Appendix B. Mission Statements of Correctional Departments

black Image of scales on white background with the words, "calibrate the scales" overlaid. As with any set of scales, the scales of justice must, from time to time, be recalibrated. Total balance is never achieved, but all in the criminal justice and legal systems must strive for it as much as possible.

A Brief Note About this List of Mission Statements of Prisons in the United States:

The following Mission Statements are provided to give students of criminal justice and law an easy source of comparison. As can be seen, Mission Statements vary widely among the states with some presenting elaborate high ideals and others keeping it very simple.

In each case, we have included the link to the appropriate Department of Corrections page on which the Mission Statement is found. We have left the links raw for a reason. Some of these were not easy to find so leaving the links raw can help students get a better idea about how to locate useful information on such sites in the future. Or not.

You may note some typos and grammatical errors in the quotations. This is correct. We do not change quoted material.

In any case, we do hope you find this collection of Mission Statements from Correctional departments nationwide useful. Be sure to bookmark the page for easy reference and if you find it useful, give us a like at the bottom, please. Thanks.

United States Bureau of Prisons

“It is the mission of the Federal Bureau of Prisons to protect society by confining offenders in the controlled environments of prisons and community-based facilities that are safe, humane, cost-efficient, and appropriately secure, and that provide work and other self-improvement opportunities to assist offenders in becoming law-abiding citizens.”



“The mission of the Alabama Department of Corrections is to confine, manage and provide rehabilitative programs for convicted felons in a safe, secure and humane environment, utilizing professionals who are committed to public safety and to the positive re-entry of offenders into society.”



“The Alaska Department of Corrections provides secure confinement, reformative programs, and a process of supervised community reintegration to enhance the safety of our communities.

“We are trained professionals committed to a safe, open and respectful organization. We are dedicated to public safety and will always respect the rights and dignity of victims of crime. Offenders in our charge will be treated in a safe and humane manner, and will be expected to enhance their ability to reform every day.”



“To serve and protect the people of Arizona by securely incarcerating convicted felons, by providing structured programming designed to support inmate accountability and successful community reintegration, and by providing effective supervision for those offenders conditionally released from prison.”



“The mission of the Arkansas Department of Correction is to provide public safety by carrying out the mandate of the courts; provide a safe humane environment for staff and inmates; strengthen the work ethic through teaching of good habits; and provide opportunities for staff and inmates to improve spiritually, mentally, and physically.”



“We protect the public by safely and securely supervising adult and juvenile offenders, providing effective rehabilitation and treatment, and integrating offenders successfully into the community.”



“To protect the citizens of Colorado by holding offenders accountable and engaging them in opportunities to make positive behavioral changes and become law-abiding, productive citizens.”



“The Department of Correction shall strive to be a global leader in progressive correctional practices and partnered re-entry initiatives to support responsive evidence-based practices aligned to law-abiding and accountable behaviors. Safety and security shall be a priority component of this responsibility as if pertains to staff, victims, citizens, and offenders”



“Protect the public by supervising adult offenders through safe and humane services, programs and facilities.”



“To promote safety of the public, our staff and offenders by providing security, supervision, and care, offering opportunities for successful re-entry into society, and capitalizing on partnerships to continue to improve the quality of life in Florida.”



“The Department of Corrections creates a safer Georgia by effectively managing offenders and providing opportunities for positive change.”



“The mission of the Department of Public Safety (PSD) is to uphold justice and public safety by providing correctional and law enforcement services to Hawaii’s communities with professionalism, integrity and fairness.”



“To promote a safer Idaho by reducing recidivism.”



“The mission of the Department of Corrections is to protect the public from criminal offenders through a system of incarceration and supervision which securely segregates offenders from society, assures offenders of their constitutional rights and maintains programs to enhance the success of offenders’ reentry into society.”



“The Indiana Department of Correction advances public safety and successful re-entry through dynamic supervision, programming, and partnerships.”



“To advance successful offender reentry to protect the public, staff and offenders from victimization.”



“Honesty, Professionalism, integrity, Personal Responsibility, Respect and Non-Discrimination are the values that are embedded in every decision we make and in every action we take.”



“To protect the citizens of the Commonwealth and to provide a safe, secure and humane environment for staff and offenders in carrying out the mandates of the legislative and judicial processes; and, to provide opportunities for offenders to acquire skills which facilitate non-criminal behavior.”



“The mission of Corrections Services is to enhance public safety through the safe and secure incarceration of offenders, effective probation/parole supervision and proven rehabilitative strategies that successfully reintegrate offenders into society, as well as to assist individuals and communities victimized by crime.”



Instead of a Mission Statement, the state of Maine operates under

“Guiding Principles

“Evidence-Based Practices are correctional interventions considered effective because they reduce offender risk and subsequent recidivism and therefore make a positive long-term contribution to public safety. Evidence based practices means that our decisions will be based on the best available information, risk assessment practices and intervention actions and will focus on those risk factors that exist in the individual or his or her environment which if changed will reduce the likelihood that an offender will offend again. The National Institute of Corrections Principles for Effective Intervention will provide the framework for our approach.”



“The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services protects the public, its employees, and detainees and offenders under its supervision.”



“Our mission is to promote public safety by managing offenders while providing care and appropriate programming in preparation for successful reentry into the community.”



“The mission of the Michigan Department of Corrections is to create a safer Michigan by holding offenders accountable while promoting their success.”



“Reduce recidivism by promoting offender change through proven strategies during safe and secure incarceration and effective community supervision.”



“The mission of the Mississippi Department of Corrections is to enhance public safety by providing secure facilities and effective post-release supervision for offenders and ensuring a safe and professional work environment for staff while bringing accountability, innovation, and fiscal responsibility to the citizens of Mississippi.”



“The Missouri Department of Corrections supervises and provides rehabilitative services to adult offenders in correctional institutions and Missouri communities to enhance public safety.”



“The Montana Department of Corrections staff enhances public safety, supports the victims of crime, promotes positive change in offender behavior, and reintegrates offenders into the community.”



“The mission of the Department of Correctional Services is to Keep People Safe.”



“Protect the public by confining convicted felons according to the law, while keeping staff and inmates safe.”


New Hampshire

“Our Mission is to provide a safe, secure, and humane correctional system through effective supervision and appropriate treatment of offenders, and a continuum of services that promote successful re-entry into society for the safety of our citizens and in support of crime victims.”


New Jersey

“The mission of the New Jersey Department of Corrections is to protect the public by operating safe, secure, and humane correctional facilities. The mission is realized through effective supervision, proper classification, appropriate treatment of offenders, and by providing services that promote successful reentry into society.”


New Mexico

“The Corrections Department provides a balanced system approach to corrections from incarceration to community – based supervision with training, education, programs and services that provide opportunities for offenders to transition to communities.”

New York

“To improve public safety by providing a continuity of appropriate treatment services in safe and secure facilities where offenders’ needs are addressed and they are prepared for release, followed by supportive services under community supervision to facilitate a successful completion of their sentence.”


North Carolina

The state of North Carolina does not show a mission statement. The nearest to one to be found is…

“The Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice is responsible for the care, custody and supervision of all adults and juveniles sentenced after conviction for violations of North Carolina law.”


North Dakota


“Our Mission is to enhance public safety, to reduce the risk of future criminal behavior by holding adult and juvenile offenders accountable, and to provide opportunities for change.”

State Penitentiary

“The mission of the North Dakota State Penitentiary is to protect the public by maintaining proper custody of the offenders sentenced by the courts; to provide a safe and healthy environment for staff and inmates; and to offer the best work, education, and treatment programs possible, encouraging inmates to make the needed changes to be law abiding and successful in society.”



“To reduce recidivism among those we touch.”



  • “To Protect the Public

  • “To Protect the Employee

  • “To Protect the Offender”



“The mission of the Oregon Department of Corrections is to promote public safety by holding offenders accountable for their actions and reducing the risk of future criminal behavior.”



The state of Pennsylvania is the only DOC which includes a Spanish interpretation of their Mission Statement.

“The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections operates as one team, embraces diversity, and commits to enhancing public safety. We are proud of our reputation as leaders in the corrections field. Our mission is to reduce criminal behavior by providing individualized treatment and education to offenders, resulting in successful community reintegration through accountability and positive change.

“El Departamento de Correcciones de Pennsylvania opera como un solo equipo, abraza la diversidad y se compromete a mejorar la seguridad pública. Estamos orgullosos de nuestra reputación como líderes en el campo de correcciones. Nuestra misión es reducir la conducta criminal proporcionando tratamiento individualizado y educación a los reclusos resultando en la reintegración exitosa de la comunidad a través de la rendición de cuentas y cambio positivo.”


Rhode Island

“The mission of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC) is to contribute to public safety by maintaining a balanced correctional system of institutional and community programs that provide a range of control and rehabilitative options for criminal offenders.”


South Carolina

“Safety, Service, Stewardship

“The mission of the South Carolina Department of Corrections is: Safety–we will protect the public, our employees, and our inmates. Service–we will provide rehabilitation and self-improvement opportunities for inmates. Stewardship–we will promote professional excellence, fiscal responsibility, and self-sufficiency.”


South Dakota

“To protect the citizens of South Dakota by providing safe and secure facilities for juvenile and adult offenders committed to our custody by the courts, to provide effective community supervision to offenders upon their release and to utilize evidence-based practices to maximize opportunities for rehabilitation.”



“To operate safe and secure prisons and provide effective community supervision in order to enhance public safety.”



“The mission of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is to provide public safety, promote positive change in offender behavior, reintegrate offenders into society, and assist victims of crime.”



“Our dedicated team of professionals ensures public safety by effectively managing offenders while maintaining close collaboration with partner agencies and the community. Our team is devoted to providing maximum opportunities for offenders to make lasting changes through accountability, treatment, education, and positive reinforcement within a safe environment.”



“In partnership with the community, we support safe communities by providing leadership in crime prevention, repairing the harm done, addressing the needs of crime victims, ensuring offender accountability for criminal acts, and managing the risk posed by offenders.”



“We will enhance the quality of life in the Commonwealth by improving public safety. We will accomplish this through reintegration of sentenced men and women in our custody and care by providing supervision and control, effective programs and re-entry services in safe environments which foster positive change and growth consistent with sound correctional principles, fiscal responsibility and constitutional standards.”



“To improve public safety”


West Virginia

“The mission of the West Virginia Division of Corrections is to enhance public safety by providing safe, secure, and humane correctional facilities, operating an effective system of offender re-entry and community supervision, reducing offender recidivism, and assisting victims of crime.”



“A key goal of the DOC is to reduce recidivism, the rate at which offenders are convicted of new crimes after they finish their sentences. The DOC is fully committed to an expanded reentry philosophy that aims to cut repeat crime by implementing evidence-based practices (EBP), that have been shown to be successful in reducing the number of prisoners returning to the state correctional system.”



“The Wyoming Department of Corrections contributes to public safety by exercising reasonable, safe, secure and humane management, while actively providing offenders opportunities to become law-abiding citizens.”