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Washington, D.C. (May 21, 2024) – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Federal Prison Oversight Act (H.R. 3019) , which establishes an inspections process for the Bureau of Prisons and establishes an ombudsman to conduct targeted investigations. Kevin Ring, vice president of criminal justice advocacy at Arnold Ventures, issued this statement:

We are excited to see this bill pass with such overwhelming bipartisan support. Our nation’s prisons and jails are in crisis, due largely to understaffing and unnecessary incarceration. This crisis harms corrections staff and incarcerated people alike, and it undermines public safety. The situation has become so dire that organizations representing correctional officers and families with incarcerated loved ones have come together to push for greater transparency and safety for those who live and work in our federal and state prisons. 

Measures like the Federal Prison Oversight Act would bring much needed light to some of the darkest places in our country. We urge the Senate to consider the bill as soon as possible, and we stand ready to work with the Inspector General, Bureau of Prisons, and Congress to make sure this bill is implemented fully.”

For more information on the Safer Prisons, Safer Communities campaign, see our statement here.

Arnold Ventures is a philanthropy dedicated to tackling some of the most pressing problems in the United States. It is a team of more than 120 subject-matter experts headquartered in Houston with offices in New York and Washington, D.C. It works in five key issue areas: Criminal Justice, Education, Health, Infrastructure, and Public Finance. Its work is guided by Evidence-Based Policy, Research, and Advocacy.

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