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Tags: doj | prisons | budget | shortfalls

Union Head Warns Bureau of Prisons Faces 'Hard Decisions' Due to Budget

Union Head Warns Bureau of Prisons Faces 'Hard Decisions' Due to Budget
Detainees in Cook County Jail in Chicago. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty)

By    |   Friday, 25 June 2021 04:29 PM EDT

The Federal Bureau of Prisons faces a budget shortfall that will ''impact the entire agency and all of us,'' a top union official wrote in an email to fellow union leaders on Friday, according to Politico.

A report from the Justice Department Inspector General last year uncovered that overtime pay due to staff shortages cost the bureau $300 million in 2019.

Shane Fausey, the national president of the Council of Prison Locals 33 and a lock and security specialist with the Bureau of Prisons, wrote to other union leaders to express his concerns about the bureau’s budget. Politico notes that the council Fausey leads is a member of the AFL-CIO and represents tens of thousands of workers.

Fausey wrote that the bureau is approaching a major shortfall in its budget ''that will continue to impact the entire agency and all of us.''

He said, ''The hard reality requires hard decisions and our employees should not be the only ones to bear the consequences.''

Fausey added that ''all new firm offers'' for positions from the Bureau of Prisons have a start date of Oct. 1, 2021 or later due to the bureau’s budget difficulties.

''New hire firm offers issued after June 9, 2021, will start after October 1, 2021,'' a spokesperson confirmed to Politico in an email. ''However, we continue to on-board new hire firm offers at a couple of facilities as well as those for First Step Act (FSA) positions.''

They added that ''the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) recently embarked on an unprecedented hiring initiative to bring on 1,000 new employees within 120 days. As a result of this initiative, we are projected to bring over 1,800 new BOP employees. The Hiring Initiative has been a huge success in increasing our staffing levels and number of correctional officers.''

The spokesperson said the agency has turned to social media and job fairs in an attempt to identify potential hires and has recently resumed promoting people internally.

They added that the bureau ''will be solvent in FY 2021. There has been a readjustment in the budget due to the success of the hiring initiative.''

Fausey told Politico in a statement: "A clear and dangerous staffing crisis in the Bureau of Prisons, as explicitly outlined in a number of OIG reports and a recent scathing report by the GAO, has pushed this agency beyond its limits.''

He added: ''Our employees and officers continue to endure unrelenting overtime and reassignments as the budgetary shortfall is preventing the hiring of much needed Correctional Officers. We implore the Attorney General and the Department of Justice to release emergency funding to hire 4,000 new Correctional Officers in the Bureau of Prisons through the end of the fiscal year. Future budgetary considerations by the DOJ, the Administration, and Congress, must be made to consider the human consequences of inadequate funding.''

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Politics
The Federal Bureau of Prisons faces a budget shortfall that will ''impact the entire agency and all of us,'' a top union official wrote in an email to fellow union leaders on Friday, according to Politico.
doj, prisons, budget, shortfalls
473
2021-29-25
Friday, 25 June 2021 04:29 PM
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