Joe Biden signs bill to force jail security update to bring an end to inmate violence and deaths
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A bill that will force federal prisons to overhaul their security camera system has passed with US President Joe Biden signing off on the new legislation.
The bipartisan Prison Camera Reform Act passed in the Senate last year and the House earlier this month - will require the agency to improve security camera, radio and public address systems for its 122 facilities.
The agency must submit a report to Congress within three months detailing the deficiencies and a plan to update the system.
“Broken prison camera systems are enabling corruption, misconduct and abuse,” legislation’s sponsor, Senator Jon Ossoff said, as per a National Justice Criminal Association media release.
The Bureau of Prisons said in a statement, as per AP News, that it ‘appreciates the work and support of Senator Ossoff and other members of Congress, as well as the President of the United States.’
The outdated camera systems has allowed inmates to escape or even harm themselves to get out of facing up to there crimes.
The most notable example of which was disgraced billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who died at a federal facility in 2019. in New York City in 2019.
According to Crime Report, the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, Michael Horowitz said that broken and outdated prison cameras had hindered cases involving assault and civil rights violations.
He said: "Action by the BOP on its camera deficiencies is absolutely critical to the BOP’s ability to ensure the safety and security of its institutions for inmates as well as its employees."
Earlier this year, AP News also reported that the lack of cameras in key areas of facilities had allowed the widespread staff sexual abuse against inmates to continue at a federal women’s prison in Dublin, California.
According to the outlet, the lack of cameras had been flagged for six years.
The Bureau of Prisons has also faced criticism in the past few years as inmates from the women's Dublin federal prison have been able to escape due to low-security areas.
The agency responded by promising new cameras.
However, AP News reported that several weeks later, no new cameras were installed.
Congresswoman Jackie Speier and representatives Karen Bass and Eric Swalwell had also visited the facility and encouraged a new security system while adding that female prisons also required specialist training to address psychological and medical concerns.
"There is literally a culture there that is toxic and one that needs to be addressed," Speier said in an interview, as per AP News.