JustLeadershipUSA Applauds the U.S. House Passing the Federal Prison Oversight Act

May 22, 2024

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Federal Prison Oversight Act (H.R.3019 | S. 1401), which would require the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General to conduct rigorous oversight and create a new independent Ombudsman to investigate health and safety of staff and incarcerated people in Federal prisons. This measure, long advocated for by JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) and the JustUS Coordinating Council (JCC), was one of the top recommendations highlighted in our recently released health equity report, Building the Table: A Right to Quality and Continuous Health Care for People Incarcerated and Returning from Incarceration.

“As one of the nation’s largest criminal justice reform organizations that is both founded by and led by formerly incarcerated and justice-impacted people, we applaud the U.S. House of Representatives for passing this important piece of legislation that has bipartisan support,” said DeAnna Hoskins, President and CEO of JLUSA and Founder of the JCC. “As it now goes to the U.S. Senate, we urge them to quickly do the same, and send this to President Biden’s desk for his signature. The lives of the roughly 2 million people currently living behind bars in the care and custody of local jails, state and federal prisons are at stake.”

“As we called for in our groundbreaking health equity report, released last month, the creation of an Ombudsman office would create an anonymous way for people who are incarcerated and their families to report health care concerns and complaints. The office should then have the power to hold correctional settings accountable. Individuals incarcerated have always been seeking an outlet to freely express their concerns of human rights violations. It’s time for Congress and the President to act.”