male inmates. Overall, we concluded that BOP has not managed
female inmates strategically. For BOP to be fully effective at managing
its female inmate population, we believe that it must take a holistic approach at the Central
Office level to identify and address the issues affecting this population. All of our findings are described in detail
in our report. To read the report, please visit our website, or go to Thank you for joining us.

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