The purpose of the Juvenile Residential Facility Census (JRFC) is to provide a detailed understanding of the facilities holding juveniles in custody across the United States. The JRFC offers information about the environments in which youth under 21 are held as part of a multilayered effort by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to describe both the youth placed in residential facilities and the environments of these facilities. The JRFC is a companion effort to the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (CJRP), which collects information from the same facilities that meet JRFC inclusion criteria. The JRFC was administered for the first time in 2000 by the United States Bureau of the Census for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).
The JRFC is designed to provide facility-level information for all facilities meeting certain inclusion criteria on the census reference date (see "Sampling" below). The questionnaire collects information about general facility characteristics; treatment policies, procedures, and services; events and incidents in the past 30 dates; deaths in the past year; and spaces or services shared with other facilities (see "Description of Variables" below).
The JRFC is administered by the U.S. Bureau of the Census for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Facility representatives receive mail questionnaires shortly before the survey reference date. A small number of facilities meeting census inclusion criteria decline to complete sections of the survey or fail to return the census forms after repeated notification and phone contact from Census Bureau personnel; these facilities are designated non-respondents. Other facilities may be unable to provide all the information necessary to complete the survey. In cases where facilities are unable or unwilling to complete all survey items, the Census Bureau uses complete records to impute missing data.
The inclusion criteria for facilities in the census were: the facility must house persons under the age of 21 who were charged with or adjudicated for an offense, and were present in the facility on the reference date because of that offense. JRFC did not capture data on adult prisons or jails, nor did it include facilities that are used exclusively for mental health or substance abuse treatment or for dependent children.
Juvenile residential facilities in the United States holding at least one juvenile for an offense on the census reference date in 2008.
United States Bureau of the Census questionnaires
The 2008 JRFC (n=2,819; 212 variables) collects information on various aspects of residential facilities.
Section 1 of the survey form collects general facility information, including:
- location (state),
- facility population disaggregated by age and offense status (total, under 21, 21 or older, assigned a bed because of an offense, assigned a bed for other reasons),
- physical layout (e.g. presence of separate buildings or separate living/sleeping units),
- facility type (e.g. detention center, group home/halfway house, runaway and homeless shelter),
- treatment provided (e.g. mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment),
- owner and operator sector (private non-profit, for-profit, government) and, for government-owned or -operated facilities, level (tribal, federal, state, county, municipal),
- security features (e.g. locked internal or external doors or gates), and
- sleeping arrangements (occupants per sleeping room, number of standard and makeshift beds).
Section 2 of the survey form relates to events in the 30 days prior to the census reference date, including unauthorized departures, transportation to an emergency room, and young persons placed in physical restraints or in isolation.
Section 3 of the survey form gathers information about any deaths in the past year.
Section 4 of the survey form describes space shared with other facilities.
Using the number of in-scope facilities as a base (i.e., able to hold juveniles overnight and held juveniles on the reference date), the JRFC facility response rate was 87.6 percent in 2008.