The purpose of the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (CJRP) is to provide a detailed understanding of juveniles in custody across the United States. The CJRP offers information about youth under 21 detained in or committed to residential facilities across the United States, including demographics, placement and adjudication status, and characteristics of the facilities themselves.
The CJRP was administered for the first time in 1997 by the United States Bureau of the Census for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). The 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 differs fundamentally from the CIC in that the CIC collected aggregate data on juveniles held in each facility (e.g., number of juveniles in the facility) and the CJRP collects an individual record on each juvenile held in the residential facility (e.g. sex, race, most serious offense) to provide a more detailed picture of juveniles in custody.
The CJRP is designed to provide one-day population counts for youth in all facilities meeting certain inclusion (see "Sampling" below). The survey has two sections, the first collecting facility-level data and the second collecting individual-level data about all youth residing in the facility as of the reference date (generally the last Wednesday in October).
The CJRP 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; beginning with the 2010 CJRP, an online version of the survey is also available. 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 CJRP is a census. Facility inclusion criteria were as follows:
- residential facilities in operation on the census reference date (generally the fourth Wednesday in October),
- public or private (or, since 1999, tribal) operation, and
- intended for juvenile offenders (although some hold adults as well).
Specifically excluded were: nonresidential facilities, detention centers operated as part of adult jails, facilities exclusively for drug or mental health treatment or dependent/neglected youth, foster homes, and federal correctional facilities (e.g. Immigration and Naturalization Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, United States Marshalls, or Bureau of Prisons).
Inclusion criteria for individual were 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.
Individuals in the United States under age 21, charged with or court-adjudicated for an offense, and held in juvenile residential facilities on the last Wednesday in October of 2011.
United States Bureau of the Census questionnaires
The 2011 CJRP (n=62,534; 127 variables) collects information on both youth in residential facilities and the facilities themselves.
Section I of the survey form collects facility data, including:
- location (state),
- facility type (e.g. detention center, group home/halfway house, runaway and homeless shelter),
- treatment provided (e.g. mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment)
- security features (e.g. locked internal or external doors or gates), and
- number of persons assigned beds in relation to age and offense status (total, under 21, 21 or older, assigned a bed because of an offense, assigned a bed for other reasons).
Section II collects individual data, including:
- demographic variables (race, sex, age),
- placement variables (category and level of the placing agency, length of stay), and
- variables related to the judicial process (most serious offense charged, state or territory in which the offense was committed, court adjudication status).
The CJRP dataset also includes Census Bureau variables corresponding to Section II (individual) items and indicating whether a response to a given item was imputed or not.
Using the number of in-scope facilities (i.e., able to hold juveniles overnight and held juveniles on the reference date) as a base, the CJRP facility response rate was 92.2 percent in 2011.