BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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Home  | Terms & Definitions: Corrections | Special populations | Federal Bureau of Prisons
Terms & Definitions: Federal Bureau of Prisons

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 (BOP).

Institutional corrections
Persons housed in secure correctional facilities. There are many different types of correctional facilities, operated by different government entities. Local jails are operated by county or municipal authorities, and typically hold offenders for short periods ranging from a single day to a year. Prisons serve as long-term confinement facilities and are only run by the 50 state governments and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Private correctional facilities also operate under contracts for a wide variety of local, state, and federal agencies. Other correctional facilities are operated by special jurisdictions, including the U.S. Armed Forces, U.S. territories, and federal agencies, such as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

A unit of government or the legal authority to exercise governmental power. In corrections, it refers to the government that has legal authority over an inmate (state or federal). Prisoners under a given state's jurisdiction may be housed in another state or local correctional facility.

Operational capacity
The number of inmates that can be accommodated based on a facility's staff, existing programs, and services.

Private prisons
Prison facilities run by private prison corporations whose services and beds are contracted out by state governments or the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).

Sentenced prisoners
Prisoners under the jurisdiction of state and federal correctional authorities who have been given a sentence of more than 1 year.

Total incarceration rate
The number of inmates held in the custody of state or federal prisons or in local jails, per 100,000 U.S. residents.

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