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Glossary

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Adjudication

The act of a court in making an order, judgment, or decree.

Admissions

All persons booked into and housed in jail facilities by formal legal document and the authority of the courts or some other official agency, including repeat offenders booked on new charges and persons sentenced to weekend programs or entering the facility for the first time. They exclude inmates re-entering the facility after an escape, work release, medical appointment, stay in a treatment facility, and bail or court appearance.

Age

The respondent’s age on the last day of the month before the interview. The NCVS collects information on household members age 12 or older.

The data visualization tool uses this coding for age:

  • 12 to 14
  • 15 to 17
  • 18 to 20
  • 21 to 24
  • 25 to 34
  • 35 to 49
  • 50 to 64
  • 65 or older

Age category

The appropriate age category is determined by the respondent's age on the last day of the month preceding the interview.

Aggravated assault

An attack or attempted attack with a weapon, regardless of whether an injury occurred, and an attack without a weapon when serious injury results.

With injury - An attack without a weapon when serious injury results or an attack with a weapon involving any injury. Serious injury includes broken bones, lost teeth, internal injuries, loss of consciousness, and any unspecified injury requiring two or more days of hospitalization.

Threatened with a weapon - Threat or attempted attack by an offender armed with a gun, knife, or other object used as a weapon that does not result in victim injury.

Annual household income

The total household income for the 12 months preceding the interview. Includes wages, salaries, net income from businesses or farms, pensions, interest, dividends, rent, and any other source of monetary income of the head of household and all household members.

Appellate Courts

Any court of law that is empowered to hear an appeal of a trial court or other lower tribunal.

Arrest

The act of detaining in legal custody. An "arrest" is the deprivation of a person's liberty by legal authority in response to a criminal charge.

Assault

An unlawful physical attack or threat of attack. Assaults may be classified as aggravated or simple. Rape, attempted rape, and sexual assaults are excluded from this category, as well as robbery and attempted robbery. The severity of assaults ranges from minor threats to nearly fatal incidents.

Assigned counsel

The appointment from a list of private bar members who accept cases on a judge-by-judge, court-by-court, or case-by-case basis. This may include an administrative component and a set of rules and guidelines governing the appointment and processing of cases handled by the private bar members.

Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)

An automated system for searching fingerprint files and transmitting fingerprint images. AFIS computer equipment can scan fingerprint impressions (or utilize electronically transmitted fingerprint images) and automatically extract and digitize ridge details and other identifying characteristics in sufficient detail to enable the computer's searching and matching components to distinguish a single fingerprint from thousands or even millions of fingerprints previously scanned and stored in digital form in the computer's memory. The process eliminates the manual searching of fingerprint files and increases the speed and accuracy of ten-print processing (arrest fingerprint cards and noncriminal justice applicant fingerprint cards). AFIS equipment also can be used to identify individuals from "latent" (crime scene) fingerprints, with even fragmentary prints of single fingers in some cases. Digital fingerprint images generated by AFIS equipment can be transmitted electronically to remote sites, eliminating the necessity of mailing fingerprint cards and providing remote access to AFIS fingerprint files.

Average annual change

Average (mean) annual change across a specific period.

Average daily population

The sum of inmates in jail each day for a year, divided by the number of days in the year.

Bench trial (nonjury trial)

A trial held in the absence of a jury and decided by a judge culminating in a judgment for the plaintiff(s) or defendant(s).

Body armor

A protective piece designed to stop projectiles. Body armor can provide protection against a significant number of types of handgun ammunition, but unfortunately there is no such thing as bulletproof armor.

Burglary/trespassing

Includes unlawful or forcible entry or attempted entry of places, including a permanent residence, other residence (e.g., a hotel room or vacation residence), or other structure (e.g., a garage or shed). Includes victimizations where the offender stole, attempted to steal, or did not attempt to steal. Does not include trespassing on land.
Burglary - Includes only crimes where the offender committed or attempted a theft.

Trespassing - Includes crimes where the offender did not commit or attempt a theft. Does not include trespassing on land.

Business

A company, service or membership organization consisting of one or more establishments under common ownership or control. For this survey, major subsidiaries were treated as separate businesses.

Capacity, design

The number of inmates that planners or architects intended for a facility.

Capacity, highest

The maximum number of beds reported across the three capacity measures: design capacity, operational capacity, and rated capacity.

Capacity, lowest

The minimum number of beds across three capacity measures: design capacity, operational capacity, and rated capacity.

Capacity, operational

The number of inmates that can be accommodated based on a facility's staff, existing programs, and services.

Capacity, rated

The number of beds or inmates assigned by a rating official to institutions within a jurisdiction.

Capital cases

Crimes that can result in a death penalty.

Capital punishment

Capital punishment refers to the process of sentencing convicted offenders to death for the most serious crimes (capital crimes) and carrying out that sentence. The specific offenses and circumstances that determine if a crime (usually murder) is eligible for a death sentence are defined by statute and are prescribed by Congress or any state legislature.

Cause of death

A description of the specific factors leading to the termination of the biological functions that sustain life.