"The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is the largest correctional agency in the country, in terms of the number of prisoners under its jurisdiction. The BOP must confine any offender convicted and sentenced to a term of imprisonment in a federal court. Changes in federal criminal justice policy since the early 1980s--enforcing a growing number of federal crimes, replacing indeterminate sentencing with a determinate sentencing structure through sentencing guidelines, and increasing the number of federal offenses subject to mandatory minimum sentences--have led to continued rapid growth in the federal prison population. The number of inmates under the BOP's jurisdiction has increased from approximately 24,600 inmates in FY1980 to nearly 219,300 inmates in FY2013. Since FY1980, the federal prison population has increased, on average, by approximately 5,900 inmates each year. […] This report provides an overview of how the BOP manages the growing federal prison population and examines the BOP's appropriations since FY1980."
CRS Report for Congress, R42486