Racial discrimination has been argued to be wide spread in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. First let’s take a look at the racial breakdown of employees of the Bureau Of Prisons, this information was retrieved from the Federal Bureau of Prisons website. %63 of staff are European American, not of Hispanic origin, %21 are African American, %11 are Hispanic, %2 are Asian, and %1 Native American. The point of providing this information is to establish that this organization is dominated by European Americans. According to Harvard’s Implicit Bias study, European American are %85 likely to have white bias. In a 2010 report from the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission Federal Bureau of Prisons employees were fearful of being retaliated against for filing EEO complaints. In 2005 the Federal Bureau of Prisons were far ahead of other Federal government agencies in terms of retaliation complaints, with the government average being %39, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons being %73, in 2007 the Federal Office of Federal Operations investigated this phenomenon.
One example case from 2006 describes issues that lead to the filing of complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 2006 an African American employee filed a complaint based on the following discrimination behaviors. The complainant was hassled during meetings by European American employees who would interrupt the complainant when speaking but would remain quiet if a European American manager was speaking. A European American employee shook a pouch in the face of the complainant in which the object came into contact with the complainant’s face, when the issue was reported the complainant was told to report to the medical department two weeks after the incident was reported. The complainant was the only manager whose log entries required approval from an Associate Warden. The complainant, a department head was required to schedule appointments with the warden, while other department heads could meet with the warden without an appointment.
This case was reviewed and it was found that the institution that the allegations occurred at were founded to be true and that the institution was well aware that the harassment was occurring but refused to intervene. In this incident the complainant was awarded $20,000 and his lawyer was awarded $84, 450.
Recommendations for dealing with discrimination and retaliation when dealing with the Federal Bureau of Prisons include the following. Keep track of records of discrimination, and remedies attempted. Secure a lawyer. Be patient, the process of accusing the Federal Bureau of Prisons in terms discrimination, and retaliation, is purposely long and drawn out during which time you may face considerable back lash from organization leadership. Make sure that you maintain high employee standards. Overall understand that your case is not an individual isolated incident racial discrimination and retaliation is an ongoing problem in America and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Smith, D. (2006, June 15). Discrimination among staff of federal prison. Arkansas Times.