[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 247 (Friday, December 23, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 94253-94254]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-30998]


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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Bureau of Prisons

28 CFR Parts 500 and 553

[Docket No. BOP-1163]
RIN 1120-AB63


Contraband and Inmate Personal Property: Technical Change

AGENCY: Bureau of Prisons, Justice.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: In this document, the Bureau of Prisons makes a minor 
technical change to its regulations on contraband and inmate personal 
property to maintain consistency in language which describes the 
purpose of the regulations as ensuring the safety, security, or good 
order of the facility or protection of the public.

DATES: This rule will be effective on January 23, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah Qureshi, Office of General 
Counsel, Bureau of Prisons, phone (202) 307-2105.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    In this document, the Bureau of Prisons (Bureau) finalizes a minor 
technical change to its regulations on contraband and inmate personal 
property to maintain consistency in language which describes the 
purpose of the regulations as ensuring the ``safety, security, or good 
order of the facility or protection of the public.''
    Variations on this phrase appear throughout the Bureau's 
regulations in 28 CFR Chapter V. See 28 CFR 500.1(h), 501.2(b), 
501.3(b), 511.10(a), 511.11(a), 511.12(a), 511.15(b), 511.17(b), 
540.12(a), 540.14(c) and (d), 540.15(d), 540.40, 540.44(c), 540.51(h), 
540.70, 540.71(b) and (d), 540.100(a), 540.101(a), 541.12, 541.43(b), 
541.63(c), 543.11(f), 543.14(a) and (c), 543.15(c), 543.16(b), 544.20, 
544.21(b), 548.10, 548.16-548.18, 549.13(b), 549.50, 549.51(b), 551.1, 
551.10, 551.12(d), 551.16(a), 551.31(b), 551.34(b), 551.35, 551.71(d), 
551.110(a), 551.112(b), 551.113(a), 551.115(a), 552.13(b), 552.20, 
552.21(a) and (d), 553.11(h), 553.12(b).
    The Bureau has conformed the phrase in all revised regulations 
since approximately 2005. This rule likewise conforms this phrase in 
the Bureau's regulations on contraband. An interim rule on this subject 
was published on August 3, 2015 (80 FR 45883), and became effective on 
September 2, 2015, although public comments were accepted until October 
2, 2015.

[[Page 94254]]

    Prior to the September 2, 2015, effective date of the interim rule, 
the definition of contraband in Sec.  500.1(h) read as follows: 
``Contraband is material prohibited by law, or by regulation, or 
material which can reasonably be expected to cause physical injury or 
adversely affect the security, safety, or good order of the 
institution.'' The interim rule conformed the ``security, safety, or 
good order'' phrase to the language we have used in recent years, to 
read as follows: ``Contraband is material prohibited by law, 
regulation, or policy that can reasonably be expected to cause physical 
injury or adversely affect the safety, security, or good order of the 
facility or protection of the public.''
    Likewise, to conform the phrase and underscore the importance of 
prohibiting contraband, we added the phrase to the end of the first 
sentence of Sec.  553.10, regarding inmate personal property, to read 
as follows: ``It is the policy of the Bureau of Prisons that an inmate 
may possess ordinarily only that property which the inmate is 
authorized to retain upon admission to the institution, which is issued 
while the inmate is in custody, which the inmate purchases in the 
institution commissary, or which is approved by staff to be mailed to, 
or otherwise received by an inmate, that does not threaten the safety, 
security, or good order of the facility or protection of the public.'' 
[Emphasis added.] Further, Sec.  543.12(b) contained another 
description/definition of contraband, categorizing it as either ``hard 
contraband'' or ``nuisance contraband.'' The interim rule added the 
``safety, security'' phrase to this regulation as well.
    It is important to note that neither the interim nor this final 
rule change the substantive requirements or obligations relating to 
petitions for commutation of sentence, nor do they seek to alter the 
Bureau's responsibilities in this regard.

Public Comments

    We received two comments on the August 3, 2015 interim rule via the 
publicly-accessible regulations.gov Web site.
    One commenter requested that the Bureau of Prisons ``plainly spell 
out the changes that are being put out for public notice,'' indicating 
confusion with regard to the interim rule changes.
    The interim rule contained an explanation of the changes made by 
the interim rule. It is possible that the commenter may have read only 
the summary available on the regulations.gov Web site, rather than the 
entire interim rule document. However, for the benefit of any who may 
have been confused by the interim rule, we offer the following 
explanation.
    The interim rule document made a minor technical change to the 
Bureau of Prisons regulations on contraband and inmate personal 
property: We added the phrase ``safety, security, or good order of the 
facility or protection of the public.'' We did this to show that this 
is the purpose of the contraband regulations--to ensure the ``safety, 
security, or good order of the facility or protection of the public.'' 
We also did this because this phrase appears, for the same purpose, 
throughout the Bureau's other regulations, and we have used this phrase 
in new regulations, when possible, since 2005. The addition of the 
phrase did not change the meaning or requirements of the regulations to 
which it was added, and did not alter the Bureau's responsibilities.
    The second commenter stated as follows: ``So many times inmates 
come to facilities and mix with wrong crowds out of fear or 
intimidation. Leaving lockers unlocked due to [comfort] and many other 
reasons. These things should be [taken into account] if this happens 
three times in one year they should be further reviews on the inmates. 
This is not tolerated but common for Camps.'' This comment is not 
relevant to the current regulation change, which does not discuss 
inmate lockers or storage of personal property. The Bureau will take 
this comment into consideration when developing new policy with regard 
to inmates in federal prison camps.
    For the aforementioned reasons, the Bureau now finalizes the 
interim rule published on August 2, 2015, without change.
    Executive Order 12866. This regulation falls within a category of 
actions that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has determined 
not to constitute ``significant regulatory actions'' under section 3(f) 
of Executive Order 12866 and, accordingly, it was not reviewed by OMB.
    Executive Order 13132. This regulation will not have substantial 
direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national 
government and the States, or on distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, 
under Executive Order 13132, we determine that this regulation does not 
have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a 
Federalism Assessment.
    Regulatory Flexibility Act. The Director of the Bureau of Prisons, 
under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), reviewed this 
regulation and by approving it certifies that it will not have a 
significant economic impact upon a substantial number of small entities 
for the following reasons: This regulation pertains to the correctional 
management of offenders committed to the custody of the Attorney 
General or the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, and its economic 
impact is limited to the Bureau's appropriated funds.
    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. This regulation will not 
result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in 
the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more in any 
one year, and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small 
governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the 
provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.
    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This 
regulation is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This regulation 
will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or 
more; a major increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse 
effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, 
innovation, or on the ability of United States-based companies to 
compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets.

List of Subjects in 28 CFR Parts 500 and 553

    Prisoners.

Kathleen M. Kenney,
Assistant Director/General, Counsel, Federal Bureau of Prisons.

0
Under rulemaking authority vested in the Attorney General in 5 U.S.C. 
301; 28 U.S.C. 509, 510 and delegated to the Director, Bureau of 
Prisons in 28 CFR 0.96, the interim rule amending 28 CFR parts 500 and 
553, which was published at 80 FR 45883, on August 3, 2015, is adopted 
as a final rule without change.

[FR Doc. 2016-30998 Filed 12-22-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4410-05-P