WASHINGTON, D.C. - Colette Peters, the new Bureau of Prisons director, took over the embattled federal prison system on Aug. 2. She declined an interview with KTVU when she toured the Federal Correctional Institute at Dublin in September, but she did issue this statement, the day before this news organization published a special report called "Powerless in Prison: Surviving Sex Abuse."
Here is her emailed statement:
On August 2, 2022, I swore an oath to support and defend the constitution of the United States and to faithfully discharge the duties of the position as Director of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). As such, I am firm in my commitment to work with the BOP team, Department of Justice (DOJ) leadership, the Office of Inspector General (OIG), Congress, and others as I begin to assess and address issues and concerns pertaining to the BOP and the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Dublin.
I am fully committed to working with Warden Thahesha Jusino to change the culture at FCI Dublin.
Since her arrival in early 2022, Warden Jusino has worked tirelessly to reaffirm the BOP's zero tolerance for sexual abuse and sexual harassment. She worked in concert with a task force comprised of Regional and Central Office staff to identify key problem areas at the facility. Since that time, all staff at FCI Dublin have received specialized training focused on an institution culture of trust, Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) protocols, staff boundaries, communication, gender responsive evidence-based practices, and trauma-informed care. Additionally, contractor services have completed a holistic culture assessment of FCI Dublin and included recommendations that are being assessed. Follow-up services will be ongoing and will include coaching, consultation, and training for staff. Additionally, the Women and Special Populations Branch is currently working to develop and enact numerous initiatives related to the management of incarcerated women. More information will be forthcoming as these initiatives come to fruition.
The BOP takes seriously our duty to protect the individuals entrusted in our custody as well as maintain the safety of correctional staff and the community. Consistent with national policy, all allegations of staff misconduct are referred for investigation, if warranted. Incidents of potential criminal activity or misconduct inside BOP facilities are thoroughly investigated for potential administrative discipline or criminal prosecution.
As improvements remain ongoing, the BOP remains committed to re-establishing a culture that supports the agency's Core Values at FCI Dublin.