National Jail Census, 1993 (ICPSR 6648)

Version Date: Jul 13, 1996 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics


Version V1

This data collection is part of a series of data collection efforts aimed at studying the nation's locally administered jails. The 1993 census included all locally administered confinement facilities (3,287) that held inmates beyond arraignment and were staffed by municipal or county employees. The census also included 17 jails that were privately operated under contract for local governments and seven facilities maintained by the Federal Bureau of Prisons and functioning as jails. For purposes of this data collection, a local jail was defined as a confinement facility intended for holding adults, and in some cases juveniles pending adjudication or having sentences of a year or less. Jails were further defined as being administered by a local law enforcement agency. Variables include information on jail population by legal status, age, and sex of prisoners, maximum sentence, admissions and releases, available services and programs, structure and capacity, facility age and use of space, expenditure, employment, staff information, and health issues, which include statistics on drugs, AIDS, and tuberculosis.

United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics. National Jail Census, 1993. [distributor], 1996-07-13.

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics

To preserve respondent confidentiality, certain identifying variables are restricted from general dissemination. The original, unmasked data are available from ICPSR. Requests for such data must be submitted in writing, including specific reasons for the request. All decisions regarding public release of data collections containing confidential data are made by the Criminal Justice Archive Advisory Committee. An additional nine variables regarding special policies or procedures for the supervision of inmates who have tested positive for AIDS were masked by the principal investigator and are not present in the original ICPSR data.

1992-07-01 -- 1993-06-30
  1. (1) Excluded from the census were temporary holding facilities, such as drunk tanks and police lockups, that do not hold persons after they are formally charged in court (usually within 72 hours of arrest). Also excluded were state-operated facilities in Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Vermont, which have combined jail-prison systems. Five locally-operated jails in Alaska were included. (2) The data collection instrument is provided as an electronic file in Portable Document File (PDF) format. The PDF format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided in the README file on the diskette version of this study and through the NACJD Website on the Internet. The data collection instrument is also available in hardcopy form upon request from ICPSR.


All locally-administered jails in the United States.

official records



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • U.S. Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. NATIONAL JAIL CENSUS, 1993. Conducted by U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. ICPSR ed. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [producer and distributor], 1996.

1996-07-13 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

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This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.