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SENATE PASSES Bill To Reform Troubled Federal Prisons

BOP: About the Federal Bureau of Prisons

— The Senate passed the Federal Prison Oversight Act on Wednesday, aiming to bring transparency and accountability to the troubled Bureau of Prisons. The House approved the bill in May, and it now awaits President Biden’s signature. This legislation introduces an independent ombudsman to investigate complaints and mandates risk-based inspections by the Justice Department’s Inspector General.

Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., introduced the bill in 2022 during his investigation into the Bureau of Prisons as chair of a Senate subcommittee. He collaborated with Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., forming a bipartisan group to address prison issues exposed by AP reporting. Reps. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., and Lucy McBath, D-Ga., supported the House version of this critical reform measure.

Ossoff called Wednesday’s passage “a major milestone,” emphasizing that his investigation highlighted an urgent need for better oversight in federal prisons.

Advocates for incarcerated individuals also praised this legislative achievement as a significant step forward in addressing systemic corruption and misconduct within the prison system.

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