skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 65412 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Profile of Jail Inmates: Sociodemographic Findings From the 1978 Survey of Inmates of Local Jails
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
US Dept of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 58
Sponsoring Agency: Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: An estimated 158,000 persons were being held in the country's 3,500 jails at the time of a nationwide survey conducted in February 1978 by the Bureau of the Census for the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Abstract: Not only convicted criminals but also a sizable minority charged but not convicted of a crime were represented in this total, a 12-percent increase in that recorded by a comparable survey taken in 1972. Certain major criminal justice reforms, such as exclusion of juveniles from adult detention facilities, reduced incarceration rates for nuisance-type offenses, and imposition of probation instead of confinement for some crimes, helped moderate the rise in the jail population. As in 1972, males predominated overwhelmingly in the 1978 jail population, while the proportion of women was unchanged. Blacks and young persons continued to be represented disproportionately; in fact, the jail population in 1978 was more youthful than in 1972. The number of juveniles held in jails dropped sharply, although this reflected legislation prohibiting the joint housing of adult and juvenile offenders. Single persons made up three-fourths of the inmate total. A relatively low educational level was evidenced by the fact that three out of every five inmates lacked a high school diploma. Military veterans were relatively less numerous in the jail population than in the national population. People experiencing economic hardships contributed disproportionately to the jail population. Predetention employment rates and incomes were far lower than those in the general population, and many inmates had been financially dependent on public welfare benefits. The proportion of female inmates who had been subject to these disadvantages was particularly high and, to some extend, the same could be said for blacks compared with whites. Not surprisingly, therefore, black female inmates were the most likely of the four largest race-sex groups to have been living in poverty. Drug and alcohol abuse had played a significant role in the lives of many inmates. About 4 out of every 10 had used some drug daily. A fourth of all women inmates had been heroin addicts, far more than the corresponding proportion for men. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Correctional institutions (adult); Inmate statistics; Jail statistics; Jails; Statistics
Note: National Prisoner Statistics Report
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.