Holder Avoids Prison Employee Furloughs by Shifting $150 Million


Attorney General Eric Holder says he has averted daily furloughs of 3,570 federal prison staffers under Congress’ budget “sequestration” by moving $150 million from other Justice Department accounts to stave off a serious threat to the lives and safety of correctional staff, inmates and the public, the Associated Press reports. Some 38,000 employees at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons supervise 176,000 inmates at 119 institutions.

Holder said congressional passage of a spending bill keeping the government open through the end of September provides no relief from $1.6 billion in Justice Department budget reductions that already took effect. The Justice Department refused to say which of its units were tapped for the $150 million, but Holder may have given some hints by saying, “I am deeply troubled by the impact the sequester will have on the department’s capacity to prevent terrorism, combat violent crime, partner with states and local law enforcement agencies and protect the judiciary and our most vulnerable citizens.”

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