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Ernst Urges Bureau of Prisons to Address Sexual Misconduct by Inmates at U.S.P. Thomson

Today, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) is urging the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to address sexual misconduct by inmates toward corrections staff, many of whom live in Iowa, at U.S.P. Thomson, a high‐security Federal Prison and Special Management Unit located just over the Iowa border in Illinois.

 In 2022, there have been more than 275 reports of sexual misconduct towards U.S.P. Thomson staff. Some staff, particularly females, have reported their leaving was a direct result of the sexual misconduct endured while on the job. BOP has faced staffing, recruitment, and retention challenges as employees continue to be neglected by penitentiary management and BOP. 

 In a letter to BOP urging action to curb sexual misconduct and staffing shortages agency wide, Ernst writes:

“The sexual misconduct endured by Thomson staff on a daily basis is a disgrace. There is bipartisan support to address this pervasive misconduct. The staff at U.S.P. Thomson cannot continue to be neglected by penitentiary management or BOP…The Bureau needs a concrete plan, with a timeline, to solve the problem and reduce the number of incidents.”

 Senator Ernst’s office has been in contact with BOP to discuss the sexual misconduct occurring at the facility and has asked for a plan of action to move forward with adequate staffing levels and policies to protect the safety of both staff and inmates.


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