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Children in Custody, 1975-85: Census of Public and Private Juvenile Detention, Correctional, and Shelter Facilities, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1983, and 1985

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 1989

These tables and narrative study show the numbers and characteristics from 1975-85 of juvenile offenders housed in public detention and correctional facilities and in private facilities in which at least 10 percent of the residents were adjudicated delinquents, persons in need of supervision, or other specific categories of juveniles.


Data were gathered by the Children's Bureau of the Department of Health and Human Services. Findings showed that the number of juveniles in custody increased 12 percent between 1975 and 1985. In 1985 a juvenile in custody was likely to be a white male between ages 14 and 17. The most common type of facility was a halfway house or group home. Private facilities tended to be smaller than public facilities. Populations exceeded design capacity in 17 percent of the public facilities and 2 percent of the private facilities. The average daily cost per resident for a public facility was $69 in 1984. Length of stay averaged 41 days in public facilities and 126 days in private facilities in 1984.

Date Published: May 1, 1989