Should the Federal Bureau of Prisons Become the “Bureau of Corrections”?


U.S. prisons are something of a disaster—both in terms of justice and the budget, says the National Journal, citing California prison overcrowding, the high national incarceration rate, and nearly $7 billion spent annually on federal prisons. Two members of the U.S. House –Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), want to change the name of the federal Bureau of Prisons to the Bureau of Corrections.

In introducing a bill on the subject this month, Chaffetz said, “This small change will help the bureau remember that its mission is not just to house people, but also to rehabilitate prisoners such that they are productive members of society when released.” The National Journal mentions other developments, like a House “overcriminalization” task force and a proposal by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) to give federal judges discretion in sentencing, but concludes that it “remains to be seen whether Congress will actually be able to get anything accomplished.”

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