What are the risk factors of sexual victimization for jail inmates?

Conducting the National Inmate Survey (NIS-4) 2019-20 - Jails


The National Inmate Survey (NIS-4) – Jails is one of several surveys designed to meet the mandates of the Prison Rape Elimination Act. This act requires the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) to collect self-report data on sexual victimization from jail inmates to provide national estimates and rank order facilities.

The findings inform the development of national standards for preventing sexual victimization in correctional facilities.

BJS selected Westat to conduct the survey.


Westat will conduct inmate surveys about sexual victimization in approximately 225 facilities all 50 states.

We will conduct an online survey for facility administers to gather facility characteristics that may be associated with sexual victimization.

This study uses Blaise, a comprehensive commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) survey processing system. It provides integrated multimode support for computer-assisted survey data collection.


Results will inform Congress, other policymakers, justice system administrators, and service providers about the extent of nonconsensual sex in jail facilities. This data will help them formulate appropriate responses for protecting the rights of people in custody.


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