DIRECTOR OF FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS, MICHAEL CARVAJAL ANNOUNCES HIS RETIREMENT

After over 30 ye​a​rs in the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), Director Michael Carvajal has announced his retirement. On Wednesday, agency spokesperson Donald Murphy said in a statement that Carvajal was stepping down, but would remain in his role until a new Director is appointed. 

Carvajal, a Trump administration holdover, was tapped as director in 2020 by then Attorney General William Barr. He began working for the agency as a correctional officer in 1992, after a career in the Army, and worked his way up through the bureau, eventually becoming the warden of several federal prisons. In 2018 he was named assistant director for the Correctional Programs Division before becoming director.  

Carvajal has faced scrutiny from the Biden administration and congressional Democrats, many of whom urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to fire him.

Garland commented, “Michael’s career has been defined by his commitment to the bureau, to its mission and to the people we all serve. I am extremely appreciative of Michael’s decades of public service, most recently at the helm of one of the most complex missions in the federal Government.”

Carvajal’s retirement announcement comes after an Associated Press (AP) investigation uncovered abuse, misconduct and corruption among the agency’s staff and leadership. More than 100 federal prison workers have been arrested, convicted or sentenced for various crimes since 2019 and, in some instances, the agency failed to reprimand officers who were arrested for crimes according to the AP. 

The investigation by the AP also revealed a warden was indicted for sexual abuse, while another was charged with murder.

A BOP spokesperson responded by telling the AP in November that the agency is “committed to ensuring the safety andsecurity of all inmates in our population, our staff, and the public” and misconduct allegations are “thoroughly investigated for potential administrative discipline or criminal prosecution.”

In that role, Carvajal oversaw an $8 billion budget, over 100 BOP facilities and offices, as well as more than 37,000 staff and approximately 151,000 inmates.

Carvajal also came under criticism during his tenure as director, by some lawmakers for the agency’s Covid response after several prisons saw rising coronavirus cases among staff and inmates.

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