The Federal Bureau of Prisons 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.
Today, the Bureau consists of 119 institutions, 6 regional offices, a Central Office (headquarters), 2 staff training centers, and 22 residential reentry management offices (previously known as community corrections offices). The regional offices and Central Office provide administrative oversight and support to Bureau facilities and residential reentry management offices. In turn, residential reentry management offices oversee residential reentry centers and home confinement programs.
The Bureau is responsible for the custody and care of approximately 219,000 Federal offenders. Approximately 81 percent of these inmates are confined in Bureau-operated facilities, while the balance is confined in secure privately managed or community-based facilities and local jails.
The Bureau protects public safety by ensuring that Federal offenders serve their sentences of imprisonment in facilities that are safe, humane, cost-efficient, and appropriately secure. The Bureau helps reduce the potential for future criminal activity by encouraging inmates to participate in a range of programs that have been proven to reduce recidivism. Approximately 38,000 BOP employees ensure the security of Federal prisons, provide inmates with needed programs and services, and model mainstream values.