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Mortality in Local Jails, 2000–2019 – Statistical Tables

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2021

This report presents detailed statistical tables on mortality in local jails. It provides information on cause of death; decedent characteristics, such as age, sex, and race or ethnicity; and mortality rates of inmate populations, compared to the general U.S. adult population.

  • In 2019, there were 1,200 deaths in local jails, a more than 5% increase from 2018 (1,138 deaths).
  • The local jail mortality rate in 2019 was 167 deaths per 100,000 inmates, up 11% from 2000 (151 per 100,000).
  • At 49 deaths per 100,000 inmates, suicide was the leading single cause of death for jail inmates in 2019.
  • The 184 deaths in local jails due to drug or alcohol intoxication in 2019 was the highest recorded in the 20 years that the Bureau of Justice Statistics has collected mortality data, up slightly from 180 in 2018.

Date Published: December 1, 2021