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Jail Inmates, 1983

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 1985
This survey used personal interviews with a stratified random sample of 3,992 male and 1,793 female inmates of 407 local jails to identify sociodemographic and criminal characteristics of the 1983 jail inmate population.

The interviews took place in July and August. A response rate of 92 percent was obtained. A weighting procedure was used to obtain estimates for the entire jail population. Despite an increase of more than 40 percent in the inmate population, 1983 inmate characteristics were quite similar to those found in 1978. Of inmates, about 60 percent were awaiting sentencing or serving time, about 70 percent had received a sentence of less than 1 year, and 40 percent were jailed for property offenses, while about 30 percent were jailed for violent crimes. About two-thirds had been previously incarcerated, and an additional 15 percent had served at least one probationary sentence. At time of arrest, more than two-fifths of inmates were in some criminal justice status, the majority on probation. Of these, more than three-fourths were jailed on new charges rather than for technical violations of terms of release. Finally, at time of arrest, about a fourth had been under the influence of drugs, and nearly half had been under the influence of alcohol. A listing of additional statistical bulletins is provided.

Date Published: November 1, 1985