Congressman Fred Keller slams Bureau of Prisons’ late and lacking response to inquiries concerning inmate movement

May 4, 2020
Press Release
Says letter shows BOP lacked any proactive plan to address COVID-19

Washington, D.C. – On Monday, Congressman Fred Keller (R-PA) slammed the federal Bureau of Prisons for sending a response letter more than five weeks after the Congressman demanded that the agency answer for its continued inmate movement during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The letter, which was sent a month after Congressman Keller’s initial request to the federal Bureau of Prisons to halt inmate movement and delivered via email an hour after Congressman Keller introduced the Federal Prisons Accountability Act to remove Director Carvajal and make his replacement Senate confirmable, outlines no proactive planning and fails to address the concerns in Congressman Keller’s initial correspondences.


On receipt of the letter, Congressman Fred Keller (R-PA) made the following statement:


“The letter I received on Friday in response to my March 20, 2020, and March 22, 2020, requests to the federal Bureau of Prisons to halt inmate movement is too little, too late.


“Sent a month after my urgent requests to halt inmate movement were ignored, the letter from Director Carvajal once again deflects blame, provides half-truths, and recounts reactionary measures taken by the Bureau of Prisons to deal with COVID-19 following pressure from our office and other members of Congress from across the country.


“Responses like this, and the Bureau’s failure to appropriately deal with COVID-19, are emblematic of the systemic issues within the Bureau of Prisons. Now more than ever, Congress must work to bring about institutional change within the Bureau of Prisons and hold the agency accountable to the people for whom they work.”


On Friday, Congressman Keller introduced H.R. 6678 – the Federal Prisons Accountability Act of 2020 to bring greater oversight and transparency to the Bureau of Prisons. The legislation would subject the Bureau of Prisons Director to the same Senate confirmation process required for other top positions within the Department of Justice, like the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has introduced similar legislation in the Senate.


You can read the letter from BOP to Congressman Keller HERE.