After years of talking about the problem, the federal Bureau of Prisons has yet to carry out a policy for notifying crime victims and witnesses when an convicted is furloughed for medical treatment, reports the New York Times. In 2003, the bureau drafted a proposed policy that would require officials to provide such notice. Yet seven years later, the bureau has yet to carry out the policy. And the agency now says it may not be able to fix the problem until 2017 – a time frame called “excessive and unacceptable” by the Justice Department's inspector general, Glenn A. Fine.
“There has been excessive delay in implementing the B.O.P.'s revised furlough policy, which affects victims' rights and hinders the B.O.P. from addressing weaknesses in the furlough program,” Fine said. “It is critical that the B.O.P. implement a revised furlough policy in a more timely manner.” Bureau of Prison agree furlough procedures need an overhaul. But officials there said they could not fix the policy quickly because of a contract with the labor union that represents guards and other bureau employees.