Bureau of Prisons

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Epstein Reached Out to Another High-Profile Pedophile

His letter to Larry Nassar was returned to sender, AP learns from newly released documents

(Newser) - Two weeks before ending his life, Jeffrey Epstein sat in the corner of his Manhattan jail cell with his hands over his ears, desperate to muffle the sound of a toilet that wouldn't stop running. Epstein was agitated and unable to sleep, jail officials observed in records newly obtained...

Bureau of Prisons Closes Notoriously Violent Unit

At least 7 inmates have died by homicide or suicide since Thomson unit opened in 2019

(Newser) - One of the most notorious units in the federal prison system is being shut down after a series of inmate deaths. There have been at least five suspected homicides and two suspected suicides since the Special Management Unit at the Thomson federal penitentiary in northwest Illinois opened in 2019, NPR...

Watchdog: No Inmate's Transfer Should Go Like Bulger's Did

Justice Department's inspector general finds failures, but no malicious intent

(Newser) - A series of missteps by federal Bureau of Prisons officials preceded the October 2018 beating death of notorious Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger, the Justice Department's inspector general said in a report on Wednesday, per the AP . The watchdog is recommending that at least six Bureau of Prisons...

'La Barbie' Drug Lord No Longer in BOP Custody

Mexico wants to know what happened to man who was serving 49-year sentence

(Newser) - Mexico would like American authorities to explain what has happened to Edgar Valdez Villarreal, a drug lord who was extradited to the US after his capture in 2010 but is now listed as no longer in federal Bureau of Prisons custody. Valdez, nicknamed "La Barbie" because of his light...

Biden's Push to End Solitary Confinement Not Going Well

Number of federal prisoners subjected to the punishment has actually gone up

(Newser) - On May 25, the anniversary of George Floyd’s death, President Biden issued an executive order “advancing effective, accountable policing and criminal justice practices.” Included in that order, per NBC News, was the promise that conditions in federal prisons would be “safe and humane” and “free...

76-Year-Old Returned to Prison After Missing Calls Goes Home

Gwen Levi was at a word-processing class with her ringer off at the time

(Newser) - A 76-year-old grandmother sent back to prison after attending a computer class is back to living life with a small amount of freedom. US District Judge Deborah C. Chasanow granted Gwen Levi a request for compassionate release Tuesday, saying "it would do little" to force the Baltimore resident to...

Woman, 76, Sent Back to Prison After Going to Class Without Permission

Federal inmate on home confinement had turned her phone off

(Newser) - Gwen Levi, a 76-year-old grandmother, was one of thousands of federal prisoners allowed to finish their sentences in home confinement as the COVID crisis escalated last year—but she is back behind bars after an incident the Bureau of Prisons classed as an "escape." Levi attended a computer...

DOJ Report: Federal Prison Camp Security Is a Joke

Guards were fooled by dummies left in beds

(Newser) - The fact that four inmates could leave a low-security federal prison camp in Texas to pick up whisky and have their escape undetected for more than 12 hours is a sign of major flaws in the system, according to a report from the Department of Justice. The report states that...

Inmates Warned of Alarming Conditions. Now, an Outbreak

More than 500 test positive for COVID-19 at Texas federal medical prison

(Newser) - More than 500 women at a federal medical prison in Texas have tested positive for the coronavirus, in one of the largest confirmed outbreaks at a federal prison, the Bureau of Prisons said. The number of confirmed cases at the Federal Medical Center-Carswell in Fort Worth jumped to 510 on...

Federal Executions Jarred by Positive Virus Test

The staffer was helping prepare for the first federal executions in nearly 20 years

(Newser) - The federal Bureau of Prisons said Sunday that a staff member involved in preparing for the first federal executions in nearly two decades has tested positive for coronavirus, the AP reports. The Justice Department said the development will not mean an additional delay in the government’s timetable, already stalled...

Lawyers: Sending Manafort Home Is 'Imperative'

They request move to home confinement for Trump's former campaign manager

(Newser) - Paul Manafort, currently serving a 7.5-year sentence for tax evasion, fraud, and other crimes, wants to go home early—and stay there. Lawyers for President Trump's former campaign chairman have asked the Bureau of Prisons to transfer their client to home confinement because of the coronavirus pandemic, USA ...

146K Inmates to Spend at Least 2 Weeks in Cells

Federal prison lockdown begins Wednesday

(Newser) - Federal prisons are officially under lockdown. In an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19, 146,000 federal inmates in 122 facilities will be confined to their cells for the next two weeks beginning Wednesday, per Politico and USA Today . "Limited group gathering will be afforded to the extent...

Barr Doesn't Mention Epstein, but Reassigns Prisons Chief

Attorney General Bill Barr announced the move Monday

(Newser) - Attorney General Bill Barr has made another staff-related move in the wake of Jeffrey Epstein's suicide. Barr on Monday announced that federal Bureau of Prisons Acting Director Hugh Hurwitz would be removed from that role. Hurwitz will remain a part of BOP as assistant director of its Reentry Services...

'More Information Needed' After Epstein Autopsy

Cause of death still pending, medical examiner says

(Newser) - An autopsy has been completed on Jeffrey Epstein—but the cause of death is still "pending further information," according to the New York City medical examiner's office. Barbara Sampson, the city’s chief medical examiner, says a private pathologist observed the autopsy Sunday at the request of...

Report: 'Pharma Bro' Now in Solitary Confinement

Move follows claims Shkreli was still running a business

(Newser) - "Pharma bro" Martin Shkreli is no longer calling the shots at drug company Phoenixus AG—unless he's managed to smuggle a cellphone into solitary confinement. Sources tell Forbes that Shkreli, who is serving a seven-year sentence in federal prison for defrauding investors, was moved to the Special Housing...

Trump Reversal on Private Prisons a 'Reward': Sanders

For campaign donors, senator says after Sessions memo reverses Obama order

(Newser) - This is why shares in private prisons soared after President Trump's election win: His administration, in a widely expected move, has scrapped the Obama administration's plan to phase out the federal government's use of private prisons , reports Reuters . In a memo from Attorney General Jeff Sessions released...

Pork Off the Menu in All Federal Prisons

It wasn't that popular, Bureau of Prisons says

(Newser) - Life in federal prison now means life without bacon—or pork chops, or ham, or any other pork product. Pork was completely removed from the menu for all 206,000 federal prisoners with the beginning of the new fiscal year this month in a move that the Bureau of Prisons...

Now OK in Prison: MP3 Players
 Now OK in Prison: MP3 Players 

Now OK in Prison: MP3 Players

Many inmates to get OK to carry devices, pick songs from pre-approved list

(Newser) - The music industry will soon have another chart to keep track of: jailhouse rock. The Bureau of Prisons plans to allow many of its 200,000+ federal inmates to own MP3 players and pick their own soundtrack to prison life, USA Today reports. The devices will be sold in prison...

Feds Crack Down on Prison Tax Scam

Law enforcement moves to end millions in refund ripoffs

(Newser) - Fraudulent tax returns filed by federal and state prisoners have soared over the past five years, but under pressure from the Senate, the FBI and Bureau of Prisons finally got their act together and signed a memo of understanding to crack down on the operations, reports AP . "This agreement...

Madoff Sent to Prison's Medical Wing

But there's no word from officials on what's wrong

(Newser) - Bernard Madoff has been transferred to the medical facility at the federal prison in North Carolina where he has been serving his 150-year sentence since July. A spokeswoman tells Bloomberg the Ponzi schemer was transferred on Dec. 18, but would not say why. Neither a federal prisons official nor Madoff’...

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