The Bureau of Prisons initiated a review of its management of female inmates in response to concerns raised by Congress and public interest groups over possible deficiencies in how BOP treated female inmates. The review was conducted by the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General (OIG).
The sixty-page report released last month made these findings:
- BOP institutions are not complying with policies for female inmates, specifically the Female Offender Manual, which was issued in November 2016 but has not yet been fully implemented.
- BOP has inadequate staffing at the office that oversees management of female inmates.
- BOP is failing to adequately implement programming for female inmates specifically in areas of trauma and pregnancy.
- The report stated that 90% of the female prison population has experienced physical or emotional trauma. While BOP has trauma programs, the wait is too long.
- Only 37% of pregnant inmates received the pregnancy programming even though spots were available. OIG attributed the problem largely to the lack of social workers at BOP institutions as social workers must refer inmates to the programs.
- BOP is not providing adequate feminine hygiene products to female inmates.
The report also contained some interesting facts:
- Most female and male inmates are in BOP for drug crimes but female inmates are less likely to be convicted of weapons, sex or other violent offenses.
- The median sentence for female inmates is 5 years while it is ten for men.
- Nearly all female inmates are classified as low or minimum security.
- There is no medium security classification for female inmates.
BOP also highlighted four programs available to female inmates:
(1) The Resolve program for female inmates with a history of trauma-related mental illness. It lasts 40 weeks.
(2) The Female Integrated Treatment program (FIT) for trauma, substance abuse and mental health. This is only available at the low security facility in Danbury.
(3) Mothers and Infants Nurturing Together Program (MINT) in which female inmates may stay with their babies for up to 6 months after birth.
(4) The Residential Parenting Program in Gig Harbor, where female inmates may stay with their babies for up to 30 months after birth.