Online Program

Are You In or Out? Managing a Dynamic Frame of Jails and Contacts
Christopher S. Ellis, RTI International 
Timothy S. Flanigan, RTI International 
Erin K. Kennedy, RTI International 
Margaret Noonan, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics 
*Hope Marie Smiley McDonald, RTI International 

Keywords: criminal justice data collection, jails, jail frame, corrections

Accurately tracking mortality statistics among U.S. jail inmates requires comprehensive coverage of the jail universe. Yet the jail universe is not static: facilities may close, open, merge, or evolve to hold other types of inmates (possibly affecting collection eligibility), or may be open for only part of the reporting period. These factors, along with the census nature of the Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (DCRP), require annual and ongoing updates to the jail universe, which is comprised of jurisdictions, reporting units, and subsistent facilities. These types of updates are also important because the DCRP jail universe frame serves as a guiding frame for other Bureau of Justice Statistics jail studies.This presentation will review systematic methods for maintaining the jail universe, including agency verification and review of incoming data. The statistics for the current jail frame will be provided, the processes for establishing and maintaining the jail universe frame will be described, key lessons learned for maintaining this dynamic universe will be highlighted, and potential enhancements will be discussed.