Durbin Statement on New Report on Sexual Misconduct By Bureau of Prisons Staff

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today released the following statement in response to a new Department of Justice (DOJ) report assessing DOJ’s response to sexual misconduct by Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) employees: 

“This week’s DOJ report on pervasive sexual abuse in our nation’s federal prisons is evidence of the desperate need for reform. The new Director, Colette Peters, needs to show resolve and Congress needs to back her efforts to clean up this sorry mess."

Durbin raised the alarm about sexual misconduct by BOP staff in a February letter to Attorney General Garland, which followed a series of Associated Press reports regarding rampant misconduct by BOP staff—including sexual abuse and whistleblower retaliation. In July, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco convened a working group to evaluate DOJ and BOP’s approach to rooting out and preventing BOP staff sexual misconduct. This report is a product of the working group’s assessment of relevant DOJ policies and procedures; review of data on sexual misconduct complaints; and holding of listening sessions with DOJ and BOP personnel, external stakeholders, and formerly incarcerated individuals.