WASHINGTON — The director of the federal Bureau of Prisons is resigning amid increasing scrutiny over his leadership in the wake of Associated Press reporting that uncovered widespread problems at the agency, including a recent story detailing serious misconduct involving correctional officers.
Michael Carvajal, a Trump administration holdover who’s been at the center of myriad crises within the federal prison system, has told Attorney General Merrick Garland he is resigning, the Justice Department said. He will stay on for an interim period until a successor is in place.
His exit comes just weeks after the AP revealed that more than 100 Bureau of Prisons workers have been arrested, convicted or sentenced for crimes since the start of 2019, including a warden charged with sexually abusing an inmate. The AP stories pushed Congress into investigating and prompted increased calls to resign by lawmakers, including the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Carvajal’s tumultuous tenure included the rampant spread of coronavirus inside federal prisons, a failed response to the pandemic, dozens of escapes, deaths and critically low staffing levels that have hampered responses to emergencies.
His exit comes as he faced increasing pressure from Congress to answer for the agency’s troubles after the AP revealed in November that more than 100 Bureau of Prisons workers have been arrested, convicted or sentenced for crimes since the start of 2019, including a warden charged with sexually abusing an inmate.