This report includes statistics on demographic, criminal justice, and suicide incident characteristics and link 2019 suicides with facility-level information obtained in BJS’s recent censuses of local jail and prison facilities.
- From 2001 to 2019, the number of suicides increased 85% in state prisons, 61% in federal prisons, and 13% in local jails.
- During 2010-19, suffocation, including hanging and self-strangulation, accounted for nearly 90% of suicide deaths in local jails.
- During 2015-19, about 12% of deaths by suicide in local jails occurred within the first 24 hours of incarceration, a decrease from almost 22% during 2000-04.
- The average suicide rate for white inmates in local jails was 93 per 100,000 during the 5-year period of 2015-19, which is 5 times the rate for black inmates (18 per 100,000) and more than 3 times the rate for Hispanic inmates (26 per 100,000).
Date Published: October 1, 2021