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All Terms & Definitions

The act of a court in making an order, judgment, or decree.

All persons booked into and housed in jail facilities by formal legal document and the authority of the courts or some other official agency, including repeat offenders booked on new charges and persons sentenced to weekend programs or entering the facility for the first time. They exclude inmates re-entering the facility after an escape, work release, medical appointment, stay in a treatment facility, and bail or court appearance.

Age category
The appropriate age category is determined by the respondent's age on the last day of the month preceding the interview.

Aggravated assault
An attack or attempted attack with a weapon, regardless of whether an injury occurred, and an attack without a weapon when serious injury results.

With injury - An attack without a weapon when serious injury results or an attack with a weapon involving any injury. Serious injury includes broken bones, lost teeth, internal injuries, loss of consciousness, and any unspecified injury requiring two or more days of hospitalization.

Threatened with a weapon - Threat or attempted attack by an offender armed with a gun, knife, or other object used as a weapon that does not result in victim injury.

Annual household income
The total household income for the 12 months preceding the interview. Includes wages, salaries, net income from businesses or farms, pensions, interest, dividends, rent, and any other source of monetary income of the head of household and all household members.

Appellate Courts
Any court of law that is empowered to hear an appeal of a trial court or other lower tribunal.

The act of detaining in legal custody. An "arrest" is the deprivation of a person's liberty by legal authority in response to a criminal charge.

An unlawful physical attack or threat of attack. Assaults may be classified as aggravated or simple. Rape, attempted rape, and sexual assaults are excluded from this category, as well as robbery and attempted robbery. The severity of assaults ranges from minor threats to nearly fatal incidents.

Assigned counsel
The appointment from a list of private bar members who accept cases on a judge-by-judge, court-by-court, or case-by-case basis. This may include an administrative component and a set of rules and guidelines governing the appointment and processing of cases handled by the private bar members.

Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)
An automated system for searching fingerprint files and transmitting fingerprint images. AFIS computer equipment can scan fingerprint impressions (or utilize electronically transmitted fingerprint images) and automatically extract and digitize ridge details and other identifying characteristics in sufficient detail to enable the computer's searching and matching components to distinguish a single fingerprint from thousands or even millions of fingerprints previously scanned and stored in digital form in the computer's memory. The process eliminates the manual searching of fingerprint files and increases the speed and accuracy of ten-print processing (arrest fingerprint cards and noncriminal justice applicant fingerprint cards). AFIS equipment also can be used to identify individuals from "latent" (crime scene) fingerprints, with even fragmentary prints of single fingers in some cases. Digital fingerprint images generated by AFIS equipment can be transmitted electronically to remote sites, eliminating the necessity of mailing fingerprint cards and providing remote access to AFIS fingerprint files.

Average daily population
The sum of inmates in jail each day for a year, divided by the number of days in the year.

Bench trial (nonjury trial)
A trial held in the absence of a jury and decided by a judge culminating in a judgment for the plaintiff(s) or defendant(s).

Body armor
A protective piece designed to stop projectiles. Body armor can provide protection against a significant number of types of handgun ammunition, but unfortunately there is no such thing as bulletproof armor.

Includes unlawful or forcible entry or attempted entry of places, including a permanent residence, other residence (e.g., a hotel room or vacation residence), or other structure (e.g., a garage or shed). Includes victimizations where the offender stole, attempted to steal, or did not attempt to steal. Does not include trespassing on land.

Burglary - Includes only crimes where the offender committed or attempted a theft.

Trespassing - Includes crimes where the offender did not commit or attempt a theft. Does not include trespassing on land.

A company, service or membership organization consisting of one or more establishments under common ownership or control. For this survey, major subsidiaries were treated as separate businesses.

Capital cases
Crimes that can result in a death penalty.

Capital punishment
Capital punishment refers to the process of sentencing convicted offenders to death for the most serious crimes (capital crimes) and carrying out that sentence. The specific offenses and circumstances that determine if a crime (usually murder) is eligible for a death sentence are defined by statute and are prescribed by Congress or any state legislature.

Cause of death
A description of the specific factors leading to the termination of the biological functions that sustain life.

An acronym for Customs and Border Protection, was established May 1, 2003 to combine the inspectional workforces and broad border authorities of the U.S. Customs Service, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the U.S. Border Patrol, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. CBP is tasked with stopping terrorists, terrorist weapons, illegal drugs, aliens, and materials harmful to agriculture from entering at, or between, ports of entry.

Central repository
The database (or the agency housing the database) that maintains criminal history records on all state offenders. Records include fingerprint files and files containing identification segments and notations of arrests and dispositions. The central repository is generally responsible for state-level identification of arrestees, and commonly serves as the central control terminal for contact with FBI record systems. Inquiries from local agencies for a national record check (for criminal justice or firearm check purposes) are routed to the FBI via the central repository. Although usually housed in the Department of Public Safety, the central repository may be maintained in some states by the state police or some other state agency.

An organization that works with the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) and the private sector. CERT C.C. studies computer and network security in order to provide incident response services to victims of attacks, publish alerts concerning vulnerabilities and threats, and offer information to help improve computer and network security.

Chemical agents
A chemical compound that has deleterious effects on human health. There are a number of different types of chemical agents, and a range of uses for these compounds, from crowd control to chemical warfare.

COSIS is an acronym for Combined DNA Index System, which is a computer software program that operates local, state, and national databases of DNA profiles from convicted offenders, unsolved crime scene evidence, and missing persons.

Collection year
The set of victimizations reported to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) in interviews conducted during the same calendar year. This set may include victimizations that occurred in the previous calendar year, due to the retrospective nature of the NCVS interview. Collection year data are used in tables beginning in 1996. See "Data year."

Commercial crimes
Crimes against commercial establishments of any type are not included in the survey. Commercial establishments include stores, restaurants, businesses, service stations, medical offices or hospitals, or other similar establishments. For victimizations occurring in commercial establishments, the crime is included or not included depending on whether the survey respondent was threatened or harmed in some way or personal property was taken.

Community corrections
The supervision of criminal offenders in the resident population, as opposed to confining offenders in secure correctional facilities. The two main types of community corrections supervision are probation and parole. Community corrections is also referred to as community supervision.

Community policing
A philosophy promoting organizational strategies that support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques between the police and the community. These strategies proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues, such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime. For more information about community policing, please visit the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) website.

Computer virus
A hidden fragment of computer code which propagates by inserting itself into or modifying other programs. Includes viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. Excludes spyware, adware, and other malware.

Consent search
Search made by United States law enforcement personnel based on the consent of the individual whose person or property is being searched. No warrant or probable cause is required to perform a search if a person with the proper authority permits, approves, or agrees to a search. A consent search requires the individual whose person or property is being searched to freely and voluntarily waive his or her Fourth Amendment rights, granting the officer permission to perform the search.

Contract attorneys
Nonsalaried private attorneys, bar associations, law firms, consortiums or groups of attorneys, or nonprofit corporations that contract with a funding source to provide court-appointed representation in a jurisdiction.

Contract cases (contracts)
Cases that include all allegations of breach of contract.

Court security
An integrated approach to the judicial process that ensures the integrity and safety of the court system and its participants. This is achieved by effectively evaluating, planning, and pro-actively managing threats and potential threats directed toward the court system.

Crime classification
Victimizations and incidents are classified based on detailed characteristics of the event provided by the respondent. Neither victims nor interviewers classify crimes at the time of interview. During data processing, a computer program classifies each event into one type of crime, based on the entries on a number of items on the survey questionnaire. This ensures that similar events will be classified using a standard procedure. The glossary definition for each crime indicates the major characteristics required to be so classified. If an event can be classified as more than one type of crime, a hierarchy is used that classifies the crime according to the most serious event that occurred. The hierarchy from highest to lowest is rape, sexual assault, robbery, assault, burglary/trespassing, motor-vehicle theft, and theft.

Crime laboratories
A scientific laboratory (with at least one full-time natural scientist) that examines physical evidence in criminal matters, and provides reports and opinion testimony with respect to such physical evidence in courts of law.

Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) or Criminal History Record Information System
A record (or the system maintaining such records) that includes individual identifiers and describes an individual's arrests and subsequent dispositions. Criminal history records do not include intelligence or investigative data or sociological data, such as drug use history. CHRI systems usually include information on juveniles if they are tried as adults in criminal courts. Most, however, do not include data describing involvement of an individual in the juvenile justice system. All data in CHRI systems are usually backed by fingerprints of the record subjects to provide positive identification. State legislation varies concerning disclosure of criminal history records for noncriminal justice purposes.

Criminal jurisdiction in tribal areas
Jurisdiction over offenses in Indian country may lie with federal, state, or tribal agencies, depending on the particular offense, offender, victim, and offense location. For more information on tribal jurisdiction, see State Prosecutors' Offices with Jurisdiction in Indian Country, 2007, Tribal Law Enforcement, 2008, Census of Tribal Justice Agencies in Indian Country, 2002, and Jails in Indian Country, 2017-2018.

Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board (APB)
Successor to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) APB, the CJIS APB is comprised of 30 criminal justice officials who provide policy input to guide the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the administration of its CJIS Division. The CJIS Division administers the NCIC, the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), and other information system programs determined by the FBI director to have some relationship with these programs.

Cross deputization agreements
Allow law enforcement personnel from state and tribal entities to cross jurisdictions in criminal cases. Cross deputization agreements have been used to enhance law enforcement capabilities in areas where state and tribal lands were contiguous and intermingled. Under some agreements, federal, state, county/local, and/or tribal law enforcement officers have the power to arrest Indian and non-Indian wrongdoers wherever the violation of law occurs.

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.

Custody count
The number of offenders in 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 have custody of a prisoner over whom a different government maintains jurisdiction.

Data quality
The extent to which criminal history records are complete, accurate, and timely. In addition, accessibility sometimes is considered a data quality factor. The key concern in data quality is the completeness of records and the extent to which records include dispositions as well as arrest and charge information. Other concerns include the timeliness of data reporting to state and federal repositories, the timeliness of data entry by the repositories, the readability of criminal history records, and the ability to have access to the records when necessary.

Data year
The set of victimizations reported to NCVS, all of which occurred within the same calendar year. For all years prior to 1996, Criminal Victimization in the United States tables are based on data year. Beginning in 1996, tables are based on collection year. See "Collection Year."

Deadly or lethal force
Force that a law enforcement officer uses with the purpose of causing, or that the officer knows to create a substantial risk of causing, death, or serious bodily harm.

Death row
Death row refers to incarcerated persons who have been sentenced to death and are awaiting execution (as in "inmates on death row"). Historically, death row was a slang term that referred to the area of a prison in which prisoners who were under a sentence of death were housed. Usage of the term continues despite the fact that many states do not maintain a separate unit or facility for condemned inmates.

Any party who is required to answer the complaint of a plaintiff or pursuer in a civil lawsuit before a court, or any party who has been formally charged or accused of violating a criminal statute.

Denial of service
The disruption, degradation, or exhaustion of an Internet connection or e-mail service that results in an interruption of the normal flow of information. Denial of service is usually caused by ping attacks, port scanning probes, or excessive amounts of incoming data.

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

Direct expenditure
All expenditure except that classified as inter­govern­mental. It includes "direct current expenditure" (salaries, wages, fees, commissions and purchases of supplies, materials, and contractual services) and "capital outlays" (con­struction and purchase of equipment, land, and existing structures). Capital outlays are included for the year when the direct expenditure is made, regardless of how the funds are raised (for example, by bond issue) or when they are paid back.

Individuals exiting parole supervision. Successful discharges include persons who have completed the term of conditional supervision. Unsuccessful discharges include revocations of parole, returns to prison or jail, and absconders. Parolees who are transferred to other jurisdictions and those who die while under supervision are not included in the calculation of success/failure rates.

The abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid, which is the genetic material present in the cells of all living organisms. DNA is the fundamental building block for an individual's entire genetic makeup. A person's DNA is the same in every cell (with a nucleus). DNA is contained in blood, semen, skin cells, tissue, organs, muscle, brain cells, bone, teeth, hair, saliva, mucus, perspiration, fingernails, urine, feces, etc.

Domestic violence
Refers to violence between spouses, or spousal abuse but can also include cohabitants and non-married intimate partners.

Domestic violence courts
Address criminal cases that involve offenses against persons who are related in some way, most often through intimate partnership or family relationship. They include integrated domestic violence courts, which handle both domestic violence and family issues (e.g., custody and visitation).

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) courts
Dedicated to changing the behavior of alcohol- or drug-dependent repeat offenders or high-blood alcohol content offenders arrested for DWI or driving under the influence (DUI). The goal of the court is to protect public safety while addressing the root cause of impaired driving. They include juvenile DWI courts.

Drug courts
Specialized courts designed to handle cases involving offenders who abuse addictive substances. Handle an underlying drug problem contributing to criminal behavior using nontraditional judicial proceedings and treatment with team-based services. These courts include adult, juvenile, and reentry drug courts.

Drug offenses
Drug trafficking—Includes trafficking, sales, distribution, possession with intent to distribute or sell, manufacturing, and smuggling of controlled substances. It does not include possession of controlled substances.

Other drug offenses—Includes possession of controlled substances, prescription violations, possession of drug paraphernalia, and other drug law violations.

Drug possession
Includes possession of an illegal drug, but excludes possession with intent to sell.

Drug trafficking
Includes manufacturing, distributing, selling, smuggling, and possession with intent to sell.

Electronic vandalism or sabotage
The deliberate or malicious damage, defacement, destruction or other alteration of electronic files, data, web pages, or programs.

The unlawful misappropriation of money or other things of value, by the person to whom the property was entrusted (typically an employee), for his or her own purpose. Includes instances in which a computer was used to wrongfully transfer, counterfeit, forge or gain access to money, property, financial documents, insurance policies, deeds, use of rental cars, or various services by the person to whom they were entrusted.

A classification based on Hispanic culture and origin, regardless of race. Persons are asked directly if they are Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino before being asked about their racial category.

Excessive use of force
The application of lawful use of force in too many separate incidents.

Expected average length of stay
The average daily population (ADP) divided by the number of annual admissions, then multiplied by the number of days in a year.

Family court
A court, usually with a limited jurisdiction, that handles legal cases involving a family, especially controversies between parent and child or husband and wife.

Family problem-solving courts (or family courts)
Address juvenile or family court cases of child abuse or neglect, adjudication of parental rights, and custody and visitation in which parental substance abuse is a contributing factor.

Federal arrest-related death
A death that occurs when the event causing the death (e.g., gunshot wound, self- inflicted injury, cardiac arrest, fall from a height, drowning) occurs while the decedent's freedom to leave is restricted by federal law enforcement personnel acting in an official capacity. Arrest-related deaths include—

  • any death attributed to any use of force by federal law enforcement personnel
  • any death that occurred while the decedent's freedom to leave was restricted by federal law enforcement prior to, during, or following an arrest—
    • while detained for questioning or investigation (e.g., Terry stop)
    • during the process of apprehension (e.g., pursuit of criminal suspect or standoff with law enforcement)
    • while in the custody of, or shortly after restraint by, law enforcement (even if the decedent was not formally under arrest)
    • during transport to or from law enforcement, detention, incarceration, or medical facilities
    • any death while the decedent was confined in a temporary holding facility designed to hold detainees for no longer than 72 hours (e.g., booking center, holding area, or staging location)
    • any death that occurred during an interaction with federal law enforcement personnel during response to medical or mental-health assistance (e.g., response to suicidal persons).

Federal court
A court established by the federal government that has jurisdiction over questions of federal law.

Federal death in custody
A death that occurs while the decedent was detained or incarcerated for violating federal criminal or administrative law and was housed in any facility designed to detain or incarcerate such individuals for longer than 72 hours. This includes all detainee or inmate deaths that occurred in any federal corrections, pre-trial, or administrative detention facility or any facility under federal contract to criminally hold, detain, or imprison or administratively hold or detain individuals.

Federal Firearm Licensee (FFL)
A federally licensed firearms dealer is licensed by ATF to engage in the business of manufacturing, importing, or dealing in firearms. An FFL must be enrolled with the FBI NICS Section in order to request a NICS background check.

Federal prisons
Prison facilities run by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Prisoners housed in these facilities are under the legal authority of the federal government. This excludes private facilities under exclusive contract with BOP.

Federal Supervised Release
Established by the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 (SRA), Federal supervised release is a term of conditional community supervision set by the court at the time of sentencing. The SRA also abolished release by a parole board, required a determinate sentence term, and limited the amount of good time that can be credited toward the sentence.

An offense, as murder or burglary, of graver character than those called misdemeanors, especially those commonly punished in the U.S. by imprisonment for more than a year.

Felony or serious misdemeanor
The category of offenses for which fingerprints and criminal history information are accepted by the FBI and entered in the Bureau's files, including the Interstate Identification Index (III) system. Serious misdemeanor is defined to exclude certain minor offenses, such as drunkenness or minor traffic offenses.

Financial fraud
In the National Crime Victimization Survey's Supplemental Fraud Survey, financial fraud is defined as acts that “intentionally and knowingly deceive the victim by misrepresenting, concealing, or omitting facts about promised goods, services, or other benefits and consequences that are nonexistent, unnecessary, never intended to be provided, or deliberately distorted for the purpose of monetary gain.” (See Stanford Center on Longevity. (2015). Framework for a taxonomy of fraud.

The intentional misrepresentation of information or identity to deceive others, the unlawful use of a credit or debit card or ATM, or the use of electronic means to transmit deceptive information, in order to obtain money or other things of value. Fraud may be committed by someone inside or outside the business. Includes instances in which a computer was used to defraud the business of money, property, financial documents, insurance policies, deeds, use of rental cars, or various services by forgery, misrepresented identity, credit card or wire fraud. Excludes incidents of embezzlement.

Full-time employees
All persons employed on a full-time basis, including all full-time temporary or seasonal workers who were employed during this pay period.

Full-time equivalent employment
A statistical measure that estimates the number of full-time employees that could have been employed if the reported number of hours worked by part-time employees had been worked by full-time employees.

Hate crime victimization
Refers to a single victim or household that experienced a criminal incident believed by the victim to be motivated by prejudice based on race, gender or gender identity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. BJS's National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) and the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) Hate Crime Statistics Program are the principal sources of annual information on hate crime in the United States and use the definition of hate crime provided in the Hate Crime Statistics Act (28 U.S.C. § 534).

Head of household
A classification that defines one and only one person in each housing unit as the head. Head of household implies that the person rents or owns (or is in the process of buying) the housing unit. The head of household must be at least age 18, unless all members of the household are under age 18 or the head is married to someone age 18 or older.

A person who describes himself or herself as Mexican American, Chicano, Mexican, Mexicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central American, South American, or from some other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

Killing of a human being by another human being. The Arrest-Related Deaths (ARD) program gathers data on homicides that occur during an arrest process regardless of whether the homicide was attributed to law enforcement personnel or a civilian. Homicides by law enforcement personnel were included in the ARD collection because they resulted from a direct use of force by law enforcement officers. However, not all homicides by law enforcement personnel involve shooting deaths. Other types of homicides by law enforcement officers included deaths attributed to asphyxia during restraint, injuries sustained during an altercation, and the use of technologies, such as chemical agents and conducted energy devices.

A person or group of people meeting either of the following criteria: (1) people whose usual place of residence is the same housing unit, even if they are temporarily absent, or (2) people staying in a housing unit who have no usual place of residence elsewhere.

Human trafficking
The commerce and trade in the movement or migration of people, legal and illegal, including both legitimate labor activities as well as forced labor.

Hybrid driving while intoxicated (DWI)/drug courts
Address alcohol- or drug-dependent offenders also charged with driving offenses.

Identity theft
Includes one or more of three types of incidents: (1) unauthorized use or attempted use of an existing account, (2) unauthorized use or attempted use of personal information to open a new account, or (3) misuse of personal information for a fraudulent purpose. Person level identity theft is captured in the Identity Theft Supplement (ITS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). From 2004 to 2010, household level identity theft was captured by the main NCVS.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees
ICE holds persons for immigration violations in federal, state, and locally operated prisons and jails, as well as in privately-operated facilities under exclusive contract and ICE-operated facilities. Persons serving time in a local jail or in state or federal prison for either a criminal or immigration offense may be turned over to ICE after completing their sentence.

Imprisoned population
The population of inmates confined in prison or other facilities under the jurisdiction of the state or Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).

Imprisonment rate
The number of prisoners under state or federal jurisdiction sentenced to more than one year, per 100,000 U.S. residents.

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

A specific criminal act involving one or more victims and offenders. For example, if two people are robbed at the same time and place, this is classified as two robbery victimizations but only one robbery incident.

Indian country
Statutory term that includes all lands within an Indian reservation, dependent Indian communities, and Indian trust allotments (18 U.S.C. § 1151). Courts interpret section 1151 to include all lands held in trust for tribes or their members. See United States v. Roberts, 185 F.3d 1125 (10th Cir. 1999). Tribal authority to imprison American Indian offenders is limited to one year per offense by statute (25 U.S.C. § 1302), a $5,000 fine, or both.

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, U.S. Department of the Interior.

Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs)
Organizations that work with the U.S. Government, law enforcement agencies, technology providers, and security associations such as U.S. CERT. ISACs maintain secure databases, analytic tools and information gathering and distribution facilities designed to allow authorized individuals to submit reports about information security threats, vulnerabilities, incidents and solutions.

An information sharing and analysis effort serving the interests and combining the knowledge base of a wide range of members. At its most basic level, InfraGard is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the private sector.

Institutional corrections
Persons housed in secure correctional facilities. There are many different types of correctional facilities, operated by different government entities. Local jails are generally operated under the authority of a sheriff, police chief, or county or city administrator, and typically hold offenders for short periods ranging from a single day to a year. A small number of jails are privately operated. Prisons serve as long-term confinement facilities and are only run by the 50 state governments and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Private correctional facilities also operate under contracts for a wide variety of local, state, and federal agencies. Other correctional facilities are operated by special jurisdictions, including the U.S. Armed Forces, U.S. territories, and federal agencies, such as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS)
A national fingerprint and criminal history system maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division. The IAFIS provides automated fingerprint search capabilities, latent searching capability, electronic image storage, and electronic exchange of fingerprints and responses, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. As a result of submitting fingerprints electronically, agencies receive electronic responses to criminal 10-print fingerprint submissions within two hours and within 24 hours for civil fingerprint submissions. The IAFIS maintains the largest biometric database in the world, containing the fingerprints and corresponding criminal history information for more than 55 million subjects in the Criminal Master File. The fingerprints and corresponding criminal history information are submitted voluntarily by state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies.

Intergovernmental expenditure
The sum of payments from one government to another, including grants-in-aid, shared revenues, payments in lieu of taxes, and amounts for services performed by one government for another on a reimbursable or cost-sharing basis (for example, payments by one government to another for boarding prisoners). It excludes amounts paid to other governments for purchase of commodities, property, or utility services.

Interstate Identification Index (III)
An "index-pointer" system for the interstate exchange of criminal history records. Under III, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) maintains an identification index of persons arrested for felonies or serious misdemeanors under state or federal law. The index includes identification information, (such as name, date of birth, race, and sex), FBI Numbers, and State Identification Numbers (SID) from each state holding information about an individual. Search inquiries from criminal justice agencies nationwide are transmitted automatically via state telecommunications networks and the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC) telecommunications lines. Searches are made on the basis of name and other identifiers. The process is entirely automated and takes approximately five seconds to complete. If a hit is made against the Index, record requests are made using the SID or FBI Number, and data are automatically retrieved from each repository holding records on the individual and forwarded to the requesting agency. Participation requires that the state maintain an automated criminal history record system capable of interfacing with the III system and capable of responding automatically to all interstate and federal and state record requests.

A confinement facility generally operated under the authority of a sheriff, police chief, or county or city administrator. A small number of jails are privately operated. Regional jails include two or more jail jurisdictions with a formal agreement to operate a jail facility. Facilities include jails, detention centers, county or city correctional centers, special jail facilities (such as medical or treatment centers and pre-release centers), and temporary holding or lockup facilities that are part of the jail's combined function. Jails are intended for adults but can hold juveniles before or after their cases are adjudicated.

Jail incarceration rate
The number of inmates held in the custody of local jails, per 100,000 U.S. residents.

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.

Jail jurisdiction
A county (parish in Louisiana) or municipal government that administers one or more local jails and represents the entity responsible for managing jail facilities under its authority. Most jail jurisdictions consist of a single facility, but some have multiple facilities or multiple facility-operators.

Judicial and legal services
Includes all civil and criminal courts and acti­vities associated with courts, such as law libraries, grand juries, petit juries, medical and social service activities, court reporters, judicial councils, bailiffs, and probate functions. It also includes the civil and criminal justice activities of the attorneys general, dis­trict attorneys, state's attorneys, and their variously named equivalents and corporation coun­sels, solicitors, and legal departments with various names. It excludes legal units of noncriminal justice agencies, whose functions may be performed by a legal services department in other jurisdictions (such as a county counsel).

Judicial selection
The selection system involves a nonpartisan commission that reviews the qualifications of applicants for judicial office.

A unit of government or the legal authority to exercise governmental power. In corrections, it refers to the government that 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.

Jurisdiction count
Prisoners under legal authority of state or federal correctional authorities who are housed in prison facilities (e.g., prisons, penitentiaries, and correctional institutions; boot camps; prison farms; reception, diagnostic, and classification centers; release centers, halfway houses and road camps; forestry and conservation camps; vocational training facilities; prison hospitals; and drug and alcohol treatment facilities for prisoners), regardless of which government entity physically holds them. This number also includes prisoners who are temporarily absent (fewer than 30 days), out to court, or on work release; housed in local jails, private facilities, and other states or federal facilities; and serving a sentence for two jurisdictions at the same time. This count excludes prisoners held in a state or federal facility for another state or the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). However, prisoners housed in another state and under the legal authority of the governing state are included.

Jury trial
A trial held before and decided by a group of laypersons selected according to the law presided over by a judge culminating in a verdict for the plaintiff(s) and/or defendant(s). Unless noted, the term jury trial includes trials with a directed verdict, judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV), and jury trials for defaulted defendants.

Justice employees
Justice employees are all persons on government payrolls. This includes paid officials and persons on paid leave but excludes unpaid officials, persons on unpaid leave, pensioners, and contractors.

Justice expenditure
Includes only external cash payments made from any source of funds, including any payments fi­nanced from borrowing, fund balances, inter­governmental revenue, and other current revenue. It excludes any intra­governmental transfers and noncash trans­actions, such as the provision of meals or housing of employees. It also excludes retirement of debt, investment in securities, extensions of loans, or agency transactions. Total expendi­tures for all government functions do include interest payments on debt, but the justice expenditure data do not.

Justice functions
Justice expenditure and employment variables that include three primary categories: police protection, judicial and legal services, and corrections.

Juvenile Justice Record
Official records of juvenile justice adjudications. Most adult criminal history record systems do not accept such records, which are frequently not supported by fingerprints and which are usually confidential under state law. Pursuant to an order dated July 15, 1992, the FBI now accepts and will disseminate juvenile records on the same basis as adult records. States, however, are not required to submit such records to the FBI.

The unlawful taking of property other than a motor vehicle from the possession of another, by stealth, without force or deceit. Includes pocket picking, nonforcible purse snatching, shoplifting, and thefts from motor vehicles. Excludes receiving and/or reselling stolen property (fencing) and thefts through fraud or deceit.

Large law enforcement agencies
Non-federal departments employing 100 or more full-time sworn officers.

Law enforcement
The generic name for the activities of the agencies responsible for maintaining public order and enforcing the law, particularly the activities of prevention, detection, and investigation of crime and the apprehension of criminals.

Legal motion
A procedural device in law to bring a limited, contested issue before a court for decision.

Less-lethal weapons
Less-lethal technologies give police an alternative to lethal force. These weapons are especially valuable when lethal force (1) is not necessary, (2) is justified and available for backup, but lesser force may resolve the situation, or (3) is justified, but its use could cause serious injury to bystanders or other unacceptable collateral effects. The weapons currently in use include chemical agents, batons, soft projectiles, and electroshock weapons, such as stun guns and Tasers.

Livescan and Cardscan
Livescans are automated devices for generating and transmitting digitized fingerprint images. Livescan devices capture fingerprint images directly from subjects' fingers, which are rolled onto glass scanning plates. Cardscan devices scan and digitize standard inked fingerprint cards and can transmit electronic images with related textual data to remote sites for printout or direct use.

Local law enforcement officer
An employee of a local law enforcement agency who is an officer sworn to carry out law enforcement duties. Examples of this class are sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, chiefs of police, city police officers, and sworn personnel of law enforcement subunits of port and transit authorities. For national level general data, this class includes campus police officers employed by of local city and community college districts. Private campus police are excluded.

Failure of a professional person, as a physician or lawyer, to render proper services through reprehensible ignorance or negligence or through criminal intent, especially when injury or loss follows.

Manner of death
An explanation of how a person died, typically illustrated by a one word description of the intentions and circumstances that led to the stated medical cause of death. Essentially, the manner of death is the way in which death was caused and is typically listed as natural, accident, homicide, suicide, or undetermined.

Marital status
Every person is assigned to one of the following classifications: (1) married, which includes persons in common-law unions and those who are currently living apart for reasons other than marital discord (e.g., employment or military service); (2) separated or divorced, which includes married persons who are legally separated and those who are not living together because of marital discord; (3) widowed; and (4) never married, which includes persons whose marriages have been annulled and those who are living together and not in a common-law union.

Master Name Index (MNI)
A subject identification index maintained by criminal history record repositories that includes names and other identifiers for each person about whom a record is held in the systems. As of 1999, only one state did not have at least a partially automated MNI. Almost all states (45) had fully automated MNIs. The automated name index is the key to rapidly identifying persons who have criminal records for such purposes as presale firearm checks, criminal investigations, or bail setting. MNIs may include "felony flags," which indicate whether record subjects have arrests or convictions for felony offenses.

Of, relating to, or concerned with medicine and law; pertaining to legal aspects of the practice of medicine.

Mental health court
Specialized court dockets that provide community treatment and supervision in lieu of incarceration for criminal offenders with mental illness.

Mental health courts
Divert defendants with mental illness, traumatic brain injury, or developmental disabilities into judicially supervised, community-based treatment. Mental health courts include adult and juvenile mental health and adult co-occurring disorder courts.

Metropolitan area
See "Metropolitan Statistical Area."

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defines this as a population nucleus of 50,000 or more, generally consisting of a city and its immediate suburbs, along with adjacent communities having a high degree of economic and social integration with the nucleus. MSA's are designated by counties, the smallest geographic units for which a wide range of statistical data can be attained. However, in New England, MSA's are designated by cities and towns since these subcounty units are of great local significance and considerable data is available for them. Currently, an area is defined as an MSA if it meets one of two standards: (1) a city has a population of at least 50,000; (2) the Census Bureau defines an urbanized area of at least 50,000 people with a total metropolitan population of at least 100,000 (or 75,000 in New England). The Census Bureau's definition of urbanized areas, data on commuting to work, and the strength of the economic and social ties between the surrounding counties and the central city determine which counties not containing a main city are included in an MSA. For New England, MSA's are determined by a core area and related cities and towns, not counties. A metropolitan statistical area may contain more than one city of 50,000 and may cross State lines.

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defines this as a population nucleus of 50,000 or more, generally consisting of a city and its immediate suburbs, along with adjacent communities having a high degree of economic and social integration with the nucleus. MSA's are designated by counties, the smallest geographic units for which a wide range of statistical data can be attained. However, in New England, MSA's are designated by cities and towns since these subcounty units are of great local significance and considerable data is available for them. Currently, an area is defined as an MSA if it meets one of two standards: (1) a city has a population of at least 50,000, or (2) the Census Bureau defines an urbanized area of at least 50,000 people with a total metropolitan population of at least 100,000 (or 75,000 in New England). The Census Bureau's definition of urbanized areas, data on commuting to work, and the strength of the economic and social ties between the surrounding counties and the central city determine which counties not containing a main city are included in an MSA. For New England, MSA's are determined by a core area and related cities and towns, not counties. An MSA may contain more than one city of 50,000 and may cross state lines.

Midyear population
The number of inmates held in custody on the last weekday in June.

Mortality rate
A measure of the frequency of deaths in a defined population during a specified interval of time. It is usually defined as the number of deaths per 100,000 inmates. For example, the overall mortality rate for local jails in 2011 was 122 jail deaths per 100,000 jail inmates.

Motor vehicle
An automobile, truck, motorcycle, or any other motorized vehicle legally allowed on public roads and highways.

Motor-vehicle theft
Stealing or unauthorized taking of a motor vehicle, including attempted thefts.

Completed motor vehicle theft - The successful taking of a vehicle by an unauthorized person.

Attempted motor vehicle theft - The unsuccessful attempt by an unauthorized person to take a vehicle.

In corrections, a movement refers to an admission or a release from a status, such as prisoner, parolee, or probationer. Unless specifically noted, a transfer between facilities does not count as a movement.

Multiple offenders
Two or more persons inflicting some direct harm to a victim. The victim-offender relationship is determined by the offender with the closest relationship to the victim. The following list ranks the different relationships from closest to most distant: spouse, former spouse, parent, child, other relative, nonrelative well known person, casual acquaintance, or stranger. See "Nonstranger" and "Stranger."

An administrative entity composed of a clearly defined territory and its population and commonly denotes a city, town, or village, or a small grouping of them. A municipality is typically governed by a mayor and a city council or municipal council.

(1) Intentionally causing the death of another person without extreme provocation or legal justification or (2) causing the death of another while committing or attempting to commit another crime.

National Crime Information Center (NCIC)
An automated database of criminal justice and justice-related records maintained by the FBI. The database includes the "hot files" of wanted and missing persons, stolen vehicles, and identifiable stolen property, including firearms. Access to NCIC files is through central control terminal operators in each state that are connected to NCIC via dedicated telecommunications lines maintained by the FBI. Local agencies and officers on the beat can access the state control terminal via the state law enforcement network. Inquiries are based on name and other nonfingerprint identification. Most criminal history inquiries of the Interstate Identification Index (III) system are made via the NCIC telecommunications system. NCIC data may be provided only for criminal justice and other specifically authorized purposes. For criminal history searches, this includes criminal justice employment, employment by federally chartered or insured banking institutions or securities firms, and use by state and local governments for purposes of employment and licensing pursuant to a state statute approved by the U.S. Attorney General. Inquiries regarding presale firearm checks are included as criminal justice uses.

National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact
An interstate and federal or state compact, which establishes formal procedures and governance structures for the use of the Interstate Identification Index (III). It is designed to facilitate the exchange of criminal history data among states for noncriminal justice purposes and to eliminate the need for the FBI to maintain duplicate data about state offenders. Under the compact, the operation of this system is overseen by a policymaking council comprised of federal and state officials. The key concept underlying the compact is agreement among all signatory states that all criminal history information (except sealed records) will be provided in response to noncriminal justice requests from another stateregardless of whether the information being requested would be permitted to be disseminated for a similar noncriminal justice purpose within the state holding the data. The compact was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President in October 1998. The compact became effective in April 1999, following ratification by two state legislatures: Montana on April 8, 1999 and Georgia on April 28, 1999. To date, 25 additional states have entered into the compact: Nevada (May 1999); Florida (June 1999); Colorado (March 2000); Iowa (April 2000); Connecticut (June 2000); South Carolina (June 2000); Arkansas (February 2001); Kansas (April 2001); Alaska (May 2001); Oklahoma (May 2001); Maine (June 2001); New Jersey (January 2002); Minnesota (March 2002); Arizona (April 2002); Tennessee (June 2003); North Carolina (June 2003); New Hampshire (June 2003); Missouri (July 2003); Ohio (January 2004); Wyoming (February 2005); Idaho (March 2005); Maryland (May 2005); Oregon (July 2005); West Virginia (April 2006); and Hawaii (May 2006).

National Fingerprint File (NFF)
A system and procedures designed as a component of the Interstate Identification Index (III) system, which, when fully implemented, would establish a totally decentralized system for the interstate exchange of criminal history records. The NFF will contain fingerprints of federal offenders and a single set of fingerprints on state offenders from each state in which an offender has been arrested for a felony or a serious misdemeanor. Under the NFF concept, states will forward only the first-arrest fingerprints of an individual to the FBI accompanied by other identification data, such as name and date of birth. Fingerprints for subsequent arrests would not be forwarded. Disposition data on the individual would also be retained at the state repository and would not be forwarded to the FBI. Upon receipt of the first-arrest fingerprint cards (or electronic images), the FBI will enter the individual's fingerprint impressions in the NFF and will enter the person's name and identifiers in the III, together with an FBI Number and a State Identification Number (SID) for each state maintaining a record on the individual. Charge and disposition information on state offenders will be maintained only at the state level, and state repositories will be required to respond to all authorized record requests concerning these individuals for both criminal justice and noncriminal justice purposes. States would have to release all data on record subjects for noncriminal justice inquiries regardless of whether the data could be released for similar purposes within the state. The NFF has been implemented in eight states: Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Montana, and Kansas.

National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)
An automated system operated by the FBI established in accordance with the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act to check the eligibility of prospective gun purchasers.

National Sex Offender Registry
The NCIC Convicted Sexual Offender Registry File is designed to help law enforcement agencies keep track of convicted sex offenders released into the community. The file contains records of persons: convicted of a criminal offense against a minor; convicted of a sexually violent offense, or who are sexually violent predators.

Deaths attributed to natural agents, such as illness or internal malfunctions of the body. The majority of arrest-related deaths recorded as "natural" were due to heart complications. Other natural deaths included complications from long term illnesses.

NCIC Protection Order File
Contains court orders that are issued to help law enforcement prevent acts of domestic violence against a person or to prevent a person from stalking, intimidating, or harassing another person. Orders are issued by both civil and criminal state courts.

NICS Index
The NICS Index contains records provided by state and federal agencies about persons prohibited from receiving firearms under federal law. All records in the NICS Index are disqualifying records and will prohibit the sale of a firearm. Most records in the NICS Index are obtained from federal agencies. However, authorized local and state law enforcement agencies may voluntarily contribute records to the NICS Index.

Non-deadly or less-lethal force
The level of force required to gain compliance that is not known to or intended to create serious bodily harm or death.

Persons who report their culture or origin as something other than "Hispanic" as defined above. This distinction is made regardless of race.

Nonnegligent/voluntary manslaughter
Intentionally and without legal justification causing the death of another when acting under extreme provocation. The combined category of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter excludes involuntary or negligent manslaughter, conspiracies to commit murder, solicitation of murder, and attempted murder.

A classification of a crime victim's relationship to the offender. An offender who is either related to, well known to, or casually acquainted with the victim is a nonstranger. For crimes with more than one offender, if any of the offenders are nonstrangers, then the group of offenders as a whole is classified as nonstranger. This category only applies to crimes that involve contact between the victim and the offender; the distinction is not made for crimes of theft because victims of this offense rarely see the offenders.

The perpetrator of a crime. This term usually applies to crimes involving contact between the victim and the offender.

A crime. When referring to personal crimes, the term can be used to refer to both victimizations and incidents.

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

Other computer security incidents
Incidents that do not fit within the definitions of the specific types of cyber attacks and cyber theft. Encompasses spyware, adware, hacking, phishing, spoofing, pinging, port scanning, sniffing, and theft of other information, regardless of whether damage or losses were sustained as a result.

Other problem-solving courts
Include adult community, homelessness, general problem-solving (courts that address multiple case types and serve a variety of defendants with underlying problems), reentry (except reentry drug courts), parole violation, gambling, gun, prostitution, elder abuse, and other specialty courts.

Other type of release
Emergency release—Defendants are released in response to a court order placing limits on a jail's population

Outcomes of investigations

Substantiated allegation means the event was investigated and determined to have occurred, based on a preponderance of the evidence (28 C.F.R. §115.72).

Unfounded allegation means the investigation determined that the event did not occur.

Unsubstantiated allegation means the investigation concluded that evidence was insufficient to determine whether or not the event occurred.

Parole refers to criminal offenders who are conditionally released from prison to serve the remaining portion of their sentence in the community. Prisoners may be released to parole by a parole board decision (discretionary release/discretionary parole), according to provisions of a statute (mandatory release/mandatory parole), through other types of post-custody conditional supervision, or as the result of a sentence to a term of supervised release. In the federal system, a term of supervised release is a sentence to a fixed period of supervision in the community that follows a sentence to a period of incarceration in federal prison, both of which are ordered at the time of sentencing by a federal judge. Parolees can have a number of different supervision statuses, including active supervision, which means they are required to regularly report to a parole authority in person, by mail, or by telephone. Some parolees may be on an inactive status, which means they are excluded from regularly reporting, and that could be due to a number of reasons. For instance, some may receive a reduction in supervision, possibly due to compliance or meeting all required conditions before the parole sentence terminates, and therefore may be moved from an active to inactive status. Other supervision statuses include parolees who have only financial conditions remaining, have absconded, or have active warrants. Parolees are also typically required to fulfill certain conditions and adhere to specific rules of conduct while in the community. Failure to comply with any of the conditions can result in a return to incarceration.

Gross 1-month payroll before deductions. This includes salaries, wages, fees, and commissions paid to employees.

Percent of capacity occupied at midyear
The jail population at midyear, divided by the rated capacity.

Personal crimes
Rape, sexual assault, personal robbery, assault, purse snatching, and pocket picking. This category includes both attempted and completed crimes.

Persons under jail supervision but not confined
All persons in community-based programs operated by jail facilities, including electronic monitoring, house arrest, community service, day reporting, and work programs. This group excludes persons on pre-trial release who are not in community‐based programs run by jails; persons under supervision of probation, parole, or other agencies; inmates on weekend programs; and inmates who participate in work‐release programs and return to jail at night.

Place of occurrence of crime
The location at which a crime occurred, as specified by the victim. Survey measures of crimes occurring in commercial establishments, in restaurants, in nightclubs, on public transportation, and at other similar places include only those crimes involving NCVS measured crimes against persons, not the establishments. Crimes against commercial establishments and other places are not measured by the survey.

Police protection
The function of enforcing the law, preserving order, and apprehending those who violate the law, whether these activities are performed by a city police department, sheriff's department, state police, or federal law enforcement agency, such as the FBI or the Drug Enforcement Administration. Private security police are outside the scope of the survey.

Positive identification
Identification of an individual using biometric characteristics that are unique and not subject to alteration. In present usage, the term refers to identification by fingerprints but may also include identification by retinal images, voiceprints, or other techniques. Positive identification is to be distinguished from identification using name, sex, date of birth, or other personal identifiers as shown on a document subject to alteration or counterfeit such as a birth certificate, Social Security card, or driver's license. Because individuals can have identical or similar names, ages, etc., identifications based on such characteristics are not reliable.

Prevalence rate
Number of persons or households per 1,000 who experienced at least one victimization during the year.

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, which are facilities run by private prison corporations whose services and beds are contracted out by state or federal governments.

Prisoners are inmates confined in long-term facilities run by the state or federal government or private agencies. They are typically felons who have received a sentence of incarceration of 1 year or more. (Sentence length may vary by state because a few states have one integrated prison system in which both prison and jail inmates are confined in the same types of facilities.)

Private prisons
Prison facilities run by private prison corporations whose services and beds are contracted out by state governments or the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).

Probation refers to adult offenders whom courts place on supervision in the community through a probation agency, generally in lieu of incarceration. However, some jurisdictions do sentence probationers to a combined short-term incarceration sentence immediately followed by probation, which is referred to as a split sentence. Probationers can have a number of different supervision statuses, including active supervision, which means they are required to regularly report to a probation authority in person, by mail, or by telephone. Some probationers may be on an inactive status, which means they are excluded from regularly reporting, and that could be due to a number of reasons. For instance, some probationers may be placed on inactive status immediately because the severity of the offense was minimal or some may receive a reduction in supervision and therefore may be moved from an active to inactive status. Other supervision statuses include probationers who have only financial conditions remaining, have absconded, or have active warrants. In many instances, while on probation, offenders are required to fulfill certain conditions of their supervision (e.g., payment of fines, fees or court costs, and participation in treatment programs) and adhere to specific rules of conduct while in the community. Failure to comply with any conditions can result in incarceration.

Process of arrest
Any actions by law enforcement officers in an attempt to apprehend a criminal suspect. For the purposes of the Arrest-Related Deaths (ARD) program, a death occurring during the "process of arrest" can happen any time after a law enforcement officer invokes his or her authority to detain a criminal suspect and before custody of the suspect is transferred to a correctional authority.

Property crime
Burglary/trespassing, motor-vehicle theft, and theft. This category includes both attempted and completed crimes.

Property offenses

Burglary—Includes only crimes where the offender committed or attempted a theft.

Trespassing—Includes crimes where the offender did not commit or attempt a theft. Does not include trespassing on land.

Larceny/theft—Includes grand theft, grand larceny, and any other felony theft, including burglary from an automobile, theft of rental property, and mail theft. It does not include motor vehicle theft, receiving or buying stolen property, fraud, forgery, or deceit.

Motor vehicle theft—Includes auto theft, conversion of an automobile, receiving and transferring an automobile, unauthorized use of a vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle, and larceny or taking of an automobile.

Forgery—Includes forging of a driver's license, official seals, notes, money orders, credit or access cards or names of such cards or any other documents with fraudulent intent, uttering a forged instrument, counterfeiting, and forgery.

Fraud—Includes possession and passing of worthless checks or money orders, possession of false documents or identification, embezzlement, obtaining money by false pretenses, credit card fraud, welfare fraud, Medicare fraud, insurance claim fraud, fraud, swindling, stealing a thing of value by deceit, and larceny by check.

Other property offenses—Includes receiving or buying stolen property, arson, reckless burning, damage to property, criminal mischief, vandalism, criminal trespassing, possession of burglary tools, and unlawful entry for which the interest is unknown.

Prosecution and legal services
Includes the civil and criminal justice activities of the attorneys general, district attorneys, state's attorneys (and their variously named equivalents), and corporation counsels, solicitors, and legal departments with various names.

Public defender
A salaried staff of full-time or part-time attorneys that renders indigent criminal defense services through a public or private nonprofit organization, or as direct government paid employees.

Public defense
Legal counsel and representation in either criminal or civil proceedings as provided by public defenders and other government programs that pay the fees of court-appointed counsel.

Public Law 83-280 (commonly referred to as Public Law 280 or P.L. 280)
Establishes criminal justice responsibilities among American Indian tribes with tribal land, the states in which tribes are located, and the federal government. Public Law 280 is mandatory or optional for 204 tribes, about two-thirds of the total in the lower 48 states. In states where P.L. 280 does not apply, the federal government retains criminal jurisdiction for major crimes committed under the Indian Country Crimes Act (18 U.S.C. § 1152), the Indian Country Major Crimes Act (18 U.S.C. § 1153), and the Assimilative Crimes Act (18 U.S.C. § 13).

Public Law 93-638
The Indian Self-Determination Act of 1975 affords tribes the opportunity to provide for their own police departments and other institutional services through federal grants and contracts.

Public-order offenses
Weapons offenses—Includes the unlawful sale, distribution, manufacture, alteration, transportation, possession, or use of a deadly weapon or accessory.

Driving-related offenses—Includes driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving with a suspended or revoked license, and any other felony in the motor vehicle code.

Other public-order offenses—Includes flight/escape, parole or probation violations, prison contraband, habitual offender, obstruction of justice, rioting, libel, slander, treason, perjury, prostitution, pandering, bribery, and tax law violations.

Purse snatching/pick-pocketing
Theft or attempted theft of property or cash directly from the victim by stealth, without force or threat of force.

For the National Crime Victimization Survey, respondents self identify with one or more racial categories. Racial categories defined by the Office of Management and Budget are American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian; black or African American; Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander; and white. The race of the head of household is used in determining the race of the household for computing household crime demographics.

Rap back
A "rap back" or "hit notice" program will inform an employer or other designated entity when an individual who has undergone a fingerprint-based background check, and whose fingerprints are retained by a criminal history repository after the check, is subsequently arrested. His or her fingerprints, obtained after the arrest, are matched against a database that contains the fingerprints that were initially submitted. Employers are then notified of the individual's arrest. Employers pay a fee for the service in some states; other states provide the service for free.

Forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion and physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, anal, or oral penetration by the offender(s). This category also includes incidents where the penetration is from a foreign object, such as a bottle. Includes attempted rape, male and female victims, and both heterosexual and same sex rape. Attempted rape includes verbal threats of rape.

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

Real property cases
Cases concerning ownership or division of real property (excluding mortgage foreclosures, which are included under contracts).

The states have been divided into four groups or census regions: Midwest - Includes the 12 states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Northeast - Includes the 9 states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. South - Includes the District of Columbia and the 16 states of Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. West - Includes the 13 states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Persons released after a period of confinement (e.g., sentence completions, bail or bond releases, other pre-trial releases, transfers to other jurisdictions, and deaths). Releases include persons who have completed their weekend program and who are leaving the facility for the last time. They exclude temporary discharges, such as work releases, medical appointments, stays in treatment centers, court appearances, furloughs, day reporting, and transfers to other facilities within the jail jurisdiction.

Completed or attempted theft, directly from a person, of property or cash by force or threat of force, with or without a weapon, and with or without injury.

Completed/property taken - The successful taking of property from a person by force or threat of force, with or without a weapon, and with or without injury.

Completed with injury - The successful taking of property from a person, accompanied by an attack, with or without a weapon, resulting in injury.

Completed without injury - The successful taking of property from a person by force or threat of force, with or without a weapon, but not resulting in injury.

Attempted to take property - The attempt to take property from a person by force or threat of force without success, with or without a weapon, and with or without injury.

Attempted without injury - The attempt to take property from a person by force or threat of force without success, with or without a weapon, but not resulting in injury.

Attempted with injury - The attempt to take property from a person without success, accompanied by an attack, with or without a weapon, resulting in injury.

Rural area
A place not located inside the Metropolitan Statistical Area. This category includes a variety of localities, ranging from sparsely populated rural areas to cities with populations fewer than 50,000.

The set of housing units selected by the U.S. Census Bureau to be interviewed for the survey. All occupants of the household age 12 or older are interviewed. See report methodologies for sample inclusions and exclusions.

SARA stands for Scanning, Analysis, Response, and Assessment. SARA is a commonly used problem-solving method involved in community policing. For more information visit the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing site.

Sentenced prisoners
Prisoners under the jurisdiction of state and federal correctional authorities who have been given a sentence of more than 1 year.

Final act of a judge-ruled process, and also the symbolic principal act connected to his function. The sentence generally involves a decree of imprisonment, a fine, and/or other punishments against a defendant convicted of a crime.

Six or more similar but separate events that the respondent is unable to describe separately in detail to an interviewer. See Methods for Counting High-Frequency Repeat Victimizations in the National Crime Victimization Survey for more information on the use of series victimizations.

Sexual assault
A wide range of victimizations, separate from rape or attempted rape. These crimes include attacks or attempted attacks generally involving unwanted sexual contact between victim and offender. Sexual assaults may or may not involve force and include such things as grabbing or fondling. Sexual assault also includes verbal threats.

Sexual victimization as reported by adult correctional authorities
Inmate-on-inmate or youth-on-youth sexual victimization involves non-consensual sexual acts or abusive contact with a victim without his or her consent or with a victim who cannot consent or refuse.

Non-consensual sexual acts are the most serious victimizations and include—

  • contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus, including penetration, however slight
  • contact between the mouth and the penis, vulva, or anus
  • penetration of the anal or genital opening of another person, however slight, by a hand, finger, object, or other instrument.

Abusive sexual contact is less serious and includes intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person. Incidents in which the contact was incidental to a physical altercation are excluded.

Sexual harassment by another inmate includes—

  • repeated and unwelcome sexual advances
  • requests for sexual favors
  • verbal comments, gestures, or actions of a derogatory or offensive sexual nature.

Staff-on-inmate or staff-on-youth sexual victimization includes both consensual and non-consensual acts perpetrated on an inmate by staff. Staff includes an employee, volunteer, contractor, official visitor, or other agency representative. Family, friends, and other visitors are excluded.

Staff sexual misconduct includes any consensual or non-consensual behavior or act of a sexual nature directed toward an inmate by staff, including romantic relationships. Such acts include—

  • intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks that is unrelated to official duties or with the intent to abuse, arouse, or gratify sexual desire
  • completed, attempted, threatened, or requested sexual acts
  • occurrences of indecent exposure, invasion of privacy, or staff voyeurism for reasons unrelated to official duties or for sexual gratification.

Staff sexual harassment includes repeated verbal comments or gestures of a sexual nature to an inmate by staff. Such statements include—

  • demeaning references to an inmate's sex or derogatory comments about his or her body or clothing
  • repeated profane or obscene language or gestures.

Sexual victimization as reported by youth in juvenile facilities

Sexual victimization includes any forced sexual activity with another youth (non-consensual sexual acts and other sexual contacts) and all sexual activity with facility staff.

Non-consensual sexual acts include any forced sexual acts with another youth and all sexual acts with facility staff involving contact with the penis and the vagina or anus; contact between the mouth and the penis, vagina, or anus; penetration of the anal or vaginal opening of another person by a hand, finger, or other object; and rubbing of another person's penis or vagina by a hand.

Other sexual contacts only includes kissing on the lips or another part of the body, looking at private body parts, being shown something sexual, such as pictures or a movie, and engaging in some other sexual act that did not involve touching.

Staff sexual misconduct includes all sexual activity with facility staff, including contact with the penis and the vagina or anus; contact between the mouth and the penis, vagina, or anus; penetration of the anal or vaginal opening of another person by a hand, finger, or other object; rubbing of another person's penis or vagina by a hand; kissing on the lips or another part of the body; looking at private body parts; being shown something sexual, such as pictures or a movie; and engaging in some other sexual act that did not involve touching.

Staff sexual misconduct excluding touching includes sexual activity with facility staff involving contact with the penis and the vagina or anus; contact between the mouth and the penis, vagina, or anus; penetration of the anal or vaginal opening of another person by a hand, finger, or other object; and rubbing of another person's penis or vagina by a hand.

Forced sexual activity includes sexual activity between youth and facility staff as a result of physical force or threat of physical force; force or pressure of some other type (e.g., threatening with harm, threatening to get the youth in trouble, pressuring the youth, or forcing or pressuring in some other way); and in return for money, favors, protection, or other special treatment.

The elected chief officer of a county law enforcement agency, usually responsible for law enforcement in unincorporated areas and for the operation of the county jail.

Simple assault
Attack without a weapon resulting either in no injury, minor injury (e.g., bruises, black eyes, cuts, scratches, or swelling), or an undetermined injury requiring fewer than two days of hospitalization. Also includes attempted assault without a weapon.

With minor injury - An attack without a weapon resulting in injuries such as bruises, black eyes, cuts, or an undetermined injury requiring fewer than two days of hospitalization.

Without injury - An attempted assault without a weapon but not resulting in injury.

State prisons
Prison facilities run by state correctional authorities. Prisoners housed in these facilities are under the legal authority of the state government and generally serving a term of more than 1 year.

Statistical Analysis Center (SAC)
Statistical Analysis Centers (SACs) are units or agencies at the State government level that use operational, management, and research information from all components of the criminal justice system to conduct objective analyses of statewide and systemwide policy issues. There are currently SACs in 53 States and territories. The SACs vary in their placement within the State government structures. Some are within a criminal justice or general State planning or coordinating agency; some are part of a governor's advisory staff; and others are located in a line agency such as the State police, attorney general's office, or department of corrections. There are several housed in universities.

Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) Director
Each State Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) is led by a SAC Director who manages the day-to-day operations of the SAC. The SAC Director has extensive knowledge of research methodology and statistical analyses techniques, as well as the ability to design and conduct research studies, and produce and present findings in written and oral presentations. Additionally, the SAC Director is familiar with the factors, issues, and processes involved in crime and the criminal justice system. The SAC Director is able to communicate effectively and maintain sound working relationships with all levels of staff, employees from other agencies, and public officials. A degree, with major studies in mathematics/statistics, computer science, criminology or a related social sciences field with emphasis on research methodology, from an accredited college or university is required.

A classification of the victim's relationship to the offender for crimes involving direct contact between the two. Incidents are classified as involving strangers if the victim identifies the offender as a stranger, did not see or recognize the offender, or knew the offender only by sight. Crimes involving multiple offenders are classified as involving nonstrangers if any of the offenders was a nonstranger. Because victims of theft without contact rarely see the offender, no distinction is made between strangers and nonstrangers for the crime.

A company in which another business has more than 50% ownership or the power to direct or cause the direction of management and policies.

Suburban areas
A county or counties containing a central city, plus any contiguous counties that are linked socially and economically to the central city. On data tables, suburban areas are categorized as those portions of metropolitan areas situated "outside central cities."

Intentional killing of oneself. BJS recorded arrest-related deaths as suicides only if medical staff deemed the decedent deliberately took their life. The most common type of suicide reported to the Arrest-Related Deaths (ARD) program included decedents engaging in armed standoffs with law enforcement prior to taking their life. Other suicides occurred while law enforcement officers were attempting to apprehend the deceased, who committed suicide to avoid being taken into custody. Drug and alcohol overdoses were not considered to be suicides unless there was evidence the overdose was intentional. Unintentional over use of alcohol or drugs for recreational purposes were coded as intoxication deaths. Deaths submitted as suicide by cop were recorded in the ARD collection as homicides because the death was directly attributed to actions taken by law enforcement personnel.

Sworn officers
Persons formally authorized to make arrests while acting within the scope of explicit legal authority.

The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) recognizes two forms of household tenancy: (1) owned, which includes dwellings that are mortgaged, and (2) rented, which includes rent free quarters belonging to a party other than the occupants and situations where rental payments are in kind or services.

The Clery Act
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act was signed into law in 1990. It requires institutions of higher education that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near campus. Clery Act statistics are available on the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool site.

Completed or attempted theft of property or cash without personal contact. Incidents involving theft of property from within the sample household are classified as theft if the offender has a legal right to be in the house (e.g., a maid, delivery person, or guest). If the offender has no legal right to be in the house, the incident is classified as a burglary.

Completed theft - To successfully take without permission property or cash without personal contact between the victim and offender.

Attempted theft - To unsuccessfully attempt to take property or cash without personal contact.

Theft of intellectual property
The illegal obtaining of copyrighted or patented material, trade secrets, or trademarks (including designs, plans, blueprints, codes, computer programs, software, formulas, recipes, graphics) usually by electronic copying. Excludes theft of personal or financial data such as credit card or social security numbers, names and dates of birth, financial account information, or any other type of information.

Theft of personal or financial data
The illegal obtaining of information that potentially allows someone to use or create accounts under another name (individual, business, or some other entity). Personal information includes names, dates of birth, social security numbers, or other personal information. Financial information includes credit, debit, or ATM card account or PIN numbers. Excludes theft of intellectual property such as copyrights, patents, trade secrets, and trademarks. Excludes theft of any other type of information.

Tort cases (torts)
Cases concerning ownership or division of real property (excluding mortgage foreclosures, which are included under contracts).

A wrongful act, not including a breach of contract or trust, that results in injury to another's person, property, reputation, or the like, and for which the injured party is entitled to compensation.

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 (BOP) must physically 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 BOP, 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.

Trial court
The court in which a controversy is first adjudicated.

Tribal court
As defined in the Indian Tribal Justice Technical and Legal Assistance Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-559), the term "tribal court," "tribal court system," or "tribal justice system" means the entire judicial branch, and employees thereof, of an Indian tribe, including, but not limited to, traditional methods and fora for dispute resolution, trial courts, appellate courts, including inter-tribal appellate courts, alternative dispute resolution systems, and circuit rider systems, established by inherent tribunal authority whether or not they constitute a court of record.

Tribal jurisdiction
Tribal law enforcement agencies act as first responders to both felony and misdemeanor crimes. For most of Indian country, the federal government provides felony law enforcement concerning crimes by or against American Indians. Certain areas of Indian country are under Public Law 83-280, as amended. P.L. 280 conferred jurisdiction on certain states over Indian country and suspended enforcement of the Major Crimes Act (18 U.S.C. § 1153) and the General Crimes Act (18 U.S.C. § 1152) in those areas. Indian tribes retain concurrent jurisdiction to enforce laws in Indian country where P.L. 280 applies.

Tribal police powers
Authority to exercise criminal jurisdiction over all tribal members and the authority to arrest and detain non-Indians for delivery to state or federal authorities for prosecution. These tribal police powers are generally limited to tribal lands.

Tribal wellness courts
Courts within the tribal justice system that incorporate the wellness concept to meet the specific substance abuse needs of each tribal community. They include tribal healing to wellness courts and tribal hybrid courts.

Types of financial release
Surety bond—Bail bond company signs a promissory note to the court for the full bail amount and charges the defendant a fee for the service (usually 10% of the full bail amount). If the defendant fails to appear, the bond company is liable to the court for the full bail amount. Frequently the bond company requires collateral from the defendant in addition to the fee.

Deposit bond—Defendant deposits a percentage (usually 10%) of the full bail amount with the court. The percentage of the bail is returned after the disposition of the case, but the court often retains a small portion for administrative costs. If the defendant fails to appear in court, he or she is liable to the court for the full bail amount.

Full cash bond—The defendant posts the full bail amount in cash with the court. If the defendant makes all court appearances, the cash is returned. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bond is forfeited.

Property bond—Involves an agreement made by a defendant as a condition of pretrial release requiring that property valued at the full bail amount be posted as an assurance of his or her appearance in court. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the property is forfeited. Also known as "collateral bond."

Types of nonfinancial release
Release on recognizance (ROR)—The court releases the defendant on a signed agreement that he or she will appear in court as required. This includes citation releases in which arrestees are released pending their first court appearance on a written order issued by law enforcement or jail personnel.

Unsecured bond—The defendant pays no money to the court but is liable for the full amount of bail should he or she fail to appear in court.

Conditional release—Defendants are released under specified conditions. Monitoring or supervision, if required, is usually done by a pretrial services agency. In some cases, such as those involving a third-party custodian or drug monitoring and treatment, another agency may be involved in the supervision of the defendant. Conditional release sometimes includes an unsecured bond.

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team is a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security and the public and private sectors. Established in 2003 to protect the nation's Internet infrastructure, U.S. CERT coordinates defense against and responses to cyber attacks across the nation.

Urban areas
The largest city (or grouping of cities) in a Metropolitan Statistical Area. See "Metropolitan Statistical Area."

Use of excessive force
The application of force beyond what is reasonably believed to be necessary to gain compliance from a subject in any given incident.

Use of force
The amount of effort required by law enforcement to gain compliance from an unwilling subject.

Veterans courts
Serve justice-involved veterans and sometimes active duty personnel. Courts link veterans facing mental illness, drug addiction or abuse, or reintegration issues to services, intensive treatment, and support while promoting sobriety, recovery, and stability. Services may include a coordinated response from traditional partners and the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare networks, Veterans Benefits Administration, State Departments of Veterans Affairs, volunteer veteran mentors, and organizations that support veterans' families. They include veterans drug treatment and mental health courts.

The recipient of a criminal act, usually used in relation to personal crimes, but also applicable to households.

A crime as it affects one individual person or household. For personal crimes, the number of victimizations is equal to the number of victims involved. The number of victimizations may be greater than the number of incidents because more than one person may be victimized during an incident. Each crime against a household is assumed to involve a single victim, the affected household.

Victimization rate
Number of victimizations per 1,000 persons or households that occurred during the year.

To commit a crime against a person or household.

Violence, crimes of
Rape, sexual assault, personal robbery, or assault. This category includes both attempted and completed crimes. It does not include purse snatching and pocket picking. Murder is not measured by the National Crime Victimization Survey because of an inability to question the victim.

Completed violence - The sum of all completed rapes, sexual assaults, robberies, and assaults. See individual crime types for definitions of completed crimes.

Attempted/threatened violence - The unsuccessful attempt of rape, sexual assault, personal robbery, or assault. Includes attempted attacks or sexual assaults by means of verbal threats. See individual crime types for definitions of attempted crimes.

Violent offenses
Murder—Includes homicide, nonnegligent manslaughter, and voluntary homicide. It excludes attempted murder (classified as felony assault), negligent homicide, involuntary homicide, or vehicular manslaughter, which are classified as other violent offenses.

Rape—Includes forcible intercourse, sodomy, or penetration with a foreign object. It does not include statutory rape or nonforcible acts with a minor or someone unable to give legal consent, nonviolent sexual offenses, or commercialized sex offenses.

Robbery—Includes unlawful taking of anything of value by force or threat of force. It includes armed, unarmed, and aggravated robbery, carjacking, armed burglary, and armed mugging.

Assault—Includes aggravated assault, aggravated battery, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, felony assault or battery on a law enforcement officer, and other felony assaults. It does not include extortion, coercion, or intimidation.

Other violent offenses—Includes vehicular manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, negligent or reckless homicide, nonviolent or nonforcible sexual assault, kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, child or spouse abuse, cruelty to a child, reckless endangerment, hit-and-run with bodily injury, intimidation, and extortion.

Weekly inmate turnover rate
The sum of weekly admissions and releases, divided by the average daily population (ADP). This rate is an indicator of the fluctuation of the jail population.

Year-end population
The number of inmates held in custody on December 31. The year-end population is typically smaller than the midyear population.

Youth specialty courts
Serve juvenile offenders and address underlying issues that result in court involvement. They include youth/teen courts and truancy courts.

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