Housing Federal Prisoners in Non-Federal Facilities Is Becoming More Difficult

Gao ID: GGD-77-92 February 23, 1978

The Attorney General contracts with State prisons, local jails, and halfway houses to house individuals who are awaiting trial for a Federal offense, serving short-term Federal sentences, or being transported between Federal facilities. Non-Federal facilities are also used to relieve overcrowding in Federal institutions, offer protection to Federal offenders in danger in Federal institutions, keep individuals near their homes, and provide programs not generally available in Federal institutions.

Housing Federal Prisoners in non-Federal facilities is becoming more difficult and costly. Many local jails, due to overcrowding and deteriorating conditions, do not have sufficient space for Federal offenders. Four alternatives for solving the local jail problem are: contracting with other available jails in the surrounding area and transporting prisoners as necessary, building and operating Federal facilities, providing some type of Federal assistance to local jails to expand and improve their facilities, and using excess or underused military correction facilities. The Bureau of Prisons' past contracting practices with local jails and halfway houses did not follow Federal Procurement Regulations. The regulations were inconsistently applied, causing some contractors to be overpaid and some underpaid.


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