BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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Home | Corrections
Corrections
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Corrections refers to the supervision of persons arrested for, convicted of, or sentenced for criminal offenses. Correctional populations fall into two general categories: institutional corrections and community corrections. Corrections data, with a few exceptions, covers adult agencies or facilities and adult offenders.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) Corrections Unit maintains over 30 data collections. Most are annual collections of administrative data from correctional administrators, ranging from basic population counts and offender demographic characteristics to facility capacity, programs, staff, and resources. These data collections include—

The NPS also collects counts on specific inmate populations from the Department of Defense (DoD) and the U.S. territories. Some limited information on the number of juveniles held in adult facilities is also collected in the NPS and the ASJ. Jails in Indian Country is a separate collection for data on counts and characteristics of persons held in tribal jails. BJS also tracks administrative data on other topics, such as HIV in correctional facilities; deaths in custody; sexual assault in correctional facilities; and capital punishment statutes, populations, and executions.

In addition to collecting administrative data, BJS maintains a number of recurring national surveys of prison and jail inmates. These surveys are typically conducted every 5 to 7 years and use a nationally representative sample of inmates. The surveys, such as the Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities and the Survey of Inmates in Local Jails, are broad in scope and collect a wide range of data on the personal and criminal histories of criminal offenders. Topics cover childhood experiences, family structure, educational background, prior criminal activity, substance abuse experiences, mental and physical health problems, and conditions of current confinement. Estimates derived from these surveys are national and, with rare exceptions, are not available at the state or facility level.

Data Collections & Surveys

Publications & Products


Prisoners in 2015 Presents final counts of prisoners under the jurisdiction of state and federal correctional authorities at yearend 2015.
  Press Release | Summary (PDF 193K) | PDF (1.1M) | ASCII file (85K) | Comma-delimited format (Zip format 41K)
Part of the Prisoners Series

Correctional Populations in the United States, 2015 Presents statistics on persons supervised by adult correctional systems in the United States at yearend 2015, including persons supervised in the community on probation or parole and those incarcerated in state or federal prison or local jail.
  Press Release | PDF (787K) | ASCII file (43K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 23K)
Part of the Correctional Populations in the United States Series

Jail Inmates in 2015 Presents information on the change in the number of jail inmates between 2000 and 2015 by sex, race, Hispanic origin, and conviction status. This report also provides estimates of year-to-year changes from 2000 to 2015 in the average daily population, rated capacity of local jails, and percent of capacity occupied.
  Press Release | Summary (PDF 163K) | PDF (582K) | ASCII file (24K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Spreadsheet 22K)

Probation and Parole in the United States, 2015 Presents data on adult offenders under community supervision while on probation or parole in 2015.
  Summary (PDF 187K) | PDF (668K) | ASCII file (41K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 30K)
Part of the Probation and Parole Populations Series

Jails in Indian Country, 2015 Describes jails, confinement facilities, detention centers, and other correctional facilities operated by tribal authorities or the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  Summary (PDF 211K) | PDF (845K) | ASCII file (17K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 41K)
Part of the Jails in Indian Country Series

National Survey of Prison Health Care: Selected Findings Presents findings on health care services in U.S. state prisons, including the number of participating states that provided health services to prisoners by type of service.
  PDF (1.3M)

PREA Data Collection Activities, 2016 Describes the Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) activities to collect data and report on the incidence and effects of sexual victimization in correctional facilities, as required by the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA) (P.L. 108-79).
  PDF (424K) | ASCII file (19K)
Part of the PREA Publications Series

Facility-level and Individual-level Correlates of Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities, 2012 This report examines facility impact on youth sexual victimization and also takes into account critical youth-level predictors.
  PDF (3M) | ASCII file (203K)

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, 1993-2013 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)

Terms & Definitions

Community corrections The supervision of criminal offenders in the resident population, as opposed to confining offenders in secure correctional facilities. The two main types of community corrections supervision are probation and parole. Community corrections is also referred to as community supervision.
 
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.
 
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