BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
Home  | Terms & Definitions: Corrections | Local jail inmates and jail facilities
Terms & Definitions: Local jail inmates and jail facilities

Custody
To have custody of a prisoner, a state or the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) must physically hold that person in one of its facilities. A locality, state, or the BOP may hold inmates over whom a different government maintains jurisdiction.

Design capacity
The number of inmates that planners or architects intended for the facility.

Incarcerated population
Incarcerated population is the population of inmates confined in a prison or a jail. This may also include halfway-houses, bootcamps, weekend programs, and other facilities in which individuals are locked up overnight.

Indian country jails
Indian country adult and juvenile detention centers, jails, and other correctional facilities operated by tribal authorities or the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), U.S. Department of the Interior.

Jail inmates
Offenders confined in short-term facilities that are usually administered by a local law enforcement agency and that are intended for adults but sometimes hold juveniles before or after adjudication. Jail inmates usually have a sentence of less than 1 year or are being held pending a trial, awaiting sentencing, or awaiting transfer to other facilities after a conviction.

Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction generally refers to a unit of government or to the legal authority to exercise governmental power. In corrections, it refers to the government which has legal authority over an inmate (state or federal). Prisoners under a given state's jurisdiction may be housed in another state or local correctional facility.

Operational capacity
The number of inmates that can be accommodated based on a facility's staff, existing programs, and services.

Prison
Compared to jail facilities, prisons are longer-term facilities owned by a state or by the Federal Government. Prisons typically hold felons and persons with sentences of more than a year; however, the sentence length may vary by state. Six states (Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Delaware, Alaska, and Hawaii) have an integrated correctional system that combines jails and prisons. There are a small number of private prisons, facilities that are run by private prison corporations whose services and beds are contracted out by state or federal governments.

Rated capacity
The number of beds or inmates assigned by a rating official to institutions within the jurisdiction.

Total correctional population
Total correctional population is the population of persons incarcerated, either in a prison or a jail, and persons supervised in the community, either on probation or parole.

Total incarceration rate
The number of inmates held in the custody of state or federal prisons or in local jails, per 100,000 U.S. residents.

Total inmates in custody count
To have custody of a prisoner, a state or the Federal Bureau of Prisons must hold that person in one of its facilities. A state may have custody of a prisoner over whom another state maintains jurisdiction. This count includes inmates held in any public facility run by a state or the Federal Bureau of Prisons, including halfway houses, camps, farms, training/treatment centers, and hospitals. This number includes the number of inmates held in local jails as reported by correctional authorities in the Annual Survey of Jails.


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