BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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Home  | Data Collection Detail
Data Collection: Census of Jails (COJ)
Status: Active
Frequency: 1970, 1972, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1999, 2005/2006, 2013, 2019
Latest data available: 2019

The 2019 Census of Jails (COJ) is part of a series of data collections that studies the nation's local jails and the 12 Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) detention facilities that function as jails. The 2019 COJ collected data necessary for producing estimates on local jail populations, including one-day custody counts by sex, race and Hispanic origin, conviction status, and severity of offense (felony and misdemeanor); counts of non-U.S. citizens by conviction status; juvenile counts; holds for state and federal authorities; admissions and releases; and average daily population by sex. It also collected data on facility information, including rated and design capacity, staffing, and opioid testing and treatment programs. The COJ is the only collection that enumerates local jails and the 12 BOP facilities that function as jails in the United States and provides inmate counts at the jail facility level. It provides the sampling frame for the Survey of Inmates in Local Jails (SILJ) and the Annual Survey of Jails (ASJ).

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Data Experts

  • Todd D. Minton, BJS Statistician (Email this expert)
  • Zhen Zeng, Ph.D., BJS Statistician (Email this expert)
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    Collection Period

    1970, 1972, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1999, 2005/2006, 2013, 2019

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    Questionnaires

    Annual Summary on Inmates Under Jail Jurisdiction CJ-9A
    2013 The CJ-9A form was used to collect the 2013 Census of Jails (160K)
    Census of Jails (CJ-3)
    2019 PDF (244K) | 2006 Census of Jail Facilities-Jurisdiction form (134K) | 1999 For jail jurisdictions with one or more jail facilities that share the same staff and budget (120K)
    Facility Data (CJ-3A Addendum)
    2019 PDF (171K) | 2006 Census of Jail Facilities-Facility form (110K) | 1999 For facility-level data on jail facilities listed in Section 1 of form CJ-3A (37K)
    In Indian Country (CJ-3D)
    1999 For jail facilities located in Indian Country (40K)
    Jurisdiction Data (CJ-3A)
    2019 PDF (719K) | 1999 For the central data reporter of jail jurisdictions with multiple jail facilities having separate staff and budgets (115K)
    Multi-Jurisdiction Facility (CJ-3B)
    1999 For jail facilities operated by two or more governments through cooperative agreements (121K)
    Private Facility (CJ-3C)
    1999 For jail facilities owned or operated by a private corporation (119K)
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    Documentation

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    Methodology

    The Census of Jails (COJ) collects data on jail facilities and the inmate populations they supervise. Administered to nearly 3,200 local jails (city, county, regional, and private) nationwide and the 12 Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) detention facilities that function as jails, the COJ provides state and national estimates on the number of inmates confined in jails, characteristics of the jail population, counts of admissions and releases, and jail facility characteristics. It excludes temporary holding facilities and state-operated facilities in Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The 2019 COJ collected data on facility characteristics and programs, including rated and design capacity, staffing, and opioid testing and treatment protocols. It also collected data necessary for producing estimates on local jail populations, including one-day custody counts by sex, conviction status, severity of offense (felony and misdemeanor), counts of U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens, juvenile counts, and holds for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other state and federal authorities, average daily population, admissions, releases, and turnover rates.

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    Changes Over Time

    The questionnaire is modified with each iteration to capture information on evolving issues in criminal justice and topics of greatest interest to users.

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    Publications & Products

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

    Impact of COVID-19 on the Local Jail Population, January-June 2020 This report describes the impact of COVID-19 on the local jail population during the 6-month period from January to June 2020, including the impact on the release of jail inmates, admissions to jails, jail capacity, and incarceration rates.
      Press Release (32K) | Summary (PDF 195K) | Full report (PDF 743K) | Data tables (Zip format 30K)

    Jail Inmates in 2019 This report is the 33rd in a series that began in 1982. It provides statistics based on BJS's Annual Survey of Jails and Census of Jails.
      Press Release (32K) | Summary (PDF 197K) | Full report (PDF 601K) | Data tables (Zip format 23K)
    Part of the Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear Series

    Jail Inmates in 2018 This report is the 32nd in a series that began in 1982. It provides statistics based on BJS's Annual Survey of Jails and Census of Jail Inmates.
      Press Release (179K) | Summary (PDF 479K) | Full report (PDF 825K) | Data tables (Zip format 40K)
    Part of the Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear Series

    Correctional Populations in the United States, 2016 Presents statistics on persons supervised by U.S. adult correctional systems at year-end 2016, including persons supervised in the community on probation or parole and those incarcerated in state or federal prison or local jail.
      Press Release (71K) | Full report (PDF 635K) | Data tables (Spreadsheet 14K)
    Part of the Correctional Populations in the United States Series

    American Indian and Alaska Natives in Local Jails, 1999-2014 Describes the population of American Indian and Alaska Natives (AIAN) held in local jails, including national and state level estimates, characteristics of adult AIAN inmates, and comparisons to all other races and Hispanic origin.
      Summary (PDF 211K) | Full report (PDF 703K) | ASCII file (40K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 18K)
    Part of the American Indians and Crime Series

    Correctional Populations in the United States, 2015 Presents statistics on persons supervised by adult correctional systems in the United States at yearend 2015, including persons supervised in the community on probation or parole and those incarcerated in state or federal prison or local jail.
      Press Release | Full report (PDF 787K) | ASCII file (43K) | Data tables (Spreadsheet 23K)
    Part of the Correctional Populations in the United States Series

    Correctional Populations in the United States, 2014 Presents statistics on persons supervised by adult correctional systems in the United States at yearend 2014, including offenders supervised in the community on probation or parole and those incarcerated in state or federal prison or local jail.
      Full report (PDF 641K) | ASCII file (26K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 48K)
    Part of the Correctional Populations in the United States Series

    Census of Jails: Population Changes, 1999–2013 Presents state-level estimates of the number of inmates confined in local jails at year end 2013, by sex, race, and Hispanic origin.
      Summary (PDF 234K) | Full report (PDF 994K) | ASCII file (35K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 23K)
    Part of the Census of Jails Series

    Correctional Populations in the United States, 2013 U.S. CORRECTIONAL POPULATION DECLINED BY LESS THAN 1 PERCENT FOR THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR
      Press Release
    Part of the Correctional Populations in the United States 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 | Full report (PDF 385K) | ASCII file (23K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 36K)
    Part of the Correctional Populations in the United States 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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