"Systemwide, the BOP was operating at 37 percent over its total rated capacity" as of July 2, the bureau's director, Harley G. Lappin, told the House Judiciary subcommittee on crime, terrorism and homeland security. But high-security facilities, where the most violent offenders are kept, are 50 percent over capacity.
Medium-security pens are almost as crowded. In about 20 percent of those facilities, cells are triple-bunked, "and in many institutions, inmates are being housed in space that was not designed for inmate housing," Lappin said.
As overcrowding increases, so do assaults. Inmate-on-staff violence rose 6 percent and inmate-on-inmate violence jumped 16 percent in fiscal 2006, compared with the previous year, Glover said, citing BOP statistics. In addition to being the legislative coordinator for the union's Council of Prison Locals, he is a correctional officer in Loretto, Pa.