Census of Jail Facilities, 2006 (ICPSR 26602)

Version Date: Jan 26, 2010 View help for published

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



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To reduce respondent burden and improve data quality and timeliness, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) split the jail census into two parts: The Census of Jail Inmates was conducted with a reference date of June 30, 2005. The following spring it was followed by this enumeration, the Census of Jail Facilities, which collected data as of March 31, 2006. Previous jail enumerations were conducted in 1970 (ICPSR 7641), 1972 (ICPSR 7638), 1978 (ICPSR 7737), 1983 (ICPSR 8203), 1988 (ICPSR 9256), 1993 (ICPSR 6648), and 1999 (ICPSR 3318). The United States Census Bureau collected the data for the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The 2006 Census of Jail Facilities gathered data from all jail detention facilities holding inmates beyond arraignment, a period normally exceeding 72 hours. Jail facilities were operated by cities and counties, by private entities under contract to correctional authorities, and by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Excluded from the census were physically separate temporary holding facilities such as drunk tanks and police lockups that do not hold persons after being formally charged in court. Also excluded were state-operated facilities in Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Alaska, which have combined jail-prison systems. Fifteen independently operated jails in Alaska were included in the Census. The census collected jurisdictional level information on the number of confined inmates; average daily population; number of separate jail facilities; renovation and building plans; court orders and consent decrees; staff by occupational category and race/ethnicity; jail programs; and costs of operation. The census also collected individual jail facility information on the purpose for which the jail held offenders; gender of the inmates authorized to house; functions, such as general adult population confinement, work release, and medical treatment; whether a separate temporary holding area or lockup was operated; rated capacity; number of confined inmates by gender and adult or juvenile status; year of original construction; and whether the facility ever had a major renovation.

United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Census of Jail Facilities, 2006. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-01-26. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR26602.v1

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research


The respondent universe was derived from a facility list maintained by the Census Bureau for BJS, from correctional association directories, and from other secondary sources. Census forms were sent to each jail jurisdiction. In addition to a paper form, BJS offered respondents an electronic version via the internet, allowing them to complete and submit their completed questionnaires on-line.

All locally administered jails in the United States.

official records

Because the census was a complete enumeration, the results were not subject to sampling error. The results were affected, however, by significant item nonresponse. Missing data ranged from 20 percent to 44 percent for average daily population; staff by full-time and part-time status; gender; race/ethnicity; and occupational category; jail programs; costs of incarceration; and individual jail rated capacity. Complete or nearly complete reporting was recorded on the number of jail facilities, number of jail jurisdictions, type of facility operator, size of jail jurisdiction and number of jail staff. To estimate the total number of jail employees, nationwide, total reported staff was divided by the number of jurisdictions reporting staff, and the result was multiplied by the total number of jurisdictions.



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:
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Census of Jail Facilities, 2006. ICPSR26602-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-01-26. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR26602.v1

2010-01-26 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:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • 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.