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 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


Medical Problems of State and Federal Prisoners and Jail Inmates, 2011–12 Presents the prevalence of medical problems among state and federal prisoners and jail inmates, highlighting differences in rates of chronic conditions and infectious diseases by demographic characteristic.
  Press Release | PDF (547K) | ASCII file (47K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 60K)

Correctional Populations in the United States, 2013 Presents statistics on offenders supervised by adult correctional systems in the United States at yearend 2013, including offenders supervised in the community on probation or parole and those incarcerated in prison or local jail.
  Press Release | PDF (385K) | ASCII file (23K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 36K)
Part of the Correctional Populations in the United States Series

Prisoners in 2013 IN 2013 THE STATE PRISON POPULATION ROSE FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2009
 
Part of the Prisoners Series

Prisoners in 2013 Presents final counts of prisoners under the jurisdiction of state and federal correctional authorities on December 31, 2013, collected by the National Prisoner Statistics Program.
  Press Release | PDF (2.1M) | ASCII file (80K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 54K)
Part of the Prisoners Series

Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010 3 IN 4 FORMER PRISONERS IN 30 STATES ARRESTED WITHIN 5 YEARS OF RELEASE
  Press Release
Part of the Recidivism of Prisoners Released Series

Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010 Examines the 5-year post-release offending patterns of persons released from state prisons in 2005 by offender characteristics, prior criminal history, and commitment offense.
  Press Release | PDF (1.5M) | ASCII file (35K) | Delimited-comma format (CSV) (Zip format 44K)
Part of the Recidivism of Prisoners Released Series

Federal Justice Statistics, 2010 Describes the annual activity, workloads, and outcomes associated with the federal criminal justice system from arrest to imprisonment, using data from the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA), Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC), and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).
  PDF (4.3M) | ASCII file (67K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 183K)
Part of the Federal Justice Statistics Series

Correctional Populations in the United States, 2012 Summarizes data from various correctional collections to provide statistics on the number of offenders supervised by the adult correctional systems in the U.S. Adult correctional systems include offenders supervised in the community under the authority of probation or parole agencies and inmates held in state and federal prisons or local jails.
  Press Release | PDF (766K) | ASCII file (23K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 15K)
Part of the Correctional Populations in the United States Series

Correctional Populations in the United States, 2012 TOTAL U.S. CORRECTIONAL POPULATION DECLINED IN 2012 FOR FOURTH YEAR
  Press Release
Part of the Correctional Populations in the United States Series

Prisoners in 2012: Trends in Admissions and Releases, 1991-2012 TOTAL U.S. CORRECTIONAL POPULATION DECLINED IN 2012 FOR FOURTH YEAR
  Press Release
Part of the Prisoners Series

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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