Norton Meets with BOP Director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer

Nov 22, 2019
Press Release
Norton Seeks Clarification as New Benefits Become Available to D.C. Inmates

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) this week had a long-anticipated meeting with recently-named Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer, PhD, concerning D.C. inmates, who are housed in BOP prisons throughout the United States.  Norton was particularly concerned about ensuring that the BOP would apply the reforms in the First Step Act, which was enacted last year, to D.C. Code inmates in Federal BOP custody.  Norton got language inserted in the First Step Act clarifying that the new law applies to all BOP inmates, not just those convicted under federal law.  Norton maintains that D.C. inmates now qualify for valuable new benefits, such as the Good Time Credit, early release by participating in recidivism reduction programs, and additional phone privileges and visitation.  However, Hawk Sawyer said that a response to this request is currently under Department of Justice review.  Norton said she will therefore write the Attorney General requesting an immediate response. 

Norton has also long pressed for a final decision on the outstanding men’s halfway house for D.C. inmates.  Hawk Sawyer indicated that the request for the proposed D.C. halfway house is ongoing, but that, of course, a halfway house for D.C. inmates would continue to be available during the solicitation and procurement process. 

“I am grateful that BOP has a new director and that Director Hawk Sawyer was very knowledgeable and responsive to my questions,” Norton said.  “We look forward to fresh, up-to-date information from the new Director.”