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An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Census of Jails (COJ)

Data Collection Status
Data Experts
Zhen Zeng, PhD, BJS Statistician
Todd D. Minton, BJS Statistician
Collection Period

1970, 1972, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1999, 2005/2006, 2013, 2019


The 2019 Census of Jails (COJ) is part of a series of data collections that studies the nation's local jails and the 12 Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) detention facilities that function as jails. The 2019 COJ collected data necessary for producing estimates on local jail populations, including one-day custody counts by sex, race and Hispanic origin, conviction status, and severity of offense (felony and misdemeanor); counts of non-U.S. citizens by conviction status; juvenile counts; holds for state and federal authorities; admissions and releases; and average daily population by sex. It also collected data on facility information, including rated and design capacity, staffing, and opioid testing and treatment programs. The COJ is the only collection that enumerates local jails and the 12 BOP facilities that function as jails in the United States and provides inmate counts at the jail facility level. It provides the sampling frame for the Survey of Inmates in Local Jails (SILJ) and the Annual Survey of Jails (ASJ).

Date Created: May 20, 2009