2019 Census of Jails and 2020-23 Annual Survey of Jails

BJS conducts the COJ and the ASJ series to collect facility and jurisdiction level data on jail population.

Since 1970, the COJ has been administered periodically to about 3,200 county and city jails (local jails) nationwide and from the Federal Bureau of Prisons facilities that function as jails.


credit: DUI

in 1982, the ASJ has been administered to a nationally representative sample of nearly 900 jail jurisdictions in years between censuses.

The COJ and the ASJ produce key statistics including jail population size and characteristics (e.g., sex, race, and conviction status); juvenile counts; admissions and releases; holds for other authorities; jail capacity and turnover rates.

The COJ collects facility-level data from all local jails nationwide and allows BJS to produce state-level key statistics.

In addition, it provides the sampling frame for BJS’ jail surveys such as the ASJ and the Survey of Inmates in Local Jails.

The ASJ uses a nationally representative sample of jail jurisdictions selected from the most recent COJ frame on jails to annually produce national statistics on the jail population.

Related Programs

Special Data Collections and Statistical Studies

Department of Justice

Agency: Department of Justice

Office: Bureau of Justice Statistics

Estimated Funding: $2,560,000

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Eligible applicants are national, regional, state, or local public and private entities; for-profit and nonprofit organizations (including tribal nonprofit and for-profit organizations); faith-based and community organizations; institutions of higher education (including tribal institutions of higher education); federally recognized Indian tribal governments as determined by the Secretary of the Interior; and units of local government that support initiatives to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system.

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