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Suicide in Local Jails and State and Federal Prisons, 2000–2019 – Statistical Tables

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2021

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 7, 2021