Right On Crime, a national conservative criminal justice organization, supports the bipartisan and bicameral policies of the Federal Prison Oversight Act, H.R. 3019, which will increase transparency and accountability within the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), which will increase transparency and accountability within the Bureau of Prisons (BOP).

In a letter of support to Congress and in advance of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability considering the bill, ROC Executive Director and former U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman says H.R. 3019 will prevent harm to correctional officers, staff, and inmates, and assist the BOP in reaching its goal of rehabilitating offenders and prioritizing public safety.

The BOP employs over 34,000 people and is responsible for over 150,000 inmates. The budget of this agency is over $8 billion. Yet, despite this hefty price tag to the taxpayer and its massive personnel responsibility, BOP has largely functioned without much accountability.

Tolman writes that the BOP is a deeply flawed agency. “As evidenced from several congressional hearings and government watchdog reports, federal prisons are understaffed, underfunded, overcrowded, unsafe, in disrepair, and subject to criminal activity (including, but certainly not limited to, smuggling contraband and sexual assault). A prison system rife with internal strain makes it difficult to ensure the safety of its employees and inmates. Despite this, the BOP has largely functioned without much accountability. As the maxim goes, “sunlight is the best disinfectant.” As such, increased visibility into the BOP will improve this broken system.”

The Federal Prison Oversight Act contains two main provisions to improve the safety and accountability of our federal prison system. Under the bill, the BOP would be subject to independent oversight by the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General and individual complaints would be investigated by an independent Ombudsman.

Equipped with the insights of an oversight body that conducts routine inspections, investigates systemic issues, collects and analyzes data, and reports its findings, Congress – and the House Oversight and Accountability Committee in particular – can make more informed policy and appropriations decisions.

Right On Crime is a national campaign supporting conservative solutions for reducing crime, restoring victims, reforming offenders, and lowering taxpayer costs. For more information, visit our website at www.RightOnCrime.com.