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Statement: Senate Unanimously Approves Bill To Improve Transparency & Oversight In Federal Prisons

July 10, 2024

Today, the United States Senate unanimously approved the Federal Prison Oversight Act after the bill passed the House with a 392-2 vote earlier this year. The bill will now head to President Biden’s desk for his expected signature. Dream.Org is proud to have been a part of the coalition supporting the passage of this bill, which is a win for transparency and oversight in our federal prisons. This legislation had over 30 sponsors and cosponsors, representing a bipartisan win for criminal justice reform during a time when passing legislation has become increasingly challenging.

The Federal Prison Oversight Act requires the Department of Justice Inspector General to inspect all 122 of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) correctional facilities, recommend solutions, and regularly re-inspect prisons that perform poorly. All reports must be made to Congress and the public, and the BOP has to respond with an action plan to fix any problems within 60 days. The bill also establishes an independent prison ombudsman and makes a hotline available to allow quick investigation and response to problems inside our federal prisons.

“This legislation was a much needed response to the deplorable conditions of our federal prison system,” said Kandia Milton, Director of Government Affairs at Dream.Org. “What goes on within prison walls is a black box, and this bill will create the transparency we need to put an end to the injustices that incarcerated people experience everyday. Decision makers and families need access to reliable information to better advocate for incarcerated people who are suffering poor conditions or legal violations.”

Dream.Org commends Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) for leading this coalition, as well as the bill’s primary sponsors, Representatives Lucy McBath (D-GA-07) & Kelly Armstrong (R-ND-AL), and Senators Jon Ossoff ( D-GA) & Mike Braun (R-IN).



At Dream.Org, we bring people together across racial, social, and partisan lines. Through our Justice, Tech, and Green For All programs, we are working towards an America with fewer people behind bars, less pollution, and greater opportunities for underserved communities.

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