The Federal Bureau of Prisons was established in 1930 to provide more progressive and humane care for Federal inmates, to professionalize the prison service, and to ensure consistent and centralized administration of the 11 Federal prisons in operation at the time.
Today, the Bureau consists of 117 institutions, 6 regional offices, a Central Office (headquarters), 2 staff training centers, and 22 community corrections offices. The regional offices and Central Office provide administrative oversight and support to Bureau facilities and community corrections offices. In turn, community corrections offices oversee residential reentry centers and home confinement programs.
The Bureau is responsible for the custody and care of approximately 218,000 Federal offenders. Approximately 82 percent of these inmates are confined in Bureau-operated facilities, while the balance is confined in secure privately managed or community-based facilities and local jails.
The Bureau protects public safety by ensuring that Federal offenders serve their sentences of imprisonment in facilities that are safe, humane, cost-efficient, and appropriately secure. The Bureau helps reduce the potential for future criminal activity by encouraging inmates to participate in a range of programs that have been proven to reduce recidivism. More than 38,000 BOP employees ensure the security of Federal prisons, provide inmates with needed programs and services, and model mainstream values.
Central Office serves as the headquarters for the Bureau of Prisons, which is overseen and managed by Acting Director Thomas R. Kane. It consists of eight Divisions that provide oversight of major BOP program areas and operations, as well as the National Institute of Corrections.
The Central Office campus is located in Washington, DC, providing ready access to the U.S. Capitol, Federal courts, and the Department of Justice's headquarters building.
320 First St., NW, Washington, DC 20534
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern time Monday through Friday
For general information, call 202-307-3198.
Visiting Hours & Information:
This page provides basic information about visiting. It does not cover every situation. For the official regulations, see Program Statement (P.S.) 5267.07, Visiting Regulations.
"The Bureau of Prisons encourages visiting by family, friends, and community groups to maintain the morale of the inmate and to develop closer relationships between the inmate and family members or others in the community....The Warden may restrict inmate visiting when necessary to ensure the security and good order of the institution." (From P.S. 5267.07)
Each Federal prison has set up certain days and times, called "visiting hours," for family and friends to visit inmates. There are more than 105 prisons, and visiting hours may vary depending on location and other factors. Some prisons have different types of inmates with different visiting needs. Some have more space and other facilities available for visiting than others.
All institutions have visiting hours on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays; and most have them at other times during the week. Individual prisons can set up evening hours.
The inmate you plan to visit should tell you what the hours are for that prison. If you have any question about a particular prison's hours, call that prison or use our onlineFacility Locator tool to find the visiting hours for the prison.
By law, an inmate gets at least four hours of visiting time per month. Usually, the prison can provide more. The Warden can decide to restrict the length of visits or the number of people who can visit at once, to avoid overcrowding in the visiting room. Sometimes the prison may have to limit visiting per inmate to one day on a weekend, because it is the most popular time to visit.
Prisons try to allow for families' special circumstances, such as the distance you have to travel or health problems. Staff can help with directions, including how to get there by public transportation when available; but there is no Government payment or reimbursement for transportation. Again, call the prison before you travel for a visit.
Location: 320 First St., NW, Washington, DC 20534
Formatted Address: 320 1st St NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA