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Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement

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The Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (CJRP) was administered for the first time in 1997 by the U.S. Bureau of the Census for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). CJRP replaced the Census of Public and Private Juvenile Detention, Correctional, and Shelter Facilities, also known as the Children in Custody (CIC) census, which had been conducted since the early 1970s. The CJRP, which is conducted biennially, provides the nation with the most detailed picture of juveniles in custody ever produced. The CJRP asks juvenile residential custody facilities in the U.S. to describe each youth assigned a bed in the facility on the last Wednesday in October. The census is not sent to adult facilities or to facilities exclusively for drug or mental health treatment or for abused or neglected children.

The CJRP differs fundamentally from the CIC census. CIC collected aggregate data on juveniles held in each facility (e.g., number of juveniles in the facility). CJRP collects an individual record on each juvenile held in the residential facility.

CJRP is one of four components in a multilayered effort by OJJDP to describe both the youth placed in residential facilities and the environments of these facilities. The companion data collection to CJRP, the Juvenile Residential Facility Census (JRFC), collects information from the same facilities that meet CJRP inclusion criteria. JRFC is conducted in even number years. Other data collection efforts that provide information on juveniles in custody are the National Juvenile Court Data Archive (NJCDA) and the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement (SYRP). The NJCDA collects information on the processing of juvenile court cases and the sanctions imposed by juvenile courts, including information on cases in which the youth is detained. The final component, the SYRP, collects a broad range of self-report information from interviews with individual youth in residential placement.


The CJRP facility inclusion criteria are as follows: residential facilities in operation on the census reference date; public or private (or tribal since 1999) operation; intended for juvenile offenders (although some hold adults as well). Specifically excluded are: nonresidential facilities; detention centers operated as part of adult jails; facilities exclusively for drug abusers or dependent/neglected youth; foster homes; and federal correctional facilities (e.g., Immigration and Naturalization Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Marshals, or Bureau of Prisons).

Inclusion criteria for individual-level data are as follows: youth under age 21; assigned a bed in a residential facility at the end of the day on the census reference day; charged with an offense or court-adjudicated for an offense; and in residential placement because of that offense.


In late September, the Census Bureau mails out a notification letter to all identified facilities indicating that the CJRP data request forms will soon arrive in the mail. The letter also indicates the reference date for the census and the type of information that will be requested. Respondents are given a contact number for the Census Bureau in case they have questions or problems.

In mid-October, the Census Bureau mails data requests to respondents representing public, private, tribal, and U.S. territory residential juvenile facilities. Some state and regional agencies provide CJRP data for more than one facility under their jurisdiction.

Data are to be returned by the end of November. In early January, facilities that have not yet responded are sent a reminder notice and asked to send a completed response by the end of January. Census staff begin telephone calls to the facilities and central reports that had not responded by that time. The Census Bureau closes out data collection in mid-July. Processing of the data, including error checks, imputation, and editing, continues until the following September.

Data are received and prepared for analysis at the Census Bureau facility in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Respondent questions are fielded by the Governments Division of the Census Bureau.


Census questionnaire - official "self-report" questionnaire. In 2017 the questionnaire consisted of 20 pages, facility-level section has 20 items, individual-level section has 10 items per person, definitions are provided. (Forms: 1997 | 1999 | 2001 | 2003 | 2006 | 2007 | 2010 | 2011 | 2013 | 2015 | 2017)

The CJRP allows for electronic submission of the data by larger facilities and central reporters. As part of this program, the Census Bureau provides data specifications to participating respondents and a spreadsheet format so that these respondents can also complete the form through common spreadsheet programs.


CJRP collects an individual record on each juvenile held in the residential facility, with information on the juvenile's gender, date of birth, race, placement authority, most serious offense charged, court adjudication status, date of admission, and security status. These data are requested for all offenders under 21 years of age in the facility. Facilities also provide information on facility type, the housing of overflow detention populations, physical layout of the facility, separation of residents, counts of residents ages 21 and older, and the use of locked doors and/or gates.


Repeat mailings and phone contacts are made to maximize responding. In mid-October, the Census Bureau mails out CJRP forms to public, private, and tribal residential juvenile facilities. Of these facilities, some turn out to be closed on the reference date. A few additional facilities are identified as open on the reference date after the initial mailout (through responses from facilities or other contacts) and are subsequently sent forms. Of the facilities open on the reference date, some may be temporarily out of scope (i.e., they did not hold offenders on the reference date). Some facilities may be identified as permanently out of scope (i.e., they were not able to hold juvenile offenders over night). The remaining facilities are identified as in-scope. Of the in-scope facilities, a small number may neither send back the census forms nor respond to several phone calls from Census Bureau personnel requesting participation in the census. These facilities are designated non respondents, and the Census Bureau imputes responses for them. Using the number of in-scope facilities as a base, the CJRP facility response rate was 96% in 1997, 100% in 1999, 99% in 2001, 100% in 2003, 100% in 2006, 100% in 2007, 93% in 2010, 95% in 2011, 92% in 2013, 91% in 2015, and 84% in 2017.

Some facilities are not able to provide all the information requested for all juveniles meeting CJRP inclusion criteria. In such cases, data are imputed from complete records to fill in incomplete records. Therefore, reported CJRP estimates regarding the characteristics of juveniles in custody may differ from their actual characteristics. More detail on the imputation procedures is available in the memorandum, Public use documentation of the imputation methodology for the 2007 census of juveniles in residential placement (1/22/2009).


The CJRP is administered every other year, in odd-numbered years. The census reference date is the last Wednesday in October.


CJRP provides 1-day population counts of juveniles in residential placement facilities. One-day counts give a picture of the standing population in facilities. One-day counts are substantially different from annual admission and release data, which give a measure of facility population flow. One-day count statistics are over representative of those youth with longer lengths of stay (more serious offenders, those in long-term placements) and under representative of youth with short lengths of stay (those in detention). Facility information can be generalized to juvenile residential placement facilities (except those for drug treatment or mental health only, or for dependents).

CJRP does not capture data on juveniles held in adult prisons or jails; therefore, in the CJRP data, juveniles placed in juvenile facilities by criminal courts represent an unknown proportion of juveniles incarcerated by criminal courts.

CJRP does not include facilities exclusively intended for drug or mental health treatment, even though such facilities may house some offenders. However numerous juveniles in residential placement for whom data are captured by CJRP may be receiving such treatment.


The National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) developed and maintains Easy Access to the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (EZACJRP) for OJJDP to make CJRP data available to a wide variety of users. EZACJRP allows users to perform custom crosstabs of national data on the characteristics of youth held in residential placement facilities, including detailed information about the youth's age, sex, race/ethnicity, placement status, length of stay, and most serious offense. In addition, EZACJRP contains a large set of predefined tables detailing the characteristics of juvenile offenders in custody (age, sex, race/ethnicity, offense, type of facility, and placement status). Users can view custody population profiles for a single jurisdiction or state comparison tables. Resulting tables can be saved and imported into spreadsheet software for further analysis.

By statute and regulation, OJJDP must protect the privacy of individuals included in its surveys. In the case of CJRP, OJJDP must assure that no juvenile can be identified from publicly available data, either print or electronic. To comply with this requirement, OJJDP has adopted a policy that requires all published table cells to be rounded to the nearest multiple of three. The table cells are rounded after the table has been produced from the underlying data. Each cell is rounded independently, without consideration to row or column totals. As a result, in many State tables the internal cells will not add to the marginal totals. Rates and percentages presented in OJJDP publications and state level tables presented in Easy Access to the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement are based on rounded totals. More detail on OJJDP's privacy protection policy is available in Disclosure Control in the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement, prepared by OJJDP.

Although CJRP data files are not generally publicly available, they may be made available to researchers on a case-by-case basis. Researchers should visit the National Juvenile Corrections Data Resource Guide at ICPSR for more information regarding access requirements and procedures.


Easy Access to the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement. Data Analysis Tool. Available at https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezacjrp/

Juveniles in Residential Placement, 2015. (2016). Available at https://www.ojjdp.gov/pubs/250951.pdf

The Number of Juveniles in Residential Placement Reached a New Low in 2015. (2015). Available at https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/snapshots/DataSnapshot_CJRP2015.pdf

Juveniles in Residential Placement, 2013. (2016). Available at https://www.ojjdp.gov/pubs/249507.pdf

The Number of Juveniles in Residential Placement Continued to Decline in 2013. (2015). Available at https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/snapshots/DataSnapshot_CJRP2013.pdf

Juveniles in Residential Placement, 2011. (2014). Available at https://www.ojjdp.gov/pubs/246826.pdf

Juveniles in Residential Placement, 2010. (2013). Available at https://www.ojjdp.gov/pubs/241060.pdf

Juveniles in Residential Placement: 1997-2008. (2010). Available at https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/publications/StatBBAbstract.asp?BibID=251406.

Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2006 National Report. (2006). OJJDP Report. Available at https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/nr2006/.

Juveniles in Corrections. (2004). National Report Series Bulletin. Available at https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/publications/StatBBAbstract.asp?BibID=202885.

Juvenile Offenders in Residential Placement: 1997-1999. (2002). OJJDP Fact Sheet. Available at https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/publications/StatBBAbstract.asp?BibID=193436.

Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement. (2000). OJJDP Fact Sheet. Available at https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/publications/StatBBAbstract.asp?BibID=224550.

Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 National Report. (1999). Available at https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/publications/StatBBAbstract.asp?BibID=178257.

Juvenile Offenders in Residential Placement, 1997. (1999). OJJDP Fact Sheet. Available at https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/publications/StatBBAbstract.asp?BibID=222936.

Counting What Counts: The Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement. (1998). OJJDP Fact Sheet. Available at https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/fs-9874.pdf.


Benjamin Adams
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
E-mail: Benjamin.Adams@ojp.usdoj.gov
(202) 6163687

Nicole Adolph
US Census Bureau
E-mail: Nicole.S.Adolph@census.gov
(301) 763-1571

Melissa Sickmund
National Center for Juvenile Justice
E-mail: msickmund@ncjfcj.org
(412) 227-6950
History, analysis, CJRP Databook and Easy Access to the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement

Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse
E-mail: responsecenter@ncjrs.gov