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Bureau of Prisons director announces plans to retire after two scandalous years in office

Virus Outbreak Congress
Michael Carvajal, director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, is sworn in during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing examining issues facing prisons and jails during the coronavirus pandemic on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Pool via AP) Tom Williams/AP

Bureau of Prisons director announces plans to retire after two scandalous years in office

January 06, 02:46 PM January 06, 02:46 PM

The director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons announced plans to retire Wednesday after two years in the bureau’s highest office and 30 years in the agency.

Director Michael Carvajal will remain in his position until a new director is appointed, the bureau said in a press release.

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“Michael’s career has been defined by his commitment to the bureau, to its mission, and to the people we all serve,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in the release. “I am extremely appreciative of Michael’s decades of public service, most recently at the helm of one of the most complex missions in the federal government.”

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Carvajal began his career in the bureau as a correctional officer in Texas in 1992. He was appointed as the director of the bureau in February of 2020 by former Attorney General William Barr.

During his term as the director, several key problems with the safety of prisons surfaced amid the pandemic. According to the Washington Post, one in three inmates in federal prison tested positive for COVID-19. Seven bureau employees and 275 inmates have also died from COVID-19.

Another major area of concern was reports of misconduct and corruption from prison employees, including an allegation of sexual misconduct from a prison warden and multiple reports of guards taking bribes from prisoners for allegedly sneaking drugs into the prisons.

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Congressman Fred Keller, the chairman of the congressional Bureau of Prisons Reform Caucus, thanked Carvajal for his work with the caucus, including plans to make the bureau more transparent and accountable.

“I thank Director Carvajal for his service and work to address the challenges that America’s federal prison system faces,” Keller said in a statement shared with the Washington Examiner. “I look forward to continuing to work with BOP leadership and my colleagues on the BOP Reform Caucus toward our shared goal of reforming the BOP to better secure inmates and improve staffing conditions.”

No date for Carvajal’s retirement has been announced as the department is awaiting a replacement. Once a successor is named, a date will be released.

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