Collects detailed information on confinement facilities, detention centers, jails, and other facilities operated by tribal authorities or the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Information is gathered on inmate counts, movements, facility operations, and staff. In selected years (1998, 2004, 2007, and 2011), additional information was collected on facility programs and services, such as medical assessments and mental health screening procedures, inmate work assignments, counseling, and educational programs. In 2020, a special addendum was added to the SJIC to measure the impact of COVID-19 on Indian country jails.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics' Annual Survey of Jails in Indian Country includes all Indian country correctional facilities operated by tribal authorities or the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs. The survey is designed to describe all adult and juvenile jail facilities and detention centers in Indian country. For this collection, Indian country includes reservations, pueblos, rancherias, and other appropriate areas, as specified in 18 U.S.C. § 1151.
BJS updates its existing roster of jails in Indian country annually. BJS obtains data from administrators of jails in Indian country by faxed or emailed questionnaires and through follow-up phone calls. The survey universe and response rates have changed over time. Some facilities closed or merged, new facilities were constructed, and existing facilities became operational and newly eligible for the survey. See table 11 in the report Jails in Indian Country, 2019–2020 and the Impact of COVID-19 on the Tribal Jail Population for the Indian country jail survey universe and response rates for 2004 and from 2007 to 2020. For methodologies prior to the 2004 SJIC, see the Jails in Indian Country series.
Survey of Jails in Indian Country
Jails in Indian Country 2007 Table 7. Admissions, discharges, and average length of stay in Indian country jails during June, by facility size, 2007
Since beginning in 1998, the SJIC survey instrument has expanded to gather data on inmate admissions offenses, population measurements (e.g., average daily population and offense categories), and inmate health services and facility programs. In 2013, BJS enhanced the SJIC offense category questionnaire item to include burglary, larceny-theft, and public intoxication. The enhancement allowed classification of previously unspecified offenses. In 2020, a special addendum was added to the SJIC to measure the impact of COVID-19 on Indian country jails.