May 24, 2024

Following Horrific Findings at FCI Sheridan, Oregon Lawmakers Demand Federal Bureau of Prisons Address Staffing Shortages and Other Alarming Risks

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s congressional delegation—U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, alongside U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Andrea Salinas, and Val Hoyle — today demanded the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Director take swift action to address staffing shortages, inmate medical needs, and other alarming issues that put staff and inmates at risk. 

The lawmakers wrote BOP Director Colette Peters after findings were issued this week from the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General following two unannounced visits to the Federal Correctional Institute in Sheridan, Oregon (FCI Sheridan). The Inspector General report revealed serious concerns about staffing levels, which left inmates untreated for serious medical conditions, locked in their cells for longer periods of time than appropriate, and without access to re-entry programs. In addition, employee misconduct investigations have taken more than 1.5 years to complete, and the prison has failed to track all reports of inmate-on-inmate sexual misconduct. 

The lawmakers wrote in their letter: “While we appreciate FCI Sheridan has enacted some changes in response to this report, we are concerned your written response to DOJ OIG’s report does not effectively answer many of the troubling questions raised. Taken together, these deficiencies showcase a comprehensive failure by leadership at FCI Sheridan and BOP to protect both inmates and prison staff.”

The full text of the letter is here.

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