Federal Bureau of Prisons
Overview
 
The Federal Bureau of Prisons (often referred to operationally as the BOP) is a federal law enforcement agency
Law enforcement agency
In North American English, a law enforcement agency is a government agency responsible for the enforcement of the laws.Outside North America, such organizations are called police services. In North America, some of these services are called police while others have other names In North American...

 subdivision of the United States Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 and is responsible for the administration of the federal prison
Prison
A prison is a place in which people are physically confined and, usually, deprived of a range of personal freedoms. Imprisonment or incarceration is a legal penalty that may be imposed by the state for the commission of a crime...

 system. The system also handles prisoners who committed acts considered felonies under the District of Columbia's law. The Bureau was established in 1930 to provide more progressive and humane care for federal inmates, to professionalize the prison service, and to ensure consistent and centralized administration of the 11 federal prisons in operation at the time.

According to its official web site, the Bureau consists of more than 116 institutions, six regional offices, its headquarters office in Washington, D.C., 2 staff training centers, and 22 community corrections offices, and is responsible for the custody and care of approximately 210,000 federal offenders.
Encyclopedia
The Federal Bureau of Prisons (often referred to operationally as the BOP) is a federal law enforcement agency
Law enforcement agency
In North American English, a law enforcement agency is a government agency responsible for the enforcement of the laws.Outside North America, such organizations are called police services. In North America, some of these services are called police while others have other names In North American...

 subdivision of the United States Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 and is responsible for the administration of the federal prison
Prison
A prison is a place in which people are physically confined and, usually, deprived of a range of personal freedoms. Imprisonment or incarceration is a legal penalty that may be imposed by the state for the commission of a crime...

 system. The system also handles prisoners who committed acts considered felonies under the District of Columbia's law. The Bureau was established in 1930 to provide more progressive and humane care for federal inmates, to professionalize the prison service, and to ensure consistent and centralized administration of the 11 federal prisons in operation at the time.

According to its official web site, the Bureau consists of more than 116 institutions, six regional offices, its headquarters office in Washington, D.C., 2 staff training centers, and 22 community corrections offices, and is responsible for the custody and care of approximately 210,000 federal offenders. Approximately 82 percent of these inmates are confined in Bureau-operated correctional facilities or detention centers. The remainder are confined through agreements with state and local governments or through contracts with privately-operated community corrections centers, detention centers, prisons, and juvenile facilities.

The Bureau is also responsible for carrying out all judicially mandated federal executions (other than those carried out under military law) in the United States, and maintains the federal lethal injection
Lethal injection
Lethal injection is the practice of injecting a person with a fatal dose of drugs for the express purpose of causing the immediate death of the subject. The main application for this procedure is capital punishment, but the term may also be applied in a broad sense to euthanasia and suicide...

 chamber
Federal Correctional Complex, Terre Haute
The Federal Correctional Complex, Terre Haute, is a federal prison for adult males located at the intersection of State Road 63 and Springhill Drive, two miles south of Terre Haute, Indiana United States...

 in Terre Haute
Terre Haute, Indiana
Terre Haute is a city and the county seat of Vigo County, Indiana, United States, near the state's western border with Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 60,785 and its metropolitan area had a population of 170,943. The city is the county seat of Vigo County and...

, Indiana.

Before the Bureau of Prisons

The Federal Prison System existed for more than 30 years before the establishment of the Bureau of Prisons. Although its wardens functioned almost autonomously, the Superintendent of Prisons, a Department of Justice official in Washington, was nominally in charge of Federal prisons, starting with the passage of the Three Prisons Act in 1891, which authorized the Federal Government's first three penitentiaries.

Until 1907, prison matters were handled by the Justice Department's General Agent
General Agent
A General Agent is an agent, i.e., representative of another, who has a mandate of general nature.-Colonial use:In the Niger Rivers District the only Senior Agent, who administered the region for the National African Company Limited , was promoted in 1882 to become the first...

. The General Agent was responsible for Justice Department accounts, oversight of internal operations, and certain criminal investigations, as well as prison operations. In 1907, the General Agent's office was abolished, and its functions were distributed among three new offices: the Division of Accounts (which evolved into the Justice Management Division); the Office of the Chief Examiner (which evolved into the Federal Bureau of Investigation); and the Office of the Superintendent of Prisons and Prisoners, later called the Superintendent of Prisons (which evolved into the Bureau of Prisons).

Bureau of Prisons established

Pursuant to Pub. L. No. 71-218, 46 Stat. 325 (1930), the Bureau of Prisons was established within the Department of Justice and charged with the "management and regulation of all Federal penal and correctional institutions." This responsibility covered the administration of the 11 Federal prisons in operation at the time.
While time have passed and laws have changed, the Bureau's responsibilities have grown, as has the prison population. At the end of 1930, the agency operated 14 facilities for just over 13,000 inmates. By 1940, the Bureau had grown to 24 facilities with 24,360 inmates. Except for a few fluctuations, the number of inmates did not change significantly between 1940 and 1980, when the population was 24,252. However, the number of facilities almost doubled (from 24 to 44) as the Bureau gradually moved from operating large facilities confining inmates of many security levels to operating smaller facilities that each confined inmates with similar security needs.

As a result of Federal law enforcement efforts and new legislation that dramatically altered sentencing in the Federal criminal justice system, the 1980s brought a significant increase in the number of Federal inmates. The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 established determinate sentencing, abolished parole, and reduced good time
Good conduct time
Good conduct time, good time credit, or time off for good behavior is a sentence reduction given to prisoners who maintain good behavior while imprisoned. Good time can be forfeited if a prisoner is determined to have committed disciplinary infractions and/or crimes while incarcerated.Under U.S...

; additionally, several mandatory minimum sentencing provisions were enacted in 1986, 1988, and 1990. From 1980 to 1989, the inmate population more than doubled, from just over 24,000 to almost 58,000. During the 1990s, the population more than doubled again, reaching approximately 136,000 at the end of 1999 as efforts to combat illegal drugs and illegal immigration contributed to significantly increased conviction rates.

Staffing levels also have risen dramatically in recent years. In 1980, the Bureau had approximately 10,000 employees. That number almost doubled in 10 years to just over 19,000 in 1990. As of June 2003, there were about 34,000 employees in the Bureau.

Authority

Bureau of Prisons Officers and employees are granted powers of arrest under Title 18, section 3050 of the United States Code under which they may:

(1) make arrests on or off of Bureau of Prisons property without warrant for violations of the following provisions regardless of where the violation may occur: sections 111 (assaulting officers), 751 (escape), and 752 (assisting escape) of title 18, United States Code, and section 1826 (c) (escape) of title 28, United States Code;

(2) make arrests on Bureau of Prisons premises or reservation land of a penal, detention, or correctional facility without warrant for violations occurring thereon of the following provisions: sections 661 (theft), 1361 (depredation of property), 1363 (destruction of property), 1791 (contraband), 1792 (mutiny and riot), and 1793 (trespass) of title 18, United States Code; and

(3) arrest without warrant for any other offense described in title 18 or 21 of the United States Code, if committed on the premises or reservation of a penal or correctional facility of the Bureau of Prisons if necessary to safeguard security, good order, or government property;
if such officer or employee has reasonable grounds to believe that the arrested person is guilty of such offense, and if there is likelihood of such person’s escaping before an arrest warrant can be obtained. If the arrested person is a fugitive from custody, such prisoner shall be returned to custody. Officers and employees of the said Bureau of Prisons may carry firearms under such rules and regulations as the Attorney General may prescribe.

Training

All Bureau of Prisons employees undergo 200 hours of formal training in the first year of employment. All Bureau of Prisons employees must also complete 120 hours of training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center serves as an interagency law enforcement training organization for 90 United States government federal law enforcement agencies.-Location:...

 (FLETC) in Glynco
Glynco, Georgia
Glynco is an area in Glynn County, Georgia located on the northwestern edge of Brunswick, GA. Glynco is a contraction of the words "Glynn County".In 1942 the Naval Air Station Glynco was established on the area now known as Glynco...

, unincorporated
Unincorporated area
In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not a part of any municipality.To "incorporate" in this context means to form a municipal corporation, a city, town, or village with its own government. An unincorporated community is usually not subject to or taxed by a municipal government...

 Glynn County, Georgia
Glynn County, Georgia
Glynn County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of 2000, the population was 67,568. The 2008 Census Estimate showed a population of 75,884...

. There, Bureau employees receive training in correctional techniques, ethics, control techniques, applicable laws, self-defense, report writing, interacting with inmates, and firearms. With few exceptions, all Bureau of Prisons employees must qualify with three types of firearms: 9mm pistol, 12-gauge shotgun and M-16 rifle.

Types of Federal Prisons

The BOP has five security levels. Federal Prison Camps (FPCs), the BOP minimum security facilities, a lack of or a limited amount of perimeter fencing, and a relatively low staff to inmate ratio. Low security Federal Correctional Institutions (FCIs) have double-fenced perimeters, and inmates live in mostly cubicle or dormitory housing. Medium security FCIs and some United States Penitentiaries (USPs) are classified to hold medium security inmates. The medium facilities have strengthened perimeters, which often consist of double fences with electronic detection systems. Medium facilities mostly have cell housing. Most U.S. Penitentiaries are classified as high security facilities. The perimeters, highly secured, often have reinforced fences or walls. Federal Correctional Complexes (FCCs) are co-locations of BOP facilities with different security levels and/or genders.

Administrative facilities are BOP facilities with specialized missions. The administrative facilities include Federal Detention Centers (FDCs), Federal Medical Centers (FMCs), the Federal Transfer Center (FTC), Metropolitan Correctional Centers (MCCs), and Metropolitan Detention Centers (MDCs). The United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility near Florence, Colorado
Florence, Colorado
The City of Florence is a Statutory City located in Fremont County, Colorado, United States. The population was 3,653 at the 2000 census.ADX Florence, the only federal Supermax prison in the United States, is located south of Florence in an unincorporated area in Fremont County...

 is used to house prisoners that the BOP considers to be especially dangerous, escape-prone, or violent. The Medical Center for Federal Prisoners (MCFP) in Springfield, Missouri
Springfield, Missouri
Springfield is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. According to the 2010 census data, the population was 159,498, an increase of 5.2% since the 2000 census. The Springfield Metropolitan Area, population 436,712, includes the counties of...

 is a special unit for male prisoners who require medical care.

Some units have small, minimum security camps, known as "satellite camps," adjacent to the main facilities. The camps provide labor to the main institutions and to off-site areas. Federal Correctional Institution, Memphis is served by an off-site satellite camp. Federal Correctional Institution, Elkton and Federal Correctional Institution, Jesup
Federal Correctional Institution, Jesup
The Federal Correctional Institution, Jesup is a medium security facility housing male offenders in Jesup, southeast Georgia. The prison, on U.S. Route 301, is northwest of Brunswick, Georgia, southwest of Savannah, Georgia, and miles northwest of Jacksonville, Florida...

 each have a low security satellite facility adjacent to each main institution. Federal Correctional Institution, La Tuna
Federal Correctional Institution, La Tuna
Federal Correctional Institution, La Tuna is a low security Federal Bureau of Prisons facility for men in Anthony, Texas. The prison is near the Texas-New Mexico border, located on Texas State Highway 20, near Interstate 10. The complex is north of the city limits of El Paso...

 has a low security facility, affiliated with the main facility, that is not adjacent to the main prison.

Prisons with female inmates

28 facilities in the Federal Bureau of Prisons house female inmates. The Federal Bureau of Prisons refers to the seven facilities that house only female inmates as the "Big Seven." The facilities are Federal Prison Camp, Alderson, Federal Prison Camp, Bryan, Federal Correctional Institution, Danbury
Federal Correctional Institution, Danbury
The Federal Correctional Institution Danbury is a federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut, north of downtown Danbury and from New York City...

, Federal Correctional Institution, Dublin
Federal Correctional Institution, Dublin
The Federal Correctional Institution, Dublin is a federal prison in the United States, primarily housing women. It is located near the city of Dublin in Alameda County, California, southeast of Oakland and approximately east of San Francisco....

, Federal Correctional Institution, Tallahassee
Federal Correctional Institution, Tallahassee
Federal Correctional Institution, Tallahassee is a federal prison on the south side of Tallahassee, Florida, on Southeast Capital Circle...

, and Federal Correctional Institution, Waseca
Federal Correctional Institution, Waseca
The Federal Correctional Institution, Waseca is a United States federal prison in Waseca, Minnesota. It is a low security prison housing female inmates. The site was converted into a prison after formerly serving as a University of Minnesota campus until 1992. The prison was co-ed for a few...

; of them, Dublin and Tallahassee each have one small male detention unit. The other 21 facilities that house female inmates have mixed populations. Of the regions of the United States defined by the Bureau of Prisons, each region has one of the "Big Seven" facilities, with the exception of the South Central Region, which has two of the facilities.

Contract facilities

About 15% of the inmates under the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Prisons are in facilities operated by third parties. Most of them are in facilities operated by private companies. Others are in facilities operated by local and state governments. Some are in Residential Reentry Centers (RRC) (AKA: Community Corrections Centers) operated by private companies. The bureau uses contract facilities to manage its own prison population. The bureau stated that contract facilities are "especially useful" for housing low security, specialized groups of people, such as sentenced criminal aliens.

Conversions

The Federal Bureau of Prisons has converted military bases to prison space. In one case, the bureau converted Yankton College
Yankton College
Yankton College was a small liberal arts college in Yankton, South Dakota, affiliated with the Congregational Christian Churches .Founded in 1881, it was the first institution of higher learning in the Dakota Territory...

 into Federal Prison Camp, Yankton. At least one abandoned federal prison, Alcatraz Island
Alcatraz Island
Alcatraz Island is an island located in the San Francisco Bay, offshore from San Francisco, California, United States. Often referred to as "The Rock" or simply "Traz", the small island was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison, and a Federal...

, has been converted into a park and preserved as a historic site.

Maximum security facilities

The highest security BOP facility for male prisoners is the ADX Florence
ADX Florence
The United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility is a supermax prison for men that is located in unincorporated Fremont County, Colorado, United States, south of Florence. It is unofficially known as ADX Florence, Florence ADMAX, Supermax, or The Alcatraz of the Rockies...

 supermax
Supermax
Supermax is the name used to describe "control-unit" prisons, or units within prisons, which represent the most secure levels of custody in the prison systems of certain countries...

 in Fremont County, Colorado
Fremont County, Colorado
Fremont County is the thirteenth most populous of the 64 counties of the state of Colorado of the United States. The county is named for explorer and presidential candidate John C. Frémont. The county population was 46,824 at the 2010 census. The county seat is Cañon City. The Cañon City...

. The BOP has not designated a "supermax" facility for women. Women in the BOP system who are classified as "special management concerns" due to violence and/or escape attempts are confined in the administrative unit of Federal Medical Center, Carswell
Federal Medical Center, Carswell
The Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, is a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility that provides specialized medical and mental health services to female offenders. FMC Carswell is located in the northeast corner of Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth . Its address is...

 in Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth is the 16th-largest city in the United States of America and the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas. Located in North Central Texas, just southeast of the Texas Panhandle, the city is a cultural gateway into the American West and covers nearly in Tarrant, Parker, Denton, and...

. Most high security female prisoners reside in special restricted zones within general women's prisons.

Alcatraz, controlled by the BOP from 1934 to 1963, historically was the BOP's highest security facility for men. When United States Penitentiary, Marion
United States Penitentiary, Marion
The United States Penitentiary is a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility located in Southern Precinct, unincorporated Williamson County, Illinois. The facility is located south of Marion, from St. Louis, and from Chicago. It was built in 1963 to replace the Alcatraz prison in San Francisco, which...

 opened in 1963, Alcatraz closed and its prisoners were transferred to Marion, which became the highest security prison for men. In 1994 ADX Florence opened, becoming the highest security prison in the BOP. As of 2002 the control unit of USP Marion was the second highest security facility in the BOP. As of 2010 USP Marion is now a medium security facility.

Inmate population

The Federal Bureau of Prisons maintains custody of persons convicted of violating federal laws (laws of the Federal Government of the United States
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

) and many pre-trial detainees for the U.S. Marshals Service and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In addition several inmates in BOP custody are persons awaiting trial for federal charges against them. The bureau also incarcerates individuals convicted of felonies in the District of Columbia's jurisdiction. The BOP has had custody of the District of Columbia's felons since the passing of the National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act of 1997. Most inmates convicted of violating local or state laws are sent to city, county, or state jails and prisons. The BOP has some state inmates in its custody. In its inmate locator, its website program for locating names, release dates, and locations of people incarcerated in the BOP system, the BOP has records of people who were never convicted of crime but were incarcerated in BOP facilities due to being held for civil contempt, as a material witnesses, or as a pre-trial detainees who were never convicted of federal crimes.

As of April 24, 2010, of the 211,108 inmates within the BOP system, 193,129 have been sentenced. 172,565 are in BOP facilities, 24,490 are in privately-managed secure facilities, and 14,053 are in other contract facilities. 197,345 of the inmates, 93.5%, are male, while 13,763 (6.5%) are female. The average age of a BOP inmate is 38 years. 122,273 (57.9%) are White, 81,373 (38.5%) are Black, 3,827 (1.8%) are Native American, and 3,635 (1.7%) are Asian. 69,709 (33%) are Hispanic of any race. 154,204 (73.0%) are citizens of the United States. Of the non-U.S. citizens, 38,457 (18.2 %) are from Mexico, 2,743 (1.3%) are from Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, 1,834 (0.9 %) are from Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, 2,690 (1.3 %) are from the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

, and 11,180 (5.3%) are of other citizenships or of unknown citizenships.

Employee statistics

As of April 24, 2010, of the employees working for the BOP, 23,510 (63.8%) are White, 7,844 (21.3%) are Black, 4,161 (11.3%) are Hispanic, 777 (2.1%) are Asian, 519 (1.4%) are Native American, and 15 are of other races. 26,670 (72.4%) employees are men, while 10,157 (27.6%) are women.

Juvenile prisoners

Historically the juvenile population within the Federal Bureau of Prisons mostly consisted of Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 males who had extensive histories of recreational drug use, alcohol abuse, and/or violent behavior. Typically juveniles sent into BOP custody are between 17 and 20, must have been under 18 at the time of the offense and had been convicted of sex-related offenses. This is because the most severe crimes committed on Indian Reservations are usually taken to federal court. According to the BOP, most of the juveniles it receives had committed violent crimes and had "an unfavorable history of responding to interventions and preventive measures in the community." Most federal juvenile inmates were from Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

, Montana
Montana
Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

, and South Dakota
South Dakota
South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

.

The BOP contracts with facilities that house juvenile offenders. Title 18 U.S.C. 5039 specifies that "No juvenile committed, whether pursuant to an adjudication of delinquency or conviction for an offense, to the custody of the Attorney General may be placed or retained in an adult jail or correctional institution in which he has regular contact with adults incarcerated because they have been convicted of a crime or are awaiting trial on criminal charges." The definition includes secure facilities and community-based correctional facilities. Federally-sentenced juveniles may be moved into federal adult facilities at certain points; juveniles sentenced as adults are moved into adult facilities when they turn 18. Juveniles sentenced as juveniles are moved into adult facilities when they turn 21.

Designation and Sentence Computation Center

The BOP has the Grand Prairie Office Complex on the grounds of the U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Complex in Grand Prairie, Texas
Grand Prairie, Texas
Grand Prairie is a city in Dallas, Ellis, and Tarrant counties in the U.S. state of Texas and is a part of the Mid-Cities region in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. Grand Prairie is a suburb of both Dallas and Fort Worth and had a population of 175,396 at the 2010 census.- History :The city of...

. Within the complex the BOP operates the Designation and Sentence Computation Center (DSCC), which calculates federal sentences, keeps track of the statutory "good time
Good conduct time
Good conduct time, good time credit, or time off for good behavior is a sentence reduction given to prisoners who maintain good behavior while imprisoned. Good time can be forfeited if a prisoner is determined to have committed disciplinary infractions and/or crimes while incarcerated.Under U.S...

" accumulated by inmates and lump sum extra "good time" awards, and detainers.

Death row

The federal death row for men is located at the United States Penitentiary, Terre Haute. As of 2010, the two women on federal death row, Angela Johnson
Angela Johnson
Angela Johnson is the first woman sentenced to death by a United States Federal jury since the 1950s. Forty-nine women have been executed under state laws since 1900....

 and Lisa M. Montgomery
Lisa M. Montgomery
Lisa Marie Montgomery, is a woman from Melvern, Kansas who confessed to the 2004 murder of Bobbie Jo Stinnett, an expectant mother, in an attempt to kidnap her unborn baby....

, are held at Federal Medical Center, Carswell
Federal Medical Center, Carswell
The Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, is a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility that provides specialized medical and mental health services to female offenders. FMC Carswell is located in the northeast corner of Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth . Its address is...

.

The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 reinstituted the federal death penalty. On July 19, 1993, the federal government designated USP Terre Haute as the site where federal death sentences would be implemented, including the establishment of the "Special Confinement Unit," the federal death row for men. The BOP modified USP Terre Haute in 1995 and 1996 so it could house death row functions. On July 13, 1999, the Special Confinement Unit at USP Terre Haute opened, and the BOP transferred male federal death row inmates from other federal prisons and from state prisons to USP Terre Haute.

See also



External links

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