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About NIC

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"Our mission is to advance public safety by shaping and enhancing correctional policies and practices through leadership, learning, and innovation."

Agency Overview in Brief

The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) is the only federal agency with a legislative mandate (Public Law 93-41.5) to provide specialized services to corrections from a national perspective. NIC is recognized by other federal agencies for its unique role and quality services. Its leadership is evidenced by the numerous partnerships and interagency agreements targeted to provide correctional services and training.

NIC is unique because it provides direct service rather than financial assistance as the primary means of carrying out its mission. It responds directly to needs identified by practitioners working in state and local adult corrections, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the Department of Justice, other federal agencies, and the United States Congress. NIC staff provides 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.

NIC provides practical assistance in planning and implementing improvements at the federal, state and local levels. These efforts contribute to cost efficiency and effectiveness in such areas as planning, design, and operation of new jails, prisons, and community corrections programs, offender workforce development programs, and offender classification and risk assessment.

NIC is acclaimed by the corrections community as a focused, customer-oriented, apolitical, professional agency that continues to make a significant difference. It is credited with raising the standard of performance for corrections agencies nationwide.

Strategic Outcomes

The outcomes of NIC's activities contribute significantly to the achievement of state, local, and federal correctional goals and priorities:

  • Effectively managed prisons, jails, and community corrections programs and facilities
    We will provide services in effective planning, management, and operations strategies that provide constitutional, ethical, humane, safe, and cost-effective prisons, jails, and community corrections programs and facilities.
  • Enhanced organizational and professional performance in corrections
    We will provide education and training opportunities in management, leadership, and specialized areas based on value-centered principles and best practices that will continually enhance organizational and professional performance.
  • Community, staff, and offender safety
    We will promote correctional practices and procedures that maximize the safety of the community, staff, and offenders; hold offenders accountable; and improve the likelihood of offenders choosing responsible, law-abiding behavior.
  • Improved correctional practices through the exploration of trends and public policy issues
    We will promote the exploration of critical issues and shaping public policies that improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and humane quality of practices that impact corrections.
  • Enhanced services through improved organizational and staff effectiveness
    We will provide opportunities for organizational and professional growth that enhance our services. We will implement a strategic management process that leads to improved organizational structure, management practices, and program planning that support the mission and vision, consistent with available resources.
  • Employment Opportunities
  • NIC Spanish Flyer
  • History of NIC
  • NIC Advisory Board

a classroom being trained

Who does NIC Help?

NIC's primary audience is anyone employed in a federal, state, local, or tribal corrections agency in the United States. Our secondary target audience is anyone in the US who is interested in the field of corrections.

To remain responsive to the field NIC continuously monitors the needs of correctional practitioners. This is done through various formal and informal strategies. Among these are online needs assessments, surveys, environmental scans, plus general and topical hearings. Monitoring NIC's online forums, the proceedings from network meetings, and feedback through training and technical assistance evaluations is another source of assessment information.


How do we strive to fulfill our mission?

Most staff at NIC are former directors of departments of corrections, wardens, deputy wardens, jail administrators, and probation chiefs, which equates to a wealth of corrections experience and knowledge under the umbrella of one agency. NIC serves its customers by:

We also provide research and evaluation guidance and data collection.

Administrative Staff

NIC Divisions

NIC has four public-facing divisions that cover the breadth of the corrections field. Each division creates materials, provides on-site technical assistance, and hosts trainings on topics related to its area of the industry.

NIC Office Locations

  • NIC Main Office

    901 D Street Southwest, 3rd Floor
    Washington DC 20024

  • NIC Training Academy & Information Center

    11900 East Cornell Avenue, Unit C,
    Aurora Colorado 80014

NIC Reports to the Nation

A federal agency's report to the nation is a comprehensive document that outlines the agency's activities, progress, and achievements over a specific period of time. It is a way for the agency to present a clear account of their efforts and their impact on the nation. These reports are submitted to Congress and the President, as well as made available to the public. They contain information on the agency's budget, programs, regulations, and other initiatives, providing important insights and context for policymakers, researchers, and the general public to understand the agency's work and its impact. It serves as a tool for transparency, accountability and engagement with the stakeholders.

Funding Opportunities

Each year, NIC has opportunities for other companies to help us create industry leading corrections publications, videos, trainings, and more. Below are some of our open opportunities, more are available throughout the year on our Funding Opportunities page.

Timeline of Notable NIC Events

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.

Sept. 1971

Attica Prison Riots

A major riot at New York's Attica prison focused national attention on corrections and the practice of imprisonment in the United States.

Dec. 1971

Attorney General's Conference

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. The result is a recommendation for the establishment of a National Training Academy for corrections.

1974

Legislative Results

In 1974, the National Institute of Corrections was created through an act of Congress from the recommendations of the conference in 1971 and a meeting of the Citizens Advisory Committee formed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons and Law Enforcement Assistance Administration in 1972.

1977

Federal Bureau of Prisons Funding Approved

In 1977, funding was created in the Federal Bureau of Prisons budget for the creation of a new government agency called the National Institute of Corrections.

1980

Establishment of the NIC Information Center

The National Institute of Corrections Information Center was founded in 1980 in Colorado.

1981

NIC Training Academy Founded

The National Institute of Corrections Academy division was established in Colorado.

Mar. 2023

NIC Website relaunch

In order to enhance its portfolio of services, features, and brand; NIC relaunched its website.