BJS studies are the primary source of national statistics on recidivism and reentry for policymakers and practitioners. BJS has conducted recidivism research throughout its history, with the first publications released in the 1980s. Since then, BJS has expanded the program to include more data sources and improved data collection systems.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) collects criminal history data from the FBI and state record repositories to study recidivism patterns of various offenders, including persons on probation or discharged from prison.
Pretrial release refers to the conditions of release from custody to which defendants must adhere during the time period between the filing of charges by law enforcement and court adjudication. After arrest charges are filed, the courts will decide whether a defendant can be released pending trial and other court proceedings. If a defendant is released pretrial, the courts may issue stipulations on that release that fall along a spectrum of least to most restrictive, often driven by the severity of the charges filed and the defendant’s prior criminal history.
Inmates under the care and custody of a local, state, or federal correctional authority are generally housed in one of two types of facilities – a local jail or a state or federal prison. BJS collects data on the administration and operation of both types of facilities.
BJS maintains multiple data collections covering various aspects of the federal justice system encompassing law enforcement, prosecution, courts, and corrections. BJS data collections range from censuses of law enforcement and annual deaths in custody to federal case processing statistical information, describing the number of suspects/defendants from arrest to imprisonment.