Thursday, November 27, 2014

DOJ And The Federal Prison Crisis

Johanna Christansen is the appellate division chief for the Federal Public Defender for the Central District of Illinois, an office also referred to as the Seventh Circuit Federal Defender. Among other things, Johanna runs a listserve (to subscribe to her once-a-week email service go here), summarizes 7th Circuit cases, and tracks issues pending in the Seventh Circuit. In her last email, she discussed this DOJ memorandum:

A memorandum issued by the Attorney General Office of Inspector General indicates that one of the critical challenges for the Department of Justice at this time is the “federal prison crisis.”  The memorandum states that the DOJ continues to face two interrelated crises in the federal prison system. First, despite a slight decrease in the total number of federal inmates in 2014, the DOJ is projecting that the costs of the federal prison system will continue to increase in the years ahead, consuming a large share of the DOJ’s budget. Second, federal prisons remain significantly overcrowded and face a number of important safety and security issues.
Of course, these concerns affect our clients who are facing terms of imprisonment in the BOP and should be considered when sentences of incarceration are imposed.

We thank Johanna for this information, and we encourage you to sign up for her listserve and to read this memorandum (and to use it if you can). 

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