D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton has articulated her concerns about the treatment of city residents incarcerated in the federal system led by new Bureau of Prisons Director Colette Peters.
The BOP is responsible for housing District residents convicted of felonies committed in the city. The District has no federal facility for inmates and they must be sent to other states to serve their sentences.
In a letter sent Friday, Norton specifically requested D.C. residents housed at United States Penitentiary, Pollock in Grant Parish, La., be transferred to another facility immediately due to the death of two Washingtonians there. Norton asked that Peters meet with the D.C. Corrections Information Council to discuss the facility and grant its request to immediately visit the facility.
The congresswoman wants CIC officials to have access to prison facilities and be allowed to share information about the incarcerated with other D.C. governmental agencies with the goal of better assistance for those residents. Norton also stressed that incarcerated individuals from her city should be housed close to the D.C. area instead of around the country.
“Housing individuals convicted of D.C. Code felonies in BOP custody in one facility near D.C. would benefit those individuals by allowing them to be closer to family and support networks and perhaps not be victims of targeted violence,” she said. “Two D.C. residents were recently killed at USP Pollock and other D.C. residents have been attacked, apparently because they are D.C. residents. I understand that the CIC had planned on doing a site visit at the facility at the end of September, but has requested to do so earlier given this situation. I believe it is vital for CIC to have access to all parts of BOP facilities, so it can conduct comprehensive reviews.”