Reports made by the Associated Press showed lawmakers that more than 100 Bureau of Prisons workers have been arrested, convicted, or sentenced for crimes since the start of 2019. Now, Director Michael Carvajal, and Deputy Director Gene Beasley are resigning. Two of AP’s most recent reports include a warden in California, Ray J. Garcia and an associate warden in New York, Antonia Ashford.
Ray J. Garcia, a warden at the Federal Correctional Institute Dublin in California’s San Francisco Bay area allegedly groped a female ward, and asked at least two inmates to strip naked for him, and stored photographs of a naked inmate in a cell. He is also accused of intimidating victims by telling them that “he was ‘close friends’ with the individual responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct by inmates and … that he could not be fired,” according to the statement from the U.S. attorney’s office.
Antonia Ashford, the associate warden at the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn where Ghislaine Maxwell was held was charged with killing her husband who also worked at the prison. She shot him in the face at their home in New Jersey.
The rampant spread of the coronavirus trapping millions of inmates inside “death chambers” likened to the gas chambers used in NAZI Germany, and a failed response to increased violence caused by the overuse of solitary confinement throughout the pandemic along with staffing shortages and the reports made by the Associated Press showed lawmakers that something had to be done about what is happening inside the prison systems. Afterall, most prisoners will be returned to the streets for better or for worse. Hopefully, the increased awareness over the misuse and overuse of solitary confinement inside U.S. prisons and jails will lead to the use of solitary confinement being eliminated from the system.
Several congressional committees investigated allegations and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Democratic lawmakers called for the director, Michael Carvajal to be removed. Within days both Director Michael Carvajal and Deputy Director Gene Beasley announced that they are resigning.
“Director Michael Carvajal just announced that he is resigning from his position amid increased scrutiny over his leadership and in the wake of Associated Press reporting that uncovered widespread problems at the agency,” reported AP. Then, number two in charge Gene Beasley, the deputy director announced that he will also be resigning from the Bureau of Prisons.
Until he steps down, Michael Carvajal oversees the operation of 122 Bureau of Prisons facilities, six regional offices, two staff training centers, 10 contract facilities, and 22 residential reentry management offices. He is responsible for oversight and management of approximately 37,500 staff and approximately 151,000 inmates. He began his career with the Bureau of Prisons in 1992. He worked as a Correctional Officer at FCI Three Rivers in Texas and as an Employee Development Specialist and Lieutenant, Captain at FCI Texarkana, Texas, and USP at Leavenworth, Kansas. He was the Correctional Services Administrator for the South Central Region Texas and Associate Warden at FCC Beaumont. He also served as Warden at FCI Texarkana, Texas, and Complex Warden for FCC Pollock, Louisiana. He was appointed Director by the Attorney General on February 25, 2020.
Gene Beasley has worked for the Bureau of Prisons since 1997. Before being named as the agency’s deputy director in June 2020, he worked as a regional director overseeing operations at federal prisons in the western U.S. He worked as a correctional officer at a prison in Illinois, in human resources, and as associate warden and complex warden at the prison complexes in Forrest City, Arkansas, and Allenwood, Pennsylvania.
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