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Assessing Inmate Cause of Death: Deaths in Custody Reporting Program and National Health Index

NCJ Number
249568
Author(s)
Zhen Zeng; Margaret Noonan; E. Ann Carson; Ingrid Binswanger; Patrick Blatchford; Hope Smiley-McDonald; Chris Ellis
Date Published
April 2016
Length
15 pages
Annotation
In order to address some of the weaknesses in the Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS') Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (DCRP), this study examined whether the National Center for Health Statistics' (NCHS') National Death Index could be an alternative means of capturing cause-of-death (COD) data for inmate deaths in custody.
Abstract

Provides a technical review of the coverage and quality of inmate cause of death data collected under BJS's Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (DCRP). Records of inmates who died in jail and prison from 2007 to 2010 were matched to the National Death Index (NDI). This report examines match rates, compares underlying cause of death, and assesses sources of disagreement between the DCRP and NDI.