Durbin Discusses COVID-19 Threat at Federal Prisons With BOP Director

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke with Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Director Michael Carvajal to discuss how he plans to protect BOP staff and inmates at facilities across the country as the COVID-19 pandemic has spread to federal prisons. Despite this threat, the Trump Administration has not yet requested any additional funding for BOP to prepare for and combat the pandemic.

“Vulnerable staff and inmates at federal prisons are starting to contract COVID-19, and it’s imperative for BOP to immediately move to stop the spread of this disease. Today, I urged BOP Director Carvajal to take action – like placing vulnerable and older inmates in home confinement – to prevent this virus from getting a greater foothold at federal prisons throughout the country,” said Durbin.

Last week, Durbin sent a bipartisan letter to the Department of Justice and BOP urging the agencies to use First Step Act authorities to release or transfer to home confinement nonviolent inmates who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.

As of Monday, March 30, 28 BOP inmates and 24 BOP staff had tested positive for COVID-19, including two staff members in Chicago.