The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is carefully monitoring the spread of the COVID-19 virus. As with any type of emergency situation, we carefully assess how to best ensure the safety of staff, inmates and the public.
To-date, no inmates have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Updated 5:00 PM ET, March 19, 2020
As we previously described generally, inmate internal movement is suspended with limited exceptions. This suspension, however, does not mean the BOP has ceased all inmate movements because the federal judicial system as well as state courts continue to process criminal cases.
These movement exceptions may include, but are not limited to, transfers related to forensic studies, writs, Interstate Agreements on Detainers (IAD), medical or mental health reasons (including local medical trips), and RRC placements. To be clear, the BOP may need to move inmates to better manage the detention bedspace as well as assure that administrative facilities do not become overcrowded beyond available resources.
All inmates are being authorized for movements from all facilities under the following conditions:
Inmates must have been in BOP custody for greater than 14 days;
Perform an exit screening for COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath and temperature).
If the inmate has no symptoms and a temperature less than 100.4 degrees F, the inmate will be transferred;
If the inmate has COVID-19 symptoms, or temperature greater than 100.4 degrees F, they will not be transferred and will instead be immediately placed in isolation.
Regional Directors will notify the BOP Emergency Operations Center prior to movement in order to track and monitor movement.
The BOP emphasizes that all inmates regardless of where they are being housed are screened for COVID-19 prior to movement. Both the BOP and USMS are using screening protocols for both inmates and staff.
An additional update to the BOP’s COVID-19 Action Plan is as follows: To assist inmates who are releasing from custody and facing difficulty obtaining medications, the BOP is providing such inmates with a sixty-day supply of medication.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons (Bureau) is our nation’s largest correctional agency, housing over 175,000 inmates across the United States. Our mission serves our country nationwide – maintaining safety and security of our institutions is our highest priority.
Our over 36,000 staff nationwide play a critical role in the federal criminal justice system; arresting authorities, prosecutors, judges, and our communities count on us to keep our communities safe and our institutions secure. The work of our staff goes largely unseen and often unrecognized by the general public. Yet this inherently dangerous work helps keep communities safe every day.