Selected findings are presented from the 2012 Juvenile Residential Facility Census (JRFC), which collects information about facilities that house juvenile offenders.
The census collected data on the operations of 2,547 facilities. Although half of the facilities were privately operated, most juvenile offenders were held in public facilities. Residential treatment centers and group homes outnumbered other types of facilities. Security features and size were found to vary across types of facilities. Security increased as facility size increased. Large facilities were most likely to be operated by a State. In addition, the census found that facility crowding affected a substantial proportion of youth in custody. Many juvenile offenders were in facilities with more residents than the number of standard beds. Public facilities were more likely to be crowded than private facilities. Another census finding was that both the number of facilities and the number of offenders declined between 2000 and 2012. The number of facilities decreased 35 percent, and the number of juveniles housed in facilities dropped 47 percent. Also, fewer youth were held in large facilities in 2012 compared to 2000; however, there were more detention centers for juveniles in 2012 than in 2000. Facilities reported 14 deaths of juvenile offenders in placement over a period of 12 months; five were suicides. Generally suicides did not occur in the first days of a youth's stay. 27 tables and 4 figures