The federal Bureau of Prisons is under fire for a new set of scandals, including allegations staff and a warden routinely sexually abused inmates at a women’s prison. Now, whistleblowers who exposed wrongdoing within the system say they’re being retaliated against for their role in bringing the scandals to light.
According to the whistleblowers, high-ranking officials at the prison are bullying them for exposing the wrongdoing, and have threatened to close the women’s prison should abuse continue to be reported. Meanwhile, members of Congress are having difficulty establishing greater oversight over the bureau.
An Associated Press investigation, aided by whistleblowers, revealed sexual misconduct at the woman’s prison in Dublin, California has years of history of illicit activity, and a toxic higher-up culture that allowed it to continue. Prisoners would be sent to other prisons or to solitary confinement to silence them about the abuse to which they were subjected.
Various employees and union leaders at the prison and other federal prisons also claim they’re being threatened for raising awareness of misconduct, a response to that AP report.
One of the issues with the prison whistleblowers is that they do not have an anonymous third-party reporting system like other government agencies and law enforcement institutions. This means these whistleblowers do not have the same level of protection and privacy when they report any sort of wrongdoing.
The Bureau of Prisons has been the subject of controversy for years, including criminal activity by its employees, poor responses to the pandemic and numerous escapes. With greater scrutiny over its treatment of whistleblowers, this could be the moment at which institutional changes begin to arrive.
For more information about what legal options you have if you’ve been a victim of whistleblower retaliation, contact an experienced whistleblower lawyer at Kardell Law Group.