In order to provide for the safety, security, and orderly
running of its institutions, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) conducts
searches of inmates and of inmate housing and work areas. These searches are
conducted to locate and deter the introduction and movement of contraband. Staff
employ the least intrusive method of search practicable in order to meet this
One type of search used to locate contraband carried by an
inmate is the pat search. In rare cases, inmates have alleged that staff
incorrectly conducted pat searches, claiming sexual misconduct by staff. The BOP
takes seriously any allegations of sexual misconduct within its facilities. Over
the past decade, the BOP has attempted to eliminate it through staff training on
prevention, recognition, and reporting.
Any sexual contact between staff and inmates is prohibited.
When an allegation of sexual misconduct with an inmate is made and brought to
the attention of staff, an investigation is conducted to determine if
disciplinary action against the staff member is warranted. Additionally, a
referral is made to the Department of Justice for an independent investigation,
which is followed by criminal prosecution when warranted.
Over 30,000 correctional professionals at ninety-four federal
prisons protect the public by confining more than 114,000 inmates across the
country. The vast majority of BOP staff faithfully carry out their
responsibilities under difficult circumstances and without misconduct of any