Juvenile Residential Facility Census, 2016 [United States] (ICPSR 37197)

Version Date: Aug 21, 2019 View help for published

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention



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JRFC 2016

The Juvenile Residential Facility Census (JRFC), which is conducted biennially, collects basic information on juvenile residential facility characteristics, including security, capacity and crowding, injuries and deaths in custody, and facility ownership and operation. The JRFC also includes questions about facility type (such as detention center, training school, ranch, or group home) and residential services provided by the facility (such as independent living, foster care, or other arrangements), and detailed questions about mental health, substance abuse, and educational services provided to young persons.

In 2016, the JRFC was divided into seven sections:

  1. General facility information
  2. Mental health services
  3. Educational services
  4. Substance abuse services
  5. Events in the 30 days prior to the census reference date
  6. Deaths in the year prior to the census reference date
  7. Space shared with other facilities

Congress requires the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to report annually on the number of deaths of juveniles in custody; the JRFC gathers this information and offers a portrait of the nation's juvenile facilities. The census reference date was the fourth Wednesday in October.

United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Juvenile Residential Facility Census, 2016 [United States]. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2019-08-21. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR37197.v1

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention


Due to the sensitive nature of the data and to protect respondent confidentiality, the data are restricted from general dissemination. They may only be accessed at the ICPSR Data Enclave in Ann Arbor, MI. Users wishing to view these data must complete an Application for Use of the ICPSR Data Enclave (available for download as part of the documentation for this study), and receive permission to analyze the files before traveling to Ann Arbor. More general information about the Enclave may be found at ICPSR's Enclave Data Web site.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

2016-10-26 (99.9 percent of responses were based on this reference date, the fourth Wednesday in October), 2017-04-16 -- 2017-05-17 (< 0.1 percent of responses were based on an alternative reference date)
2016 -- 2017
  1. Additional information about the JRFC and other national juvenile corrections data collections sponsored by OJJDP is available from the National Juvenile Corrections Data Resource Guide.

  2. Individual years of data from the Juvenile Residential Facility Census (JRFC) and the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (CJRP), a complement to the JRFC data, are available through enclave access. Users interested in using the enclave data must complete an Application for Use of the ICPSR Data Enclave. Additional data in the CJRP Series, JRFC Series, and the Matched CJRP/JRFC Series are available through the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data's Restricted Survey Documentation and Analysis (RSDA) system. Users interested in accessing these data through NACJD's RSDA system can apply online for access via the ICPSR restricted data contract portal which can be accessed from the study homepage.

  3. The 2010 JRFC was the first cycle to attempt to collect data from facilities in American Samoa, Guam, Northern Marianas Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. There are no data in the 2016 JRFC for American Samoa or Guam.

  4. Missing data were imputed for all facilities with the exception of territorial and tribal facilities.


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 has seven sections, collecting information about general facility characteristics; mental health, education, and substance abuse services; events and incidents in the past 30 days; deaths in the past year; and spaces or services shared with other facilities.

The JRFC is administered by the United States 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 JRFC, 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 JRFC is a census. Facility inclusion criteria were the same as those for the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement:

  • residential facilities in operation on the census reference date (the fourth Wednesday in October),
  • public or private (or, since 1999, tribal) operation, and
  • intended for persons under the age of 21 who were charged with or adjudicated for an offense (although some hold adults as well).

Specifically excluded are: nonresidential facilities; detention centers operated as part of adult jails; facilities exclusively for mental health, drug abuse, or for dependent/neglected youth; foster homes; and federal correctional facilities (e.g., Immigration and Naturalization Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Marshals, or Bureau of Prisons).


Public, private, or tribal residential facilities in the United States intended for juvenile offenders and in operation on the census reference date in 2016.


United States Bureau of the Census questionnaires

The 2016 JRFC (n=2,345; 555 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),
  • sleeping arrangements (occupants per sleeping room, number of standard and makeshift beds), and
  • participation in voluntary or required exercise.

Section 2 describes mental health services provided inside or outside the facility, including:

  • suicide risk evaluation protocol,
  • suicide prevention measures,
  • mental health evaluation, counseling, and therapy,
  • special living/sleeping units for young persons with mental health problems,
  • special living/sleeping units for sex offenders, and
  • mental health information sharing protocol.

Section 3 describes educational services, including:

  • education evaluation protocol,
  • availability of and time spent on school attendance or teacher instruction, and
  • education information sharing protocol.

Section 4 describes substances abuse services, including:

  • substance abuse evaluation protocol,
  • drug test requirements,
  • self-help groups and other services,
  • substance abuse counseling and therapy, and
  • substance abuse information sharing protocol.

Section 5 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,
  • use of a mechanical restraint (e.g. handcuffs) by facility staff,
  • young persons placed in isolation, and
  • inability to secure physical health care, mental health care, educational instruction, or substance abuse services.

Section 6 of the survey form gathers information about any deaths in the past year, including:

  • cause of death,
  • location of death (inside or outside the facility),
  • demographic information (age, sex, race),
  • date of admission, and
  • date of death.

Section 7 of the survey form describes space shared with other facilities, including:

  • presence of other juvenile residential facilities on the same campus, and
  • shared facility characteristics (e.g. personnel, space, services).

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 88.4 percent in 2016.



2019-08-21 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.
  • 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.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.