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Jails in Indian Country, 2021, and the Impact of COVID-19, July–December 2020

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2022
17 pages
Publication Series

This report presents statistics on persons held in Indian country jails, including the impact of COVID-19 on the jail population and staff. The report describes the number and demographics of those held, the number of COVID-19 tests administered in the jails and the percentage of tests that were positive. It also includes statistics on people released early due to the pandemic.


  • Admissions to Indian country jails in June 2021 were 8% higher than in June 2020 but 40% lower than in June 2019.
  • From July to December 2020, about 10,680 COVID-19 tests were conducted on persons held in Indian country jails, and about 6% of these tests were positive.
  • Of the 31,020 persons admitted to Indian country jails from July to December 2020, about 22% (6,740) received expedited release in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The jail occupancy rate increased from 48% to 52% from midyear 2020 to midyear 2021.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 jail staff tested positive for COVID-19 from July to December 2020.

Date Published: August 1, 2022