Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

United States Government Accountability Office

  • Criminal Alien Statistics: Information on Incarcerations, Arrests, and Costs

    “This report addresses (1) the number and nationalities of incarcerated criminal aliens; (2) the types of offenses for which criminal aliens were arrested and convicted; and (3) the costs associated with incarcerating criminal aliens and the extent to which DOJ's methodology for reimbursing states and localities for incarcerating criminal aliens is current and relevant.” Statistics are provided for criminal alien incarcerations and nationalities, criminal alien arrests and convictions, estimated costs of criminal alien incarcerations; and agency and third-party comments. “Based on our random sample, GAO estimates that the criminal aliens had an average of 7 arrests, 65 percent were arrested at least once for an immigration offense, and about 50 percent were arrested at least once for a drug offense. Immigration, drugs, and traffic violations accounted for about 50 percent of arrest offenses. About 90 percent of the criminal aliens sentenced in federal court in fiscal year 2009 (the most recently available data) were convicted of immigration and drug-related offenses. About 40 percent of individuals convicted as a result of DOJ terrorism-related investigations were aliens.” The average cost to incarcerate criminal aliens is $1.5 billion per year.

  • Bureau of Prisons: Improvements Needed in Bureau of Prisons' Monitoring and Evaluation of Impact of Segregated Housing

    The segregated housing unit practices of the United States Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and compliance with them are reviewed. Sections comprising this report are: background to the investigation; Segregated Housing Unit population and number of cells have increased since Fiscal Year 2008; BOP’s monitoring of segregated housing policies varies by type of unit, and some facilities’ documentation is incomplete; BOP estimates that segregated housing costs more than housing inmates in the general population; BOP has not evaluated the impact of segregated housing units on institutional safety or the impacts of long-term segregation on inmates; concluding remarks; recommendations for Executive Action; and BOP comments and GAO evaluation. “GAO recommends that BOP (1) develop ADX-specific monitoring requirements; (2) develop a plan that clarifies how BOP will address documentation concerns GAO identified, through the new software program; (3) ensure that any current study to assess segregated housing also includes reviews of its impact on institutional safety; and (4) assess the impact of long-term segregation. BOP agreed with these recommendations and reported it would take actions to address them.”

  • Immigration Detention: Additional Actions Could Strengthen DHS Efforts to Address Sexual Abuse

    “In 2003 Congress passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) to protect individuals against sexual abuse and assault in confinement settings, including persons potentially subject to removal from the United States housed in DHS’s [U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s] detention facilities. GAO was asked to review DHS efforts to address issues of sexual abuse and assault in immigration detention facilities. This report examines (1) what DHS data show about sexual abuse and assault in immigration detention facilities, and how these data are used for detention management; (2) the extent to which DHS has included provisions for addressing sexual abuse and assault in its detention standards; and (3) the extent to which DHS has assessed compliance with these provisions and the results. GAO reviewed documentation for 215 sexual abuse and assault allegations reported to ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] headquarters from October 2009 through March 2013; analyzed detention standards and inspection reports; and visited 10 detention facilities selected based on detainee population, among other things. The visit results cannot be generalized, but provided insight.” Sections of this report include: background; ICE sexual abuse and assault allegations data are not complete, which could limit their usefulness for detention management; sexual abuse and assault provisions in detention standards vary in content and applicability across facilities; DHS focused its sexual abuse and assault oversight on facilities housing most detainees and found most facilities compliant with provisions; conclusions; recommendations for executive action; agency comments and GAOs evaluation. Appendixes provide: Process for Reporting and Investigating Sexual Abuse and Assault Allegations; Provisions for Sexual Abuse and Assault Prevention and Intervention Included in Immigration Detention Standards; NPREC Recommendations Compared with DHS Detention Standards and PREA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking; DHS PREA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Compared with DOJ PREA Rule; and Enforcement and Removal Operations 2008 and 2011 Sexual Abuse and Assault Provisions Inspection Checklists.