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BOP Director Plans to Retire

On June 5, 2015, Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr. announced his plans to retire before the end of the year. He communicated his plans to staff. See his announcement and message of appreciation to staff below.

Office of the Director
Washington, DC  20534
U.S. Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Prisons
June 5, 2015
FROM: Charles E. Samuels, Jr. Director
Federal Bureau of Prisons
SUBJECT: My plans to Retire

During my 27 year career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons it has been an honor and privilege to be a part of the "Bureau Family." I always dreamed of working in corrections, and my dream became a reality. I am very thankful I was given the opportunity the past 3 1/2 years to serve as Director for our great agency. However, now it is time for me to spend more time with my family and allow someone else to take on the enormous responsibility of leading the Bureau of Prisons. I plan to retire before the end of the year.

I am incredibly proud of the things we have accomplished working together during my tenure to continue the tradition of meeting our mission and maintaining correctional excellence to protect the American public. I offer many thanks and appreciation to all staff.

During the past 3 1/2 years we emphasized and enhanced staff safety, promoted partnership between labor and management throughout the entire agency, signed a Collective Bargaining Agreement, established an annual Diversity and Inclusion day to recognize the importance of all staff, established the Inmate Model Programs Catalog and increased evidenced-based reentry programs, including specialized programs for female offenders. We also modified the Residential Release Center Statement of Work to ensure the delivery of Bureau approved evidenced-based cognitive behavioral therapy programs, successfully implemented Prison Rape Elimination Act standards, expanded the Reduction in Sentence (compassionate release) criteria, requested an independent assessment and review of the Bureau's restrictive housing policies and procedures, established reintegration and mental health units, increased our repatriation efforts to support Federal Prison Industries, and ensured transparency with our stakeholders and the media, managed our institutions at near record levels of crowding and contributed to record declines in our population for the first time in 34 years. As a result of our combined efforts, rates of assaults dropped as low as they have been in decades. In addition, we extended our work beyond the prison walls to collaborate with representatives in the communities to which inmates are returning and to strengthen families through meaningful inmate visitation with children.

I joined this agency as a correctional officer, determined to make a positive difference; I leave knowing that there are thousands of dedicated and hardworking staff who are equally committed to the same goal. As I have repeated time and again, staff are the Bureau of Prisons, and there are no better staff, anywhere. I cannot adequately express my thanks to all of you for the incredible work you do every second, minute, and hour each and every day to protect and support one another, the inmates in our custody, and the American people. Your jobs are not easy, and you rarely get the recognition you greatly deserve. You carry out our mission with integrity and professionalism, while risking your lives every time you walk through the Sallyports of our 121 prisons around the country.

I still believe since joining the Bureau in 1988 that all staff working for the Bureau are equally important regardless of rank, title, or position. In addition, all staff deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

I am grateful to former Attorney General Eric Holder for appointing me Director of our great agency and for the support he and former Deputy Attorney General Cole provided throughout my tenure. I know Attorney General Lynch and Deputy Attorney General Yates will provide outstanding leadership to the Department of Justice and assist the Bureau of Prisons.

I appreciate the Bureau's Executive Staff and Executive Staff throughout the agency for their outstanding support and leadership, to include working with the Council of Prison Locals (CPL) and local Union leaders to promote Partnership and mutual respect at every level of the agency, to support staff and the mission we are sworn to uphold.

I want to thank all the staff I have worked with throughout my career and all my supervisors; I learned something from everyone. Lastly, I want the staff (Marla, Wendy, Frank, Carla, Tom, and Ike) in the Director's Office to know I greatly appreciate their assistance and support.

Throughout my career, my wife Tonya provided incredible support and encouragement, during our 12 relocation moves and my various positions requiring significant travel away from home she never wavered. She sacrificed her career to support my career goals. I will be forever grateful to her. I am also very thankful for the support provided by our daughter Amber, who experienced 9 relocations and attended many different schools throughout the country before she graduated from high school, and she never complained. She recently graduated from college and starts graduate school in August. I am the proudest father in the world.

I wish all of you great success in your careers and endless happiness in your lives. Take care of one another, take care of our beloved agency, and never forget our Fallen Heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the American people:

Joseph B. Waldrupe William W. Latimer Robert L. Hoffmann
Andrew F. Turner Vern M. Jarvis Boyd H. Spikerman
Edgar A. Barr Wayne L. Selle Robert F. Miller
James R. Brock John W. Johnson D'Antonio Washington
Andrew H. Leonard Donald F. Reis Scott J. Williams
R.G. Warnke Janice R. Hylen Jose V. Rivera
Royal C. Cline Gregory J. Gunter Eric J. Williams
Harold P. Stites Gary L. Rowe Osvaldo Albarati
William A. Miller Merle E. Clutts