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About NIC

The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) is a small agency within the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons. The Institute is headed by a director appointed by the U.S. Attorney General. An advisory board, consisting of 10 appointed members and 6 ex officio members, established by the enabling legislation (Public Law 93-415) provides policy direction to the Institute.

What We Do

We provide training, technical assistance, information services, and policy/program development assistance to federal, state, and local corrections agencies. Through cooperative agreements, we award funds to support our program initiatives. We also provide leadership to influence correctional policies, practices, and operations nationwide in areas of emerging interest and concern to correctional executives and practitioners as well as public policymakers.

Our History

In September 1971, a major riot at New York's Attica prison focused national attention on corrections and the practice of imprisonment in the United States. In response to public concern and recognizing the problems in corrections facilities and programs at the State and local levels, Attorney General John N. Mitchell convened a National Conference on Corrections in Williamsburg, Virginia, in December 1971. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, in his keynote address before the 450 conference participants, expressed support for the establishment of a national training academy for corrections. The training academy would:

  • Encourage the development of a body of corrections knowledge, coordinate research, and formulate policy recommendations.
  • Provide professional training of the highest quality for corrections employees and executives.
  • Provide a forum for the exchange of advanced ideas in corrections.
  • Bring about long-delayed improvements in the professionalism of the corrections field.

The National Institute of Corrections was created in 1974. It first received funding in 1977 as a line item in the Federal Bureau of Prisons budget.

Our Vision

"The National Institute of Corrections is a leader in contributing to a just and humane society."

Our Mission and Goals

"The National Institute of Corrections is a center of learning, innovation and leadership that shapes and advances effective correctional practice and public policy."

Strategic Goals

Goal I: To advance the field of corrections.
Goal II: To ensure NIC creates and sustains internal excellence and organizational learning and creates the highest customer value.

Our Organizational Structure

The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) is administered by a Director appointed by the U.S. Attorney General. A 16-member Advisory Board provides policy direction to the Institute. The Institute has a core staff of 51, augmented by experienced corrections specialists on loan for 2-year periods from state and local governments and others assigned from the Federal Bureau of Prisons.