Durbin Welcomes Overdue Announcement Of New BOP Director

Durbin first called for a new, reform-minded Director to replace BOP Director Michael Carvajal back in November

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today welcomed the selection of Colette Peters as the next Director at the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).  Durbin has called for a new, reform-minded Director to replace BOP Director Michael Carvajal since November 2021, following an Associated Press report that found that BOP is a “hotbed of abuse, graft and corruption, and has turned a blind eye to employees accused of misconduct.”  Carvajal’s resignation was announced less than two months later. 

“It’s no secret that BOP has been plagued by misconduct.  One investigation after another has revealed a culture of abuse, mismanagement, corruption, torture, and death that reaches to the highest levels.  In light of those reports, I called for former BOP Director Michael Carvajal’s resignation last November.  So it was welcome news when six weeks later, he announced his resignation. 

“I am hopeful that with Colette Peters, Attorney General Garland and Deputy Attorney General Monaco have chosen the right leader to clear out the bureaucratic rot and reform BOP.  It is a tall order, and I look forward to working with Ms. Peters to help her succeed in this new role.”

Ms. Peters has served as Director of the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) since February 2012.  She holds a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Colorado Denver, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of Saint Benedict in Saint Joseph, Minnesota.

For years, Durbin has sought to address the injustices and challenges that impact the daily lives of incarcerated Americans and their families—along with the staff responsible for protecting both the people incarcerated in our federal prisons and the communities surrounding them.  He has worked across the aisle to pass bipartisan legislation like the Fair Sentencing Act and the First Step Act; held hearings on harrowing conditions of confinement, including the treatment of incarcerated individuals with mental illness and the abuse of solitary confinement; and, throughout both Republican and Democratic Administrations, has pushed DOJ and BOP to improve our criminal justice system.