GAO: Better Planning and Evaluation Needed to Understand and Control Rising Inmate Health Care Costs
From fiscal years 2009 through 2016, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) obligated more than $9 billion for the provision of inmate health care and several factors affected these costs. Obligations for health care rose from $978 million in fiscal year 2009 to $1.34 billion in fiscal year 2016, an increase of about 37 percent. On a per capita basis, and adjusting for inflation, health care obligations rose from $6,334 in fiscal year 2009 to $8,602 in fiscal year 2016, an increase of about 36 percent. BOP cited an aging inmate population, rising pharmaceutical prices, and increasing costs of outside medical services as factors that accounted for its overall costs.
This report addresses: (1) BOP's costs to provide health care services and factors that affect costs; (2) the extent to which BOP has data to help control health care costs; and (3) the extent to which BOP has planned and implemented cost control efforts. Report.
DOJ OIG: Review of the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Untimely Releases of Inmates
Following news reports that the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) had confined an inmate for 13 months past his correct release date, the Department of Justice (Department) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) initiated an examination of the BOP’s process for ensuring federal inmates are released on their correct release dates and the incidences of releases before or after the correct release date due to staff error between 2009 and 2014. OIG found that of the 461,966 inmate releases between 2009 and 2014, the BOP categorized 157 as untimely due to staff error. OIG also learned that the BOP classifies a far greater number — 4,183 — as untimely for other reasons. Report.
The Hill: Staff errors kept 152 inmates behind bars for extra time
GAO: Information on Efforts and Potential Options to Save Costs
Correctional services—which includes salaries and benefits for correctional officers—is the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Bureau of Prisons' (BOP) largest operational cost, and BOP has undertaken a number of initiatives to reduce costs. Specifically, on the basis of GAO's analysis of BOP's fiscal year 2013 obligations of approximately $6.6 billion, BOP obligated the largest share—about $3.9 billion, or 59 percent—for personnel compensation and benefits. Further, BOP has undertaken a number of initiatives, such as renegotiated contracts, to achieve cost savings of about $61 million over the last 3 years. Report.