BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
Home  | Data Collection Detail

Data Collection: Annual Survey of Jails
Status: Active
Frequency: Annually starting 1982; excluding years 1983, 1988, 1993, 1999, and 2005
Latest data available: Midyear 2014

Collects data from a nationally representative sample of local jails on jail inmate populations, jail capacity, and related information. The collection began in 1982 and has been conducted annually, except for years 1983, 1988, 1993, 1999, and 2005, during which a complete census of U.S. local jails was conducted.

On This Page

Data Experts

  • Todd Minton, BJS Statistician
  • Zhen Zeng, Ph.D., BJS Statistician
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    Collection Period

    2014

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    Questionnaires

    Annual Survey of Jails: Certainity Multi-jurisdiction or Private Facility (CJ-5da)
    2014 PDF (103K) | 2013 PDF (215K) | 2012 PDF (100K) | 2011 PDF (88K) | 2010 PDF (92K)
    Annual Survey of Jails: Certainty jurisdictions (CJ-5d)
    2014 PDF (110K) | 2013 PDF (232K) | 2012 PDF (101K) | 2011 PDF (94K) | 2010 PDF (94K)
    Annual Survey of Jails: Non-certainty Private Facility (CJ-5a)
    2014 PDF (97K) | 2013 PDF (215K) | 2012 PDF (95K) | 2011 PDF (85K) | 2010 PDF (95K)
    Annual Survey of Jails: Non-certainty jurisdictions (CJ-5)
    2014 PDF (92K) | 2013 PDF (179K) | 2012 PDF (96K) | 2011 PDF (87K) | 2010 PDF (52K)
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    Documentation

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    Methodology

    BJS periodically conducts census data collections from all local jails in the United States. In years between census collections, BJS conducts the Annual Survey of Jails (ASJ). The survey collects data annually from a sample of local jails and uses the data to estimate the number and characteristics of inmates in local jails nationwide.

    The U.S. Census Bureau, survey collection agent for the 2006–2014 ASJ, drew a sample of local jail jurisdictions, based on information from the 2005 Census of Jail Inmates. Local jail jurisdictions include counties (parishes in Louisiana) or municipal governments that administered one or more local jails. The ASJ sample includes all jails with certainty that were operated jointly by two or more jurisdictions (also referred to as multi-jurisdictional jails). Other jail jurisdictions included with certainty were—

    • those that held juvenile inmates at the time of the 2005 Census of Jail Inmates and had an average daily population of 500 or more inmates during the 12 months ending June 30, 2005
    • those that held only adult inmates and had an average daily population of 750 or more.

    The remaining jurisdictions were stratified into two groups: jurisdictions with jails holding at least one juvenile on June 30, 2005, and jails holding only adults on that date. Using stratified random sampling, jail jurisdictions were selected from eight strata, based on the two conditions described above, and from four strata, based on the average daily jail inmate population during the 2005 Census of Jail Inmates. The sampling design used for the 2014 ASJ is the same as the design used for the 2013 ASJ. The 2013 ASJ differed from the 2006–2012 ASJs in that it included in the sample, with a probability of one, all California jail jurisdictions in response to the two enacted laws—AB 109 and AB 117 by the California State Legislature and governor—to reduce the number of inmates housed in state prisons starting October 1, 2011. The inclusion of all California jail jurisdictions resulted in an additional 21 jail jurisdictions (for a total sample size of 891 jurisdictions). Since the enactment of the two laws in recent years, the California jail population has experienced changes in size that cannot be compared to the changes of any other state in the United States. For this reason, the California jail jurisdictions were put in separate strata so that they could represent only California jurisdictions. The same sampling design was adopted for the California jurisdictions.

    See Methodology in each report for details specific to the collection in the Jail Inmates at Midyear series.

    *For methodologies prior to the 2006 ASJ, refer to the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

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    Changes Over Time

    The questionnaire is modified periodically to capture information on evolving issues in criminal justice and topics of the greatest interest to users. Future modifications include enhancing our data collection instrument in an effort to address issues related to admissions and releases of inmates; inmate length of stay in jail; jail capacity and crowding; staff workload; and medical, mental health, and substance abuse treatment issues.

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    Publications & Products

    The following publications and products were generated by BJS using data from this collection.

    Jail Inmates at Midyear 2014 Presents estimates of the number of jail inmates at midyear 2014 by sex, race, Hispanic origin, and conviction status.
      Press Release | Summary (PDF 21K) | Full report (PDF 450K) | ASCII file (28K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 43K)
    Part of the Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear Series

    Correctional Populations in the United States, 2013 Presents statistics on offenders supervised by adult correctional systems in the United States at yearend 2013, including offenders supervised in the community on probation or parole and those incarcerated in prison or local jail.
      Press Release | PDF (385K) | ASCII file (23K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 36K)
    Part of the Correctional Populations in the United States Series

    Jail Inmates at Midyear 2013 - Statistical Tables (Revised) Presents estimates of the number of jail inmates at midyear 2013, by sex, race, Hispanic origin, and conviction status.
      Press Release | PDF (1.21M) | ASCII file (23K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 43K)
    Part of the Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear Series

    Correctional Populations in the United States, 2012 Summarizes data from various correctional collections to provide statistics on the number of offenders supervised by the adult correctional systems in the U.S. Adult correctional systems include offenders supervised in the community under the authority of probation or parole agencies and inmates held in state and federal prisons or local jails.
      Press Release | PDF (766K) | ASCII file (23K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 15K)
    Part of the Correctional Populations in the United States Series

    Correctional Populations in the United States, 2012 TOTAL U.S. CORRECTIONAL POPULATION DECLINED IN 2012 FOR FOURTH YEAR
      Press Release
    Part of the Correctional Populations in the United States Series

    Jail Inmates at Midyear 2012 - Statistical Tables Presents the number of jails and jail inmates at midyear 2012. This report describes annual change in jail populations and patterns of change from 2000 through 2012.
      Press Release | PDF (1.25M) | ASCII file (28K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 17K)
    Part of the Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear Series

    Jail Inmates at Midyear 2012 - Statistical Tables JAIL POPULATION INCREASES AFTER THREE YEARS OF DECLINE
      Part of the Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear Series

    Jails in Indian Country, 2011 Presents findings from the 2011 Survey of Jails in Indian Country, an enumeration of 80 jails, confinement facilities, detention centers, and other correctional facilities operated by tribal authorities or the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
      Press Release | PDF (1.2M) | ASCII file (23K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 58K)
    Part of the Jails in Indian Country Series

    Jail Inmates at Midyear 2011 - Statistical Tables WASHINGTON -- The U.S. jail inmate population declined for a third consecutive year, the Justice Departments Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. From June 2010 to June 2011, the jail inmate population declined 1.8 percent, dropping to 735,601 from 748,728.
      Press Release
    Part of the Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear Series

    Jail Inmates at Midyear 2011 - Statistical Tables Presents number of jails and jail inmates at midyear 2011. This report describes annual change in jail populations and patterns of change from 2000 through 2011.
      Press Release | PDF (757K) | ASCII file (27K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 59K)
    Part of the Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear Series

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    Related Topics

  • Corrections
  • Corrections | Total correctional population
  • Corrections | Local jail inmates and jail facilities
  • Corrections | Local jail inmates and jail facilities | Jail inmate characteristics
  • Corrections | Local jail inmates and jail facilities | Local jail facility characteristics
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