Crimes by Federal Prison Guards on the Rise

Saturday, October 01, 2011
Federal penitentiaries are experiencing a disturbing problem with criminal behavior that has nothing to do with inmates.
Last decade, crimes among federal prison guards increased dramatically, with the number of correctional officers arrested going from 18 in 2001 to 34 in 2010—an 89% jump. The size of the correctional force for the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) only went up 24% during this period.
In total, 272 guards were arrested from 2001 through 2010. The number of misconduct investigations more than doubled during the decade, going from 2,299 in FY 2001 to 4,603 on 2010. The rate of allegations that have been substantiated has remained steady at 52%.
The majority of the misconduct was committed by officers with less than two years on the job.
The U.S. Department of Justice’s inspector general, which uncovered the criminal trend, faulted the BOP for not conducting more systematic evaluations of prison guard candidates’ backgrounds.
-Noel Brinkerhoff


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