Needs Assessment and Programs
The BOP begins focusing on reentry when an inmate first enters custody, assessing criminogenic and other needs as part of the intake assessment and semi-annually thereafter. Inmates meet with BOP staff to discuss assessment findings and are referred for appropriate programs based on these results.
The BOP assesses an inmate for a variety of needs in determining how to best assist inmates in their self-improvement process and prepare them for reentry. This document summarizes the primary areas in which the BOP assesses needs and provides programming to address these areas.
August 2020 report describing the steps BOP has taken to build upon and enhance current processes, resulting in the present improved needs assessment system.
The July 2021 Approved Programs Guide is a collection of the Bureau's robust reentry programs, designed to ensure all sentenced inmates have the skills necessary to succeed upon release. The approved programs are standardized across institutions, described in the Bureau's national policies, implemented with dedicated resources, and regularly reviewed to ensure program fidelity.
With the passage of the First Step Act (FSA), the BOP turned its attention to formalizing and enhancing the needs assessment system. This June 2021 document clearly defines the 13 FSA need areas each inmate must be assessed for and the correlating EBRRs and PAs available to address each need area identified.
Have an idea for a program?
Submit proven programs to reduce recidivism through the FSA External Program Review process.
If you have an evidence-based recidivism reducing program you'd like to propose to BOP, you can submit it for consideration to be used in the Bureau of Prisons. Each program submission will be independently reviewed by social research scientists from an external organization to determine if evidence of recidivism reduction is observed and other BOP-relevant criteria are met.