More than 100 Bureau of Prison employees have been arrested for or convicted of crimes since 2019: AP report

woman guard standing in prison cell HMP Bronzefield
The investigation found that the Bureau of Prisons in some instances failed to suspend officers who had been arrested for a crime.
  • An AP investigation found that the Bureau of Prisons ignores misconduct by federal prison workers. 
  • Over 100 federal prison employees have been arrested, convicted, or sentenced for crimes since 2019. 
  • Of the incidents reviewed by the AP,  20% were of a sexual nature. 

More than 100 federal prison employees have been arrested for alleged crimes, convicted, or imprisoned for crimes since 2019, an Associated Press investigation found. 

The AP found that while federal prison workers only account for less than a third of the Justice Department workforce, they've accounted for two-thirds of criminal cases coming out of the Justice Department.  

The investigation found that the Bureau of Prisons in some instances failed to suspend officers who had been arrested for a crime. 

The AP investigation found that the issue impacted prison workers and contractors at all levels, from a chaplain to a warden. 

Some instances include a warden at a California prison who was charged with sexually abusing a woman in September. The Department of Justice said Ray Garcia, the associate warden at the Federal Correctional Institute in Dublin, California, had also taken naked photos of the woman and had tried to stop her from reporting him by saying he was "close friends" with the investigator of inmate allegations. 

Garcia was indicted earlier this month and could face 15 years in prison, Mercury News reported. 

In another instance, the chaplain at the Federal Correctional Institution in Berlin, New Hampshire, was sentenced to more than three years in prison for taking bribes to smuggle in drugs, telephones, and other contraband, DOJ said

Smuggling contraband into and out of prisons was the most common type of crime, according to the report. 

The AP reported that 20% of the cases they tracked involved crimes of a sexual nature with inmates often facing intimidation and coercion. BOP workers also told the AP that the agency's disciplinary system brushes aside allegations against senior executives and wardens. 

Following the AP's report, Sen. Dick Durbin called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to replace the head of the BOP, Michael Carvajal. 

"We have a new Administration and a new opportunity to reform our criminal justice system.  It's clear that there is much going wrong in our federal prisons, and we urgently need to fix it.  That effort must start with new leadership," Durbin said in a press release.

DOJ did not respond to Insider's request for comment at the time of publication but told the AP  it "will not tolerate staff misconduct, particularly criminal misconduct," and that it's "committed to holding accountable any employee who abuses a position of trust, which we have demonstrated through federal criminal prosecutions and other means."

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