National Jail Census, 1988 (ICPSR 9256)

Version Date: Nov 4, 2005 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 V2

NATIONAL JAIL CENSUS, 1988, is the fifth in a series of data collection efforts aimed at studying the nation's locally administered jails. For purposes of this data collection, a 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 and staffed by municipal or county employees. Also included in this collection were six jails privately operated under contract for local governments. Excluded from the census were federal or state-administered facilities, including the combined jail-prison systems in Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The mailing list used for the census was derived from data gathered from the AMERICAN CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION DIRECTORY OF JUSTICE AGENCIES, publications such as AMERICAN JAILS, telephone calls to large metropolitan jail systems (e.g., New York City), state jail inspection bureaus, and newspaper articles. Following the initial mailout to 3,448 facilities, 44 jails were added and 176 deleted according to the criteria for inclusion, leaving a total of 3,316 facilities in 44 states. Variables include information on jail population by legal status, age and sex of prisoners, maximum sentence, admissions and releases, available services, structure and capacity, expenditure, and employment.

United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics. National Jail Census, 1988. [distributor], 2005-11-04.

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote
United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics
1987-07-01 -- 1988-06-30

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, 1988. Conducted by U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. 2nd ICPSR ed. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [producer and distributor], 1997.

2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

1997-06-24 SAS data definition statements are now available for this collection, and the SPSS data definition statements were updated.

1990-03-02 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:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • 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.

NACJD logo

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.