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It's Your Right to Know:
A Research Guide on Juvenile Justice in California

April 2003

Who's Getting Locked Up? Criminal Justice Demographics

The biggest scandal of the California criminal justice system is the huge racial and class disparities in who gets harassed, arrested, prosecuted, and convicted in the state. Add to that the increased attacks aimed at poor and working women and youth of color and its clear why organizers need to keep an eye on who's getting locked up and for what. These demographic sources will help in that task.

National Sources

Bureau of Justice Statistics
Official Department of Justice Statistics about prison population, crime rates, and court statistics. Searchable!

· Has data on federal, state, and local law enforcement stats.
· Collects reports on state and local incarceration in prisons, and jails
· Has information on federal, state, and local courts

National Criminal Justice Reference Service
Provides comprehensive national criminal justice data on a number of different issues. An arm of the US Department of Justice.

· Provides detailed information on local, and state law enforcement
· Records state police traffic stop informationHas information on international criminal justice issues

Bureau of Justice Statistics: Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics
Provides the best yearly analysis of federal, state and local criminal justice data.
Includes information on criminal justice programs, projects, trends and funding.

· Has information on federal and state parolee and inmate demographics
· Federal state and municipal analysis of court systems and procedure
· Drug arrest information by state broken down by race, gender, and age
· Victimization and perpetrator data

Federal Bureau of Investigation: Uniform Crime Reports
The most comprehensive annual statistic breakdown of crime in the U.S. Includes racial, age, nationality data sets.

· Rawest criminal justice data sets broken down by race, age, etc…
· State criminal trends

Drug Enforcement Agency: State Fact Sheets
These are great information sources for doing quick data checks on drug arrest and conviction rates, and finding out different aspects of drug war enforcement in your state.

· Reviews federal drug operations in states
· Provides information about federal anti-drug programs and projects
· Produces state fact sheets on drug abuse rates, arrests, and seizures

Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services: Immigration Statistics
This site has some information about immigrants in the Federal Penal system, as well as data on asylum seekers, deportations and migration data from different countries.

· Has data on immigration rates, broken down by category (asylum, HB1 visas, refugees)
· Has information on legal, and administrative rules around immigration issues

State Sources

Office of the Attorney General
The Attorney General's Office in the California Department of Justice has racial, gender, and age break downs of the state prison population, state arrest and conviction rates and of state and county parolee populations.

· Arrest and conviction rates by race, gender, age
· County and state parolee populations by age, race, gender
· State prison populations by age, race, gender

California Board of Corrections
The California Board of Corrections has population information on county jails and correctional camps for youth.

· County Jail population figures
· Correctional camp youth populations

California Department of Corrections
The California Department of Corrections has inmate population reports and "offender" information. It has breakdowns of inmates under CDC control by gender, race, and geography. A great place to start when looking for general stats on California's inmate population.

· Population Reports
· Inmate data (race, region, gender)
· Data on populations in specific institutions

California Youth Authority
The CYA has racial, gender, and age breakdowns of all of their facilities. They also have a research arm (the Ward information and Parole Research Bureau) that does population projections by gender and age.

· Race, gender, age breakdowns of all state facilities
· Youth detention, incarceration projections

County Sources

County Sheriff Departments
County Sheriff's departments usually have population information about who's in their jails. They report this information to the state. It might be easier to get it on the state level due to the limited research and resource capacities of many counties.

· County Jail population figures

County Superior Courts
These courts have files for criminal and civil matters. Basic demographic information is available in these files.

· Criminal and civil court files

Municipal Sources

City police departments
City police departments keep arrest records that include age, race, and gender information. These records can be difficult to obtain. If you need them be prepared to file a Public Records Request with the agency who has the information you need.

· City arrest records

A joint project of the DataCenter's Criminal Justice Program & Youth Strategy Project and Books not Bars

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Investigating the Police
Prison Expansion
Criminal Justice Demographics
Budgets & Campaign Contributions
More Criminal Justice Research Resources


Sample Public Records Requests
Tips on Filing Public Records Requests
Glossary of Government Agencies & Departments
California Juvenile Justice System Map

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