Federal prison

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A federal prison is operated under the jurisdiction of a federal government as opposed to a state or provincial body. Federal prisons are used for convicts who violated federal law (U.S., Mexico), inmates considered dangerous (Brazil), or those sentenced to longer terms of imprisonment (Canada). Not all federated countries have a legal concept of "federal prison".


There are no federal prisons in Australia. The Directors of Public Prosecutions are responsible for all criminal offenders, whether the charges are state or federal. However, federal prosecution takes place in the territory of the crime committed as the federal courts have no jurisdiction. The offender, if convicted, will be sentenced to the correctional facility closest to their territory. [1]


The Brazil federal prison system (Sistema Penitenciário Federal) was implemented in 2006 based on the provisions of the 1984 law "Lei de Execução Penal". It receives the most dangerous criminals who would be disruptive in state prisons.[2]


In Canada, the Correctional Service of Canada operates federal penitentiaries, which house inmates with sentences of two years or more; provincial prisons are responsible for those with shorter terms.[3]


The prisons in Germany are run solely by the federal states, although governed by a federal law.


The federal prison system in Mexico is run by the Secretariat of Public Security and receives prisoners sentenced for federal crimes.[4]


All penal establishments in the Russian Federation are governed by the Federal Penitentiary Service.[5]

United States[edit]

The Federal Bureau of Prisons, established with the passing of the Three Prisons Act of 1891,[6] operates a number of penitentiaries, correctional institutions, and related facilities.

History and budget[edit]

The Bureau of Prisons is responsible for the administration of the federal prison system, as well as the custody and welfare of all its inmates. The BOP was created to mandate and regulate correctional facilities. The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 increased the number of federal prisons as well as inmates. The Bureau of Prisons provides researchers with background information with statistics and factual information regarding the Federal Prison System.[citation needed]

Obama's 2011 budget directed $528M dollars to the BOP to be used for closing Guantanamo Bay detention camp, moving terror suspects to an Illinois prison, and hiring hundreds of additional prison staff.[7] The United States Department of Justice 2013 budget request for $223.9M dollars included $141.2M in program increases to ensure confinement facilities as well as prisoner reentry.[8]


The number of incarcerated inmates has steadily increased, leading to overcrowding risks and concerns. Prisoners violating federal law serve roughly 90% of their original sentence.[9] Some correctional facilitates are overcrowded and lack funding for expansion or additional staff. Inmates double-bunk in cases where the prison population is twice the facility's rated capacity.[10]


  1. ^ "Overview of Australian Justice and Prison Systems". Attorney General & Justice. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Quinto presídio de segurança máxima do país será construído no DF, Brazil Ministry of Justice, 29/11/2013
  3. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Correctional Service Canada. Retrieved December 1, 2013. 
  4. ^ Mexico: Government builds 8 maximum-security prisons, Sergio Ramos, Infosurhoy.com, 04/12/2012
  5. ^ "Federal Penitentiary Service". Government of the Russian Federation. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Bosworth, Mary (2002). The US Federal Prison System. p. 4. ISBN 0761923047. 
  7. ^ Johnson Kevin. "2011 Budget Gives Federal Prisons $528M." USA Today. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-02-03-prison-budget_N.htm
  8. ^ Department of Justice "US Department of Justice FY 2013 Budget Request" http://www.justice.gov/jmd/2013factsheets/prison-detention.pdf
  9. ^ La Vigne, Nancy. Samuels,Juile. "The Growth and Increasing Cost of the Federal Prison System: Drivers and potential Solutions" Public Welfare Foundation. http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/412693-The-Growth-and-Increasing-Cost-of-the-Federal-Prison-System.pdf
  10. ^ "Overcrowding in Illinois Prisons: The Collusion of a Corrupt Media, Spineless Politicians & Ignorant Citizens" (2010)