BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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State and federal prisoners and prison facilities
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The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) maintains several data collections on prisoners and prison facilities using administrative records maintained by the each state’s department of corrections and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and personal interviews with inmates in state and federal prisons (see Data Collections for a summary of these collections). State and federal prisoner populations differ from the jail inmate population in terms of conviction status, offense distribution, and average length of stay. The federal prisoner population is also unique from the state prisoner population, most notably in offense distribution. Similarly, prison facilities differ from local jail facilities in average size, treatment and programming resources, and crowding, among other characteristics. For more information, see Terms and Definitions.

Using information gathered from these data series, BJS regularly publishes reports and statistical tables of prison population counts, prisoner characteristics, state and federal prison facility characteristics, capital punishment, deaths in custody, and special topics, such as recidivism, substance abuse and treatment, mental health, education, and incarcerated parents.

Data Collections & Surveys

Publications & Products


Recidivism of Offenders Placed on Federal Community Supervision in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010 Examines the offending patterns of persons on federal community supervision in 2005 by offender characteristics and prior criminal history.
  Press Release | Summary (PDF 263K) | PDF (592K) | ASCII file (43K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 22K)

Aging of the State Prison Population, 19932013 Discusses factors that have contributed to the growing number of older offenders in state prison, and examines changes in the sex, race, current offense, and sentencing characteristics of these offenders over time.
  Press Release | Summary (PDF 236K) | PDF (2M) | ASCII file (63K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 54K)

Correctional Populations in the United States, 2014 Presents statistics on persons supervised by adult correctional systems in the United States at yearend 2014, including offenders supervised in the community on probation or parole and those incarcerated in state or federal prison or local jail.
  PDF (641K) | ASCII file (26K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 48K)
Part of the Correctional Populations in the United States Series

Disabilities Among Prison and Jail Inmates, 2011–12 ABOUT A THIRD OF PRISON AND JAIL INMATES REPORTED A DISABILITY IN 201112
  Press Release

Disabilities Among Prison and Jail Inmates, 2011–12 Presents the prevalence of disabilities among prison and jail inmates, detailing the prevalence of six specific disability types: hearing, vision, cognitive, ambulatory, self-care, and independent living.
  Press Release | Summary (PDF 242K) | PDF (651K) | ASCII file (95K) | Zip format (15K)

Census of Jails: Population Changes, 1999–2013 Presents state-level estimates of the number of inmates confined in local jails at year end 2013, by sex, race, and Hispanic origin.
  Summary (PDF 234K) | PDF (994K) | ASCII file (35K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 23K)
Part of the Census of Jails Series

Veterans in Prison and Jail, 2011–2012 Presents counts and rates of veterans in state and federal prison and local jail in 2011 and 2012.
  Press Release | Summary (PDF 247K) | PDF (541K) | ASCII file (34K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 35K)

Use of Restrictive Housing in U.S. Prisons and Jails, 2011–12 Presents data on the use of restrictive housing in U.S. prisons and jails, based on inmate self-reports of time spent in disciplinary or administrative segregation or solitary confinement.
  Press Release | Summary (PDF 253K) | PDF (745K) | ASCII file (60K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 22K)

Use of Restrictive Housing in U.S. Prisons and Jails, 2011–12 NEARLY 20 PERCENT OF PRISON AND JAIL INMATES SPENT TIME IN SEGREGATION OR SOLITARY CONFINEMENT IN 201112
  Press Release

Multistate Criminal History Patterns of Prisoners Released in 30 States Examines the multistate criminal history patterns of persons released from prisons in 30 states in 2005 and the characteristics of released prisoners whose criminal careers are in one or multiple states.
  Press Release | Summary (PDF) | PDF (612KB) | ASCII file (26KB) | CSV (Comma Separated Values) (Zip format 26KB)

Terms & Definitions

Custody To have custody of a prisoner, a state or the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) must physically hold that person in one of its facilities. A locality, state, or the BOP may hold inmates over whom a different government maintains jurisdiction.
 
Custody count The number of offenders in custody. To have custody of a prisoner, a state or the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) must physically hold that person in one of its facilities. A locality, state, or the BOP may have custody of a prisoner over whom a different government maintains jurisdiction.
 
Design capacity The number of inmates that planners or architects intended for the facility.
 
Federal prisons Prison facilities run by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Prisoners housed in these facilities are under the legal authority of the federal government. This excludes private facilities under exclusive contract with BOP.
 
Imprisoned population The population of inmates confined in prison or other facilities under the jurisdiction of the state or Federal Bureau of Prisons.
 
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