washington – signed into law by President Joe Biden on Tuesday A bill requiring the federal Bureau of Prisons to overhaul an outdated security system Fix broken surveillance cameras after rampant sexual abuse by staff, prisoner escapes and high-profile deaths.
The bipartisan prison camera reform bill that passed the Senate last year December 14 House of Representativesrequiring the Bureau of Prisons to evaluate and enhance security cameras, radios and public address systems at its 122 facilities.
The agency must submit a report to Congress within three months detailing the deficiencies and plans for necessary upgrades. The upgrades need to be completed within three years, and the bureau must submit an annual progress report to lawmakers.
“Broken prison camera systems foster corruption, misconduct and abuse,” said Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga), the legislation’s sponsor. “That’s why I brought Republicans and Democrats together to pass my Prison Camera Reform Act, which is now law.”
In a statement, the Bureau of Prisons said it “thanks Senator Ossoff and other members of Congress and the President of the United States for their work and support.”
Security camera glitches and deficiencies allow inmates to escaped federal prison and obstructed investigationThey have been a problem for inmate deaths, including financier Jeffrey Epstein at the New York City federal prison in 2019.
The Justice Department’s internal watchdog found the security camera flaws had hampered investigations into staff misconduct, the introduction of contraband, civil rights violations and inmate deaths.
In March, the Associated Press reported that Lack of surveillance cameras in key areas It led to widespread sexual abuse of inmates by staff at the Federal Women’s Prison in Dublin, California.
When introducing the camera bill last year, Ossoff said blind spots, missing shots and technical glitches were unacceptable. He said federal prisons “must be cleaned up and maintained to the highest standards.”
The legislation has the support of the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee — Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the Republican leader. Reps. Fred Keller, R-Pa. and Lucy McBath, D-Ga. introduced the House version of the bill.
The federal correctional workers union, the Prison Locals Council, also backed the measure. Union president Shane Fausey said the upgrades to cameras and other systems would go a long way toward “further increasing the level of security in our nation’s federal prisons.”
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