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American Indian and Alaska Natives in Local Jails, 1999-2014

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2017
5 pages
This summary of a Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) report on American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN) in local jails between 1999 and 2014, presents their number and incarceration rates, demographics, and sentences.

Describes the American Indian and Alaska Natives (AIAN) population held in local jails, including national and state level estimates, characteristics of adult AIAN inmates, and comparisons to all other races and Hispanic origin. The report also presents data on AIAN inmates confined in Indian country jails and state and federal prisons. Findings are based on data from BJS's Annual Survey of Jails (2000-14), Census of Jails (1999, 2005, and 2013), National Inmate Survey (2011-12), Survey of Jails in Indian Country (1999 and 2014), and the National Prisoner Statistics program (1999, 2005, and 2014).

  • At midyear 2014, an estimated 10,400 American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) inmates were held in local jails, nearly double the number held in 1999 (5,500).
  • From 1999 to 2014, the number of AIAN jail inmates increased by an average of 4.3% per year, compared to an increase of 1.4% per year for all other races combined.
  • Between 1999 and 2013, the AIAN jail incarceration rate increased from 288 to 398 AIAN inmates per 100,000 AIAN U.S. residents.
  • An estimated 71% of adult AIAN jail inmates were age 39 or younger.
  • Nearly a quarter (24%) of AIAN jail inmates were held for a violent offense.

Date Published: September 1, 2017