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State and Federal Adult Correctional Facilities Census

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PURPOSE

To provide periodic and comprehensive statistics on state and Federal adult correctional facilities, populations, and programs. The United States code, Titles 15 and 42, authorizes this census and provides for voluntary responses. The Bureau of Justice Statistics fully funds the Census.

COVERAGE

All correctional facilities that are administered by state and Federal governments, and primarily hold adult inmates beyond their initial arraignment (usually more than 48 hours).

CONTENT

Data are collected on facility characteristics, operations, and programs. Characteristics data include confinement space and inmate populations. Operations and programs data include education programs, inmate work assignment, counseling and special programs, staffing, health and safety conditions, drug screening policies, and operation expenditures.

FREQUENCY

Periodically since 1971; periodicity is every five or six years. The last census was for 2005 and the next census is scheduled for 2010. Certain data are for activities as of June 30 of the census year; other data are for the 12-month period ending on June 30.

METHODS

A mail-out/mail or fax back census of all state and Federal prison facilities, and private facilities operated under exclusive contract with state governments. Data sources are primarily administrative records kept at either a central corrections agency or at individual facilities.

PRODUCTS

Census of State and Federal Correctional Facilities are reports published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) within 2 years after the census reference date. Reports provide national data that include number of correctional facilities by region, size and facility age, inmate and facility characteristics, population density by type of security designation, confinement unit size, inmate to staff ratios, and annual expenditures. Under an agreement with the Department of Justices, the Census Bureau produces a public use electronic file within 12 months of the census date, for the University of Michigan.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Provides the only source of periodic national statistics on characteristics of facilities, custody populations, facility staff, and inmate-to-staff ratios.

USES

The Department of Justice uses the data to conduct and benchmark the results of other surveys of jail inmates. The U.S. Congress use the data to monitor trends in the jail population and activities. State and local governments use these data for policy making. Researchers use these data to evaluate condtions of confinements, to analyze trends, and to monitor progress toward meeting objectives.

RELATED PROGRAMS

National Prisoner Statistics


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