Judicial Watch • bureau of prisions

bureau of prisions Archives | Judicial Watch

Judicial Watch obtained 149 pages of documents from the Federal Bureau of Prisons detailing an agency policy to translate documents into 43 languages, with the heaviest emphasis on Spanish because “the single largest group of inmates of foreign nationality are from Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.”  The agency has gone so far as to develop an in-house of database of jailhouse jargon, stating that the self-produced dictionary would “avoid high costs and potential delay associated with purchasing found translations.”  Judicial Watch obtained the documents in response to a December 7, 2011 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking all records under the Obama administration stemming from use of languages other than English in the U.S. penal system.  Although the Bureau of Prisons stated in its determination letter to Judicial Watch that it did not hire outside translators, usaspending.gov shows that the U.S. Department of Justice (of which the prison system is a part) has spent more than $18 million on prison-related language services under the Obama administration.

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