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You are here News Domestic (USA) Federal prison officials get bonuses as staffing shortages, management problems persist

Federal prison officials get bonuses as staffing shortages, management problems persist

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Coleman federal prisonThe federal prison system paid $1.6 million in bonuses to its top executives and wardens during the past two years despite chronic staffing shortages and sharp critiques of prison management leveled by Congress, according to records obtained by USA TODAY.

The payments – the latest in a series of annual awards – ranged from $5,400 to $23,800 per official. The largest sums went to the agency’s leadership team, including $20,399 tothe U.S. Bureau of Prisons' acting Director, Hugh Hurwitz, and the wardens of prisons who confronted what union officials described as dangerous shortages of guards.

Joseph Coakley, who managed the maximum security complex in Hazelton, West Virginia, where notorious gangster Whitey Bulger and two other inmates were murdered last year, received $20,399. Coakley, who retired this year, collected an additional $34,500 in awards paid out during 2015 and 2016 for his work at Hazelton and at a facility in Beckley, West Virginia.

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