Juvenile correctional systems have many different components. Some juvenile correctional facilities look very much like adult prisons. Others seem very much like "home." Private facilities continue to play a substantial role in the long-term custody of juveniles, in contrast to adult correctional systems. In fact, nationwide there are more than twice as many privately operated juvenile facilities as publicly operated facilities, although private facilities hold less than half as many juveniles as are held in public facilities.
This chapter describes the population of juveniles detained in and committed to public and private facilities in terms of demographics, offenses, average time in the facility, and facility type. The chapter also includes information on recidivism and descriptions of juveniles reentering the general population after confinement, those held in adult jails and prisons, and those on death row.
The information is based on several data collection efforts by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement; Juvenile Residential Facility Census; Survey of Youth in Residential Placement; and Children in Custody Census of Juvenile Detention, Correctional, and Shelter Facilities. Much of the information on juveniles held in adult correctional facilities is drawn from the Bureau of Justice Statistics' Jail Census, Annual Survey of Jails, and National Corrections Reporting Program.