Dear Representatives Bacon and Cartwright,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our strong support for H.R. 5266, the “Interdiction of Fentanyl in Postal Mail at Federal Prisons Act.”
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, from 2001 to 2018, the sum of victims who died by drug or alcohol intoxication in state prisons rose by more than 600%. In county jails, this number increased by more than 200%. This rapid increase in drug-related deaths in prisons has left lawmakers scrambling for answers and law enforcement, particularly correctional officers, overwhelmed.
Your legislation is aimed at addressing this issue and limiting the synthetic drug supply chain which contributes to the circulation of illicit substances through our communities and correctional facilities. Upon passage, the Director of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) will be directed to evaluate correctional facilities’ capabilities to protect staff and detainees from exposure to synthetic drugs and opioids and implement appropriate protective measures as a result of the findings. Additionally, the BOP will be tasked with incorporating a more comprehensive inbound mail processing system which includes updating mail screening technology and a lengthier screening process.
On behalf of the more than 373,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I thank you both for your leadership on this issue. If I can provide any additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington, D.C. office.