D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton on Tuesday met with Colette Peters, the new director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, to talk about the agency’s treatment of D.C. residents.
Norton wants to introduce a bill that would require the BOP to place District residents serving sentences for D.C. Code felonies in the agency’s facilities within 250 miles of the city. Under the National Capital Revitalization and Self-Improvement Act of 1997, Washingtonians serving sentences for D.C. Code felonies do so in BOP facilities.
“Director Peters and I had a fruitful discussion today, covering a range of issues,” Norton said. “I am pleased BOP committed to reviewing my bill to require placement of D.C. residents within 250 miles of D.C. and to explore ways BOP can share information with the District government on D.C. residents in BOP custody to improve reentry.
“I am also pleased that BOP is transferring some District residents from Pollock, a BOP facility in Louisiana after two D.C. residents were killed and others attacked there,” she said. “However, I was disappointed to hear that BOP is not transferring all D.C. residents from Pollock, as I requested in my Sept. 9 letter.”
There are more than 2,000 D.C. residents serving D.C. Code felonies in BOP facilities throughout the country. Norton said even though Congress won’t fund a prison in the District for D.C. Code felons, there are enough BOP facilities within a 250-mile radius of the city to house them in those places.
If Norton’s bill becomes law, a D.C. Code felon in a BOP facility would be transferred to another one closest to the city, within 250 miles. Additionally, the BOP would be able to transfer a D.C. Code felon outside of the 250-mile radius to a facility if the situation merits that action.