Data on Health and Well-being of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Other Native Americans. Census of Jails

12/01/2006

Sponsor: U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ)/Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
Description: The 1999 Census of Jails is the seventh in a series of data collection efforts aimed at studying the nations locally administered jails. The 1999 census enumerated 3,365 locally administered confinement facilities that held inmates beyond arraignment and were staffed by municipal or county employees and 11 facilities maintained by the Federal Bureau of Prisons that functioned as jails. Variables include information on jail population by legal status (i.e., convicted or not convicted), age and sex of prisoners, maximum sentence, admissions and releases, available services and programs, structure and capacity, facility age and use of space, expenditure (i.e., per diem fees charged/paid for confining inmates), employment, staff information, and inmate health issues, which includes statistics on drugs, AIDS, and tuberculosis.
Relevant Policy Issues: Rates of Involvement with Justice System.
Data Type(s): Census survey
Unit of Analysis: Correctional facility
Identification of AI/AN/NA: On June 30, 1999, how many persons CONFINED in your jail facilities were:
  • White, not of Hispanic origin
  • Black or African American, not of Hispanic origin
  • American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN)
  • Asian
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (NH/PI)
  • Other

On June 30, 1999, how many staff employed by your jail facility were:

  • White, not of Hispanic origin
  • Black or African American, not of Hispanic origin
  • American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN)
  • Asian
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (NH/PI)
  • Other

Of all CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS reported in item 23b [staff count item], how many were:

  • White, not of Hispanic origin
  • Black or African American, not of Hispanic origin
  • American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN)
  • Asian
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (NH/PI)
  • Other
AI/AN/NA Population in Data Set: The 1999 Census includes information on 3,084 jail jurisdictions. Each of these jurisdictions reports on the number of AI/AN and NH/PI confined in their facility(s) at mid-year.
Geographic Scope: The geographic scope is national. This is a census of jail facilities in 46 states and the District of Columbia. Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Vermont are excluded because they operate combined jail-prison facilities. Analysis is possible by state, county, census area, zip code or groups of zip codes, and individual jail jurisdictions.
Date or Frequency: The Census of Jails, previously known as the National Jail Census, is conducted every 5 to 6 years for the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) by the U.S. Census Bureau. Censuses have been conducted in 1970, 1972, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993 and 1999. Data collection for the next census was conducted in 2005 and 2006. These data should be available in 2007 or early 2008.
Data Collection Methodology: The mailing list used for the Census of Jails is derived from a facility list maintained by the Census Bureau for BJS, correctional association directories, and other secondary sources. Census forms were mailed to facilities. In addition to a paper form, BJS offered respondents in large jurisdictions an electronic version via the Internet, which allowed them to complete and submit their questionnaire on-line. Follow-up included additional mail and fax requests and repeated telephone contacts.
Participation: Optional, without incentives
Response Rate: Data were obtained by mailed and web-based survey questionnaires. After followup phone calls, nearly 100 percent of jails provided critical data items such as gender of inmates held and number of inmates on June 30, 1999.
Analysis: Because there was nonresponse and incomplete data from a small number of facilities on non-critical items, survey staff estimated totals for their reporting and imputed data for some missing non-critical items. Full documentation of these procedures can be found in the report located at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/cj99.htm.
Strengths: Data are collected on a key policy issue, involvement with the justice system. There are multiple years of data available.
Limitations: This data set contains facility-level rather than individual-level data. Researchers will have counts by facility of those being confined, staff, or corrections officers who have been identified as AI/AN or NH/PI. Additional analysis related to the characteristics or experiences of these individuals is not possible using these data.
Access Requirements and Use Restrictions: Data sets are available to the public at no cost.
Contact Information: 1999 Census of Jails data can be downloaded at: http://webapp.icpsr.umich.edu/cocoon/NACJD-STUDY/03318.xml.

Data archive information:
National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
ICPSR
University of Michigan
Institute for Social Research
P.O. Box 1248
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248
(800) 999-0960
(313) 763-5011
nacjd@icpsr.umich.edu
http://webapp.icpsr.umich.edu/cocoon/NACJD-SERIES/00068.xml

Questions for the Bureau of Justice Statistics should be addressed to:
James Stephan
Statistician
Bureau of Justice Statistics
810 Seventh Street, NW
Washington, DC 20531
USA
(202) 616-3289
James.Stephan@usdoj.gov
askbjs@usdoj.gov

 

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