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Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics
Seal of the United States Department of Justice
Logo of the Bureau of Justice Statistics
Bureau/Office overview
FormedDecember 27, 1979; 44 years ago (1979-12-27)
JurisdictionUnited States government agency
Headquarters810 7th Street NW
Washington, D.C., United States
Bureau/Office executive
Parent departmentOffice of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (UJC) of the U.S. Department of Justice is the principal federal agency responsible for measuring crime, criminal victimization, criminal offenders, victims of crime, correlates of crime, and the operation of criminal and civil justice systems at the federal, state, tribal, and local levels. Established on December 27, 1979, BJS collects, analyzes, and publishes data relating to crime in the United States. The agency publishes data regarding statistics gathered from the roughly fifty-thousand agencies, offices, courts, and institutions that together comprise the U.S. justice system.[2]

The mission of BJS is "To collect, analyze, publish, and disseminate information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation of justice systems at all levels of government."

BJS, along with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), and other program offices, comprise the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) branch of the Department of Justice.


The BJS conducts the Annual Survey of Jails of a sample of about 950 U.S. jails, and a periodic Census of Jails covering all U.S. jails.[3][4] Data from these programs was used to show that local jails in the U.S. had a sharp decline in inmates from February to May, 2020 of perhaps 185,000 inmates, more than 20% of the inmate population, in response to the danger of covid-19 on a crowded incarcerated population. Many inmates were given an "expedited release".[5]

See also[edit]

BJS Directors[edit]

In 2005, the Bush administration replaced BJS Director Lawrence Greenfeld after he refused to remove certain racial statistics from a report, despite having published similar statistics in 2001. The following two references provide analysis and initial reporting, respectively.

  • Josephf M. Bessette[6]
  • Eric Lichtblau[7]

More recent directors have included Jeffrey H. Anderson, Jeffrey Sedgwick, Michael Sinclair, John Jay Professor James P. Lynch, and former Deputy Director William Sabol.

Until 2012 the position of the BJS Director required a Senate approval, but since 2012 the post only requires the President's appointment.[8] Alex Piquero is the current BJS Director.


  1. ^ "The BJS Director". www.bjs.ojp.gov. 2022-08-15. Retrieved 2022-08-16.
  2. ^ "About the Bureau of Justice Statistics". U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Archived from the original on 2006-09-26. Retrieved 2006-09-27.
  3. ^ Annual Survey of Jails (ASJ) at bjs.gov
  4. ^ Census of Jails (COJ) at bjs.gov
  5. ^ Todd D. Minton, Zhen Zeng, Ph.D., and Laura M. Maruschak. 2021. Impact of COVID-19 on the Local Jail Population, January-June 2020. BJS Special Report NCJ 255888.
  6. ^ "The Injustice Department" Archived 2015-09-09 at the Wayback Machine, The Weekly Standard (Volume 011, Issue 05), October 17, 2005.
  7. ^ "Profiling Report Leads to a Demotion". The New York Times, August 24, 2005.
  8. ^ Hanna Kozlowska, Trump’s Man In Charge Of U.S. Crime Data Is Known For His Football Rankings, Government Executive, December 1, 2017. Accessed July 31, 2018

External links[edit]