DC Attorney General Karl Racine filed an amicus brief against unequal and discriminatory treatment of District inmates by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).
The announcement came from Racine’s office on April 11, stating that the brief called on the BOP to “stop using a separate, stricter system to assess the criminal histories of individuals convicted of DC Code offenses than those convicted of federal offenses.”
The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for DC by the Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia.
The BOP has custody of inmates from the District as the city does not have statehood, and according to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), individuals from DC have been subjected to more harsh treatment and more restrictive conditions compared to others in BOP’s custody.
NEW: We filed a brief opposing the unequal and discriminatory treatment of District inmates by the federal Bureau of Prisons—which has custody of nearly all DC inmates because DC lacks statehood.
This issue cuts to our country's core values of equal rights and freedom.
— AG Karl A. Racine (@AGKarlRacine) April 11, 2022
“The Bureau of Prisons treats DC inmates differently than other inmates in its system—this discriminatory treatment is illegal,” Racine said in a press release. “All of this comes back to the District’s lack of statehood, which has profound impacts on the real lives of DC residents. Not only is it harmful and unfair to individual DC residents serving sentences in BOP facilities—which are dispersed throughout the country—but it endangers our whole community.”
Racine also emphasized that DC residents have the right to reintegrate into society following their incarceration through equal access to relevant services and programs.
Individuals from DC are more likely to be incarcerated in high-security prisons; exposed to more violence while in prison; have access to fewer opportunities for education, employment, and other programs, according to the statement, which added that Black inmates are also disproportionately impacted.