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Juveniles in Corrections
Facility Characteristics
Q: Do public facilities hold more juveniles than private facilities?
A: Private facilities accounted for less than half of all facilities in 2018 and held just 27% of all offenders.

Juvenile offender population by facility operation, 2018

Facility operation Number of
Percent of
Number of
juvenile offenders
Percent of
juvenile offenders
Total 1,510 100% 37,529 100%
Public 903 60% 27,469 73%
  State 331 22% 13,221 35%
  Local 572 38% 14,248 38%
Private 607 40% 10,060 27%

Note: Detail may not add to total because of rounding.

[ 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.
  • Historically, local facilities held fewer juvenile offenders than state facilities, despite accounting for more than half of all public facilities. Since 2012, however, local facilities held more offenders than state facilities.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/corrections/qa08502.asp?qaDate=2018. Released on May 15, 2020.

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 2018 [machine-readable data files]. Washington, D.C.: OJJDP.


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