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     Juvenile Residential Facility Census


In 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau, through an interagency agreement with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), administered the Juvenile Residential Facility Census (JRFC) for the first time. JRFC collects information about the facilities in which juvenile offenders are held. The census is conducted on the fourth Wednesday in October in even numbered years. JRFC routinely collects data on how facilities operate and the services they provide. It includes questions on facility ownership and operation, security, capacity and crowding, and injuries and deaths in custody. JRFC also collects supplementary information each survey year on juvenile facility practices around identifying youths' needs and the specific services that facilities provide, such as mental and physical health, substance use, and education. JRFC does not capture data on adult prisons or jails, nor does it include facilities used exclusively for mental health or substance use treatment or for dependent children.

Goals and Objectives:

JRFC provides a detailed picture of the facilities that hold juvenile offenders and the services these facilities provide. The Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (CJRP), the companion collection to JRFC conducted in alternating years, collects information on the demographics and legal attributes of each youth in a juvenile facility on the census date. Together they provide the most comprehensive picture available of youth sanctioned to residential placement and the facilities and services the youth are provided. Specific objectives of JRFC include:

  • Establishing a comprehensive, manageable, and reliable statistical series covering facilities that hold juvenile offenders.
  • Collecting basic information on facility characteristics, including size, structure, security arrangements, and ownership.
  • Collecting information on the use of bedspace in the facility, which indicates whether the facility is overcrowded.
  • Collecting information about the type of facility, such as detention center, training school, or group home.
  • Collecting information about the other residential services that the facility provides, such as independent living, foster care, or other arrangements.
  • Collecting information on the health care, education, substance use treatment, and mental health treatment provided to youth in these facilities.
  • Collecting information on the use of screenings or assessments conducted to determine counseling, education, health, or substance use treatment needs.
  • Collecting information on prominent issues about conditions of confinement, including the restraint of youth, the use of isolation to control behavior, and improper absences from the facility.
  • Collecting information on the number of deaths of juveniles in custody.


OJJDP released the Juvenile Residential Facility Census Databook to facilitate independent analysis of national data on the characteristics of youth residential placement facilities.

Publications and Products:

OJJDP supports the analysis and dissemination of its JRFC data through the National Juvenile Justice Data Analysis Program. This program produces statistical bulletins and FAQs with the JRFC data. The data are archived at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data. Find more information about the JRFC design and methodology on OJJDP's Compendium of National Juvenile Justice Datasets.

Contact Information:

Benjamin Adams, Social Science Analyst | 202-616-3687

Nicole Adolph, Chief, Criminal Justice Branch | 301-763-1577
U.S. Census Bureau

Project Snapshot

Project Title: Juvenile Residential Facility Census

Agreement: Interagency Agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau

Agreement status: Active

Type of research: Data collection and analysis

Related topical page: corrections/detention

Location of research: National

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