"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 - see page 30) 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.
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.
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.