Bureau of Justice Statistics

A report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics presents data on inmates confined in local jails between 2000 and 2016, including population counts and incarceration rates, inmate demographic characteristics and conviction status, average daily population, rated capacity of local jails and percent of capacity occupied, and turnover rates by jurisdiction size.

Unlike prisons, jails are locally administered correctional facilities that typically house inmates with a sentence of one year or less; inmates pending arraignment; and individuals awaiting trial, conviction or sentencing.

Findings in the report, Jail Inmates in 2016, are based on data from the BJS Annual Survey of Jails.

According to the report, the jail incarceration rate fell from 237 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents at midyear 2012 to 229 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents at midyear 2016, a decline of 3.4 percent. The incarceration rate fell 11.2 percent from midyear 2008, when there were 258 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents, to midyear 2016.

On Dec. 31, 2016 (year-end), most (65 percent) people held in jail were not convicted of an offense but were awaiting court action on a current charge. The remaining 35 percent were sentenced offenders or convicted offenders awaiting sentencing. Nearly seven in 10 inmates were held in jail on felony charges, while one in four were held for misdemeanor offenses.

For more information and to read the report, click here.

About The Author

The Justice Technology Information Center is a component of the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center System, a program of the National Institute of Justice. JTIC serves as an information resource for technology and equipment related to law enforcement, corrections and courts, and hosts the NIJ Compliance Testing Program, a voluntary equipment standards and testing program for ballistic- and stab-resistant body armor and other officer safety equipment, which conducts equipment testing, reviews and analyzes testing data and disseminates results.

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