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Juvenile Residential Facility Census, 2020: Selected Findings

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2024
20 pages
Publication Series

This publication provides succinct information about selected findings of the 2020 Juvenile Residential Facility Census.


In this bulletin, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) summarized findings of the Juvenile Residential Facility Census (JRFC), a biennial survey of public and private juvenile residential facilities in every state. On October 28, 2020, OJJDP conducted the 11th Juvenile Residential Facility Census, a snapshot of the facilities—both publicly and privately operated— that house youth charged with or adjudicated for law violations. Findings are based on JRFC data collected for 2020. OJJDP’s biennial census collects data on how juvenile facilities operate and the services they provide. The census also provides information on facility ownership, security, capacity and crowding, and injuries and deaths of youth in custody. Data from the 2020 census indicate that the number of youth in residential placement declined from the previous year, a trend that has lasted two decades. In 2020, more youth were held in county, city, or municipally operated facilities on the census date than were held in state-operated facilities. Facility crowding affected a relatively small proportion of youth in custody. Most responding facilities routinely evaluated all youth for suicide risk, education needs, substance abuse, and mental health needs. It is hoped that this bulletin will serve as an important resource to inform and support efforts to ensure that the nation’s juvenile residential facilities are safe and that youth in custody receive the treatment and services they need.

Date Published: January 1, 2024