BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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Local jail inmates and jail facilities
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BJS collects information on jail inmates and jail facilities from administrative records maintained by local jurisdictions and through periodic personal interviews with inmates held in local jails (see Jail Data Collections and Surveys for more information). Jails are correctional facilities that confine persons before or after adjudication and are usually operated by local law enforcement authorities.  Jail sentences are usually for 1 year or less.  Jails also—

  • receive individuals pending arraignment and hold those awaiting trial, conviction, or sentencing
  • remit probation, parole, and bail-bond violators and absconders
  • temporarily detain juveniles pending transfer to juvenile authorities
  • hold mentally ill persons pending transfer to appropriate mental health facilities
  • hold individuals for the military, for protective custody, for contempt, and for the courts as witnesses
  • release inmates to the community upon completion of sentence
  • transfer inmates to federal, state, or other authorities
  • house inmates for federal, state, or other authorities because of facilities crowding
  • sometimes operate community-based programs as alternatives to incarceration.

Data Collections & Surveys

Publications & Products


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

Jail Inmates at Midyear 2014 THE NATION'S JAILS HELD FEWER INMATES AT MIDYEAR 2014 COMPARED TO THEIR PEAK COUNT IN 2008
  Press Release

Medical Problems of State and Federal Prisoners and Jail Inmates, 2011–12 Presents the prevalence of medical problems among state and federal prisoners and jail inmates, highlighting differences in rates of chronic conditions and infectious diseases by demographic characteristic.
  Press Release | PDF (547K) | ASCII file (47K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 60K)

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

Jails in Indian Country, 2013 Presents findings from the 2013 Survey of Jails in Indian Country, an enumeration of 79 jails, confinement facilities, detention centers, and other correctional facilities operated by tribal authorities or the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  PDF (847K) | ASCII file (42K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 32K)
Part of the Jails in Indian Country 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

Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons, 2000-2011 - Statistical Tables Presents national and state-level data on the number of inmate deaths that occurred in local jails and state prisons, how the deaths are distributed across jails, and an aggregate count of deaths in federal prisons.
  Press Release | PDF (2.1M) | ASCII file (46K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 58K)
Part of the Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons Series

Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons, 2000-2011 - Statistical Tables NUMBER OF JAIL DEATHS AT LOWEST RECORDED LEVEL DURING 2011 State prison deaths up four percent
  Press Release
Part of the Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons Series

Terms & Definitions

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.
 
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