BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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

Data Collection: National Survey of Youth in Custody (NSYC)
Status: Active
Frequency: As funding permits
Latest data available: 200809, and 2012

The National Survey of Youth in Custody (NSYC) is part of BJS's National Prison Rape Statistics Program, which gathers mandated data on the incidence and prevalence of sexual assault in juvenile facilities under the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA; P.L. 108-79). PREA requires a 10% sample of juvenile facilities to be listed by incidence of sexual assault. Data are collected directly from youth in a private setting using audio computer-assisted self-interview (ACASI) technology with a touchscreen laptop and an audio feed to maximize inmate confidentiality and minimize literacy issues.

  • The first collection included 166 state-owned or -operated juvenile facilities and 29 locally or privately operated facilities, with an estimated 9,093 completed interviews with youth. The first report from the 200809 NSYC survey was released in January 2010.
  • The second collection included 273 state-owned or -operated juvenile facilities and 53 locally or privately operated facilities that held adjudicated youth under state contract. The survey was administered to 8,707 youth sampled from at least one facility in every state and the District of Columbia. The first report from the 2012 NSYC survey was released in June 2013.

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Collection Period

2008–09, 2012

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Questionnaires

NSYC Main ACASI Instrument - Older Youth
2012 PDF (282K) | 2008-09 PDF (427K)
NSYC Main ACASI Instrument - Younger Youth
2012 PDF (276K) | 2008-09 PDF (417K)
NSYC-A Alternative ACASI Instrument
2008-09 PDF (214K)
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Methodology

The NSYC consists of an audio computer-assisted self-interview (ACASI) in which youth, using a touchscreen, interact with a computerized questionnaire and follow audio instructions delivered via headphones. The NSYC used self-administered procedures to ensure the confidentiality of the reporting youth and to encourage fuller reporting of victimization. The survey made use of audio technology to provide assistance to youth with varying levels of literacy and language skills.

Administrators in each state, county, and private facility determined the type of consent required for youth to be eligible for participation. In the 2012 survey, administrators provided in loco parentis (ILP) consent in 127 facilities. ILP is when administrators provide consent “in the place of the parent” to contact youth. Administrators required parental or guardian consent (PGC) from youth in 160 facilities and a mixture of ILP and PGC in 39 facilities. Youth in all facilities also had to assent to participate in the interview.

In each sampled ILP facility, administrators were asked 5 weeks prior to data collection to provide a roster of all adjudicated youth assigned a bed; in other facilities, a roster was provided 9 weeks prior to data collection. Rosters were updated weekly, up to 2 weeks prior to the collection, to reflect youth who were subsequently admitted or discharged from each facility.

Interviewing capacity at each facility was assessed based on the number of available days, interviewing rooms, and interviewers. In facilities determined to have sufficient capacity, all eligible youth were selected. In other facilities, youth were randomly subsampled so the number of youth did not exceed interviewing capacity.

The result of this process yielded a sample of 22,944 adjudicated youth. Among these individuals, 5,402 left prior to the interview team arriving at the facility and 940 were excluded based on subsampling within the facility. Once the discharges and excluded cases were removed from the pool of selected youth, 16,602 youth remained eligible for the survey. A total of 9,703 youth participated in the survey. Of these, 996 received an alternative survey on drug and alcohol use and treatment, and 8,707 youth participated in the survey of sexual victimization.

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Publications & Products

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

Facility-level and Individual-level Correlates of Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities, 2012 This report examines facility impact on youth sexual victimization and also takes into account critical youth-level predictors.
  PDF (3M) | ASCII file (203K)
Part of the PREA Publications Series

PREA Data Collection Activities, 2016 Describes the Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) activities to collect data and report on the incidence and effects of sexual victimization in correctional facilities, as required by the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA) (P.L. 108-79).
  PDF (424K) | ASCII file (19K)
Part of the PREA Publications Series

Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2012 Presents data from the 2012 National Survey of Youth in Custody (NSYC), conducted in 326 juvenile confinement facilities between February and September 2012, with a sample of 8,707 adjudicated youth.
  Press Release | PDF (1.15M) | ASCII file (59K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format) | Supplemental Tables (Zip format 16K)
Part of the PREA Publications Series

PREA Data Collection Activities, 2012 The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA; P.L. 108-79) requires the Attorney General to submit to Congress, not later than June 30 of each year, a report on the activities of the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) for the preceding calendar year.
  PDF (388K) | ASCII file (23K)
Part of the PREA Data Collection Activities Series

PREA Data Collection Activities, 2011 The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA; P.L. 108-79) requires the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) to carry out, for each calendar year, a comprehensive statistical review of the incidence and effects of prison rape in randomly selected federal, state, and county correctional facilities.
  PDF (470KB) | ASCII file (14KB)
Part of the PREA Data Collection Activities Series

Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2008-09 Presents data from the 2008-09 National Survey of Youth in Custody (NSYC), conducted in 195 juvenile confinement facilities between June 2008 and April 2009, with a sample of over 9,000 adjudicated youth.
  Press Release | Acrobat file (PDF 1.7M) | ASCII file (65K) | Zip format (Spreadsheet 40K)


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