BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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

Data Collection: Annual Survey of Jails (ASJ)
Status: Active
Frequency: Annually starting 1982; excluding years 1983, 1988, 1993, 1999, and 2005
Latest data available: 2018

Administered to a sample of approximately 950 local jails (city, county, regional, and private) nationwide, the Annual Survey of Jails (ASJ) provides national estimates on the number of inmates confined in jails, demographic characteristics and criminal justice status of the jail population, holds for federal and state prison authorities, counts of admissions and releases, number of jail employees, and rated capacity.

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Data Experts

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

    2017

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    Questionnaires

    Annual Summary on Inmates Under Jail Jurisdiction (CJ-9A/5)
    2016 PDF (416K) | 2015 PDF (439K)
    Annual Summary on Inmates Under Jail Jurisdiction: Multi-jurisdiction or Private Facility (CJ-10A/5)
    2016 PDF (426K) | 2015 PDF (444K)
    Annual Survey of Jails: Certainty 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)
    2018 PDF (149K) | 2017 PDF (428K) | 2014 PDF (97K) | 2013 PDF (215K) | 2012 PDF (95K) | 2011 PDF (85K) | 2010 PDF (95K)
    Annual Survey of Jails: Non-certainty jurisdictions (CJ-5)
    2018 PDF (149K) | 2017 PDF (433K) | 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

    The Bureau of Justice Statistics (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.

    BJS drew a sample of local jail jurisdictions for the 2015 ASJ based on information from the 2013 Census of Jails. Local jail jurisdictions include counties (parishes in Louisiana) or municipal governments that administered one or more local jails. All jail jurisdictions were grouped into 10 strata based on their average daily population and presence of juveniles in 2013. In 8 of the 10 strata, a random sample of jail jurisdictions was selected. The remaining two strata were certainty strata, where all jurisdictions were selected with probability 1. One stratum consisted of all jails that were operated jointly by two or more jurisdictions (referred to as multijurisdictional jails). The other stratum consisted of all jail jurisdictions that—

    • held juvenile inmates at the time of the 2013 Census of Jails and had an average daily population of 500 or more inmates during the 12 months ending December 31, 2013
    • held only adult inmates and had an average daily population of 750 or more
    • were located in California.

    The ASJ sample includes all California jail jurisdictions. This sampling feature was introduced in 2013 in response to the enactment of California AB 109 and AB 117, aimed to reduce the number of inmates housed in state prisons starting on October 1, 2011. After the enactment of these two laws, the jail population in California experienced an unusual increase, which was atypical of the rest of the United States. For this reason, the ASJ sampling design was modified to include all California jail jurisdictions in a certainty (self-representing) stratum (see Methodology in Jail Inmates at Midyear 2014). The inclusion of all California jail jurisdictions resulted in an additional 21 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

     

    Prior to 2015, the ASJ asked jails to report the total and detailed inmate counts on the last weekday in June (the midyear reference date). In 2015 and 2016, the ASJ collected the total confined population at midyear but detailed inmate counts by characteristics (i.e., sex, race or ethnicity, age category, conviction status, and most serious type of offense) on December 31 (the year-end reference date). Starting with the 2017 collection, the ASJ reverted back to the midyear reference. Comparisons of year-end data with midyear data need to consider seasonal variations, as jails typically hold fewer inmates at year-end than at midyear.

     

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    Publications & Products

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

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

    Jail Inmates in 2017 Presents data on inmates confined in local jails from 2005 to 2017, including population counts and incarceration rates, inmate demographic characteristics and conviction status, admissions, jail capacity, and inmate turnover rates.
      Press Release (213K) | Summary (PDF 203K) | Full report (PDF 705K) | Data tables (Zip format 24K)
    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

    Jail Inmates in 2016 Presents data on inmates confined in local jails between 2000 and 2016, including population counts and incarceration rates, inmate demographic characteristics and conviction status, average daily population, rated capacity of local jails and percent of capacity occupied, and turnover rates by jurisdiction size.
      Press Release (80K) | Summary (PDF 198K) | Full report (PDF 662K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 21K)
    Part of the Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 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

    Jail Inmates in 2015 Presents information on the change in the number of jail inmates between 2000 and 2015 by sex, race, Hispanic origin, and conviction status. This report also provides estimates of year-to-year changes from 2000 to 2015 in the average daily population, rated capacity of local jails, and percent of capacity occupied.
      Press Release | Summary (PDF 163K) | Full report (PDF 582K) | ASCII file (24K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Spreadsheet 22K)
    Part of the Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 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

    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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