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Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons, 2000-2011 - Statistical Tables

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2013
41 pages
Statistical tables on deaths of inmates in local jails and State prisons between 2000 and 2011 include information on the causes and circumstances of inmate deaths and trends by cause of death, selected decedent characteristics, and mortality rates for jail and prison inmates by State.

Presents national and state-level data on the number of inmate deaths that occurred in local jails and state prisons, how the deaths are distributed across jails, and an aggregate count of deaths in federal prisons. The report presents annual counts and 12-year trends between 2000 and 2011 for deaths in custody. It provides mortality rates and moving averages per 100,000 inmates in custody of jail or prison; details cause of death, including deaths attributed to homicide, suicide, illness, intoxication, and accidental injury; describes decedents' characteristics, including age, race or Hispanic origin, sex, legal status, and time served; and specifies the state where the deaths occurred. Data sources include the Bureau of Justice Statistics' Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (DCRP), initiated in 2000 under the Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-297), and the National Prisoner Statistics series.

  • After a decline in 2008, the mortality rate for jail inmates has remained relatively stable (125 deaths per 100,000 inmates in 2010 and 122 per 100,000 in 2011).
  • Males and females died at nearly equal rates in local jails in 2011.
  • In 2011, 8 in 10 jails (81%) reported zero deaths to the DCRP. From 2000 to 2011, an annual average of 82% of jails reported zero deaths.
  • Between 2001 and 2011, the female prisoner mortality rate fluctuated from 127 to 172 deaths per 100,000 female prisoners. In 2011, the male prisoner mortality rate was 1.6 times higher than the female prisoner mortality rate.
  • The cancer mortality rate increased for both male (up 22%) and female (up 79%) prisoners from 2002 to 2010. The cancer mortality rate for female prisoners showed the greatest increase, from 26 deaths per 100,000 in 2002 to 47 deaths per 100,000 in 2010.

Date Published: August 1, 2013