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Juveniles in Corrections
Facility Characteristics
Q: Do public facilities hold more youth than private facilities?
A: Private facilities accounted for 37% of all facilities in 2020; these facilities held 23% of youth in placement.

Youth held for an offense in residential placement by facility operation, 2020

Facility operation Number of
Percent of
Percent of
Percent of
Total 1,323 100% 25,014 100%
Public 838 63% 19,211 77%
  State 317 24% 9,536 38%
  Local 521 39% 9,675 39%
Private 485 37% 5,803 23%

Notes: The term ‘youth’ refers to persons under age 21 who were in a facility because they were charged with or adjudicated for an offense.

Detail may not add to total because of rounding.

The COVID-19 pandemic had significant effects on all stages of the juvenile justice system, including juvenile residential facilities, which may have impacted multiple aspects of the 2020 JRFC data, such as reporting, the number of youth in residential placement, and the services received.

[ CSV file ]

  • Private facilities are operated by private non-profit or for-profit corporations or organizations in which the employees working daily in the facilities and directly with the residents are employees of that private corporation or organization.
  • State or local government agencies operate public facilities - the employees working daily in the facilities and directly with the residents are State or local government employees.
  • Local facilities accounted for 62% of all public facilities; these facilities held half (50%) of youth in public facilities on the census date in 2020.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/corrections/qa08502.asp?qaDate=2020. Released on January 10, 2023.

Adapted from the Juvenile Residential Facility Census Databook. Available on-line at: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/jrfcdb/.

Data Source: Authors' analysis of the Juvenile Residential Facility Census 2020 [machine-readable data files]. Washington, D.C.: OJJDP.


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