WASHINGTON – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the appointment of Tom Faust as Acting Director of the Department of Corrections (DOC) and the departure of now-former DOC Director Quincy Booth.
The following can be attributed to Nassim Moshiree, Public Policy Director for the ACLU of the District of Columbia.
“Director Booth leaves behind a shameful legacy of neglect and mistreatment of incarcerated individuals and DOC staff. In the past twenty-one months, ACLU-DC has filed three separate lawsuits against the DOC for its unlawful failures. In March 2020, our lawsuit urged a court to require DOC to take basic precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 inside the D.C. Jail; we won an injunction in June 2020, but the court found seven months later that DOC remained out of compliance. In 2021, we challenged DOC’s discriminatory policy of incarcerating trans individuals on the basis of their anatomy at birth rather than their gender identity. We recently sued DOC for its inhumane and degrading treatment of a gay employee who was subjected to threats, harassment, and intimidation by his fellow officers and residents at the D.C. Jail.
“We call on Mayor Bowser to conduct a transparent and inclusive process in the selection of the next permanent DOC director. We hope that while Tom Faust serves as Acting Director, he will respect and uphold the dignity and humanity of everyone living and working at the D.C. Jail.
“We urge the D.C. Council to hold DOC accountable for its unlawful actions by empowering an independent oversight body that has unrestricted access to the jail and is required to regularly report to the Council and the public on conditions and treatment at the jail. We cannot begin to fix the problems of this out-of-control agency—which fall most heavily on people of color—without strong independent oversight.”