Skip to Main Content
Project on Government Oversight




Another Kind of Prison Torture

December 8, 2005 


From POGO's blog:

According to a letter yesterday from Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), the Justice Department's Federal Bureau of Prisons has refused to help a security officer whose life has been threatened for blowing the whistle. Prison inmates at the facility where the officer works as well as individuals outside the government have threatened to kill or otherwise harm him. According to the letter:

In August, [NAME REDACTED] received a phone call from Brooklyn, New York, from an individual who threatened his life as a result of his whistle-blowing activities. We understand that the FBI has apprehended this individual and confirmed that he had [NAME REDACTED]'s personal information in his possession.

Despite this, the Bureau of Prisons has refused to take steps to protect the employee from possible harm by relocating him to another facility where he would be less likely to be found and harmed. According to the Senators:

We do not understand why a transfer request would be denied under these circumstances..The repeated denials for a requested transfer raise serious questions about the appearance of whistleblower retaliation.

We believe that this issue may warrant further investigation, analysis, and Congressional oversight.

Even by the standards of these dark days when federal bureaucrats have free reign to retaliate against whistleblowers, this is one of the most extraordinary cases we have seen. Senators Grassley and Schumer deserve kudos for standing up for this whistleblower. Please send them a note of thanks on their web sites here and here. This kind of grueling work protecting whistleblowers never gets enough appreciation from the public.

Let the uncaring bureaucrats know that you are outraged about this case -- please send an email to Harley G. Lappin, Director of Federal Bureau of Prisons, his email is, and post a copy here too if you'd like to share. 

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO's investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

# # #