The Bureau of Prisons has added LGBT representatives at each of its 125 institutions and at its administrative offices:
“[The representatives] are authorized to spend up to 20 percent of their official on-duty time to perform their affirmative-action responsibilities,” [BOP spokesperson Chris] Burke clarified.
The representatives were selected from a variety of BOP positions, including associate warden, correctional officer, secretary, counselor, case manager and food-service worker, he said.
He said the new special-emphasis program managers aren’t required to be members of the LGBT community, though some may be.[…]
LGBT inmates will have no direct role in the new initiative, but they may benefit from it indirectly, Burke said.
“All special-emphasis program managers are assigned to educate staff, which also helps in the supervision of inmates from all backgrounds, including culture, race, gender and sexual orientation. Through educating and training our staff regarding the special-emphasis program, the desired result is enhanced communication and promotion of better understanding of all special-emphasis groups, which will have a positive impact on staff and inmates.”[…]
In June, LGBT issues were addressed in diversity-inclusion days hosted throughout the agency.
Brian P. Winfield, managing director for Equality Florida, an LGBT civil-rights group that advocated for support for LGBT prison employees, praised the BOP for implementing the new initiative.
Winfield assisted employees at the Federal Correctional Complex in Coleman, Fla., to achieve greater visibility for LGBT issues there, he said.
“It’s gratifying to see the Bureau of Prisons adding the LGBT community to its already-existing affirmative-employment program,” he told PGN. “Educating Bureau of Prison staff members — and making them more aware of LGBT cultural issues — can only improve the climate within the prison system for both LGBT staff and inmates.”