Readout of the Justice Department’s Sexual Abuse Facility Enhancement and Review

Last week, the Justice Department completed its initial deployment of Sexual Abuse Facility Enhancement and Review (SAFER) teams to visit women’s facilities across the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Following these visits, the Deputy Attorney General has asked the SAFER teams to identify corrective actions and prepare recommendations as part of the Department’s ongoing efforts to root out sexual misconduct within the BOP.

The Deputy Attorney General launched the SAFER team project to visit women’s facilities in each of BOP’s six regions and engage with leadership, staff, and women in custody at those facilities. During each visit, the team reviewed the facility’s progress implementing the recommendations of the Department’s Sexual Misconduct Working Group, including its initiatives to promote timely and effective reporting consistent with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). The team also reviewed the facility’s conditions, medical and mental health services, reentry programming, and Special Housing Unit, and spoke directly with women in custody. In addition, the teams met with local non-profit organizations that contract with the BOP to provide support services and resources to survivors of sexual abuse.

Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General (PADAG) Marshall Miller led the first SAFER visit on June 9, and over the past six weeks, personnel from the Office of the Deputy Attorney General (ODAG) have led teams to visit the following women’s facilities:

  • Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Tallahassee, a low-security facility in Tallahassee, Florida;
  • FCI Waseca, a low-security facility in Waseca, Minnesota;
  • FCI Danbury, a low-security facility with an adjacent low-security satellite prison and minimum-security satellite camp in Danbury, Connecticut;
  • Federal Detention Center (FDC) SeaTac, an administrative security federal detention center in Seattle;
  • Federal Medical Center (FMC) Carswell, an administrative security federal medical center with an adjacent minimum security satellite camp in Fort Worth, Texas; and
  • Federal Prison Camp (FPC) Alderson, a minimum-security federal prison camp in Alderson, West Virginia.

In addition to representatives from ODAG and BOP, SAFER teams included officials from across the Department, including the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), the Office of the Associate Attorney General (OASG), the Office for Access to Justice (ATJ), the Civil Rights Division (CRT), the Criminal Division (CRM), Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA), the FBI, the Office of Legal Policy (OLP), Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). Representatives from U.S. Attorneys’ Offices also joined the SAFER team visits in their respective districts.

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