BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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Deaths in Custody Reporting Program
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The Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (DCRP) collects data on deaths that occur in the process of arrest, or while inmates are in the custody of local jails or state prisons. Local jail and state prison data are collected directly from jails and state departments of corrections. Arrest-related mortality data are collected separately from data on deaths that occur in prisons or jails. The DCRP provides individual-level data on the number of deaths by year, cause of death, and decedent age, race or Hispanic origin, and sex. These data are also used to produce facility and population mortality rates. The collection of individual-level data allows BJS to perform detailed analyses of comparative death rates across demographic categories and offense types, as well as facility and agency characteristics.

BJS began the DCRP in 2000 under the Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-297), which required the collection of individual data on deaths in the process of arrest, local jails, and state prisons. BJS continued the program after this legislation expired in 2006 and continues it with the reauthorization of the Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2013 (P.L. 113-242).

Data Collections & Surveys

Publications & Products


Assessing Inmate Cause of Death: Deaths in Custody Reporting Program and National Death Index 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).
  PDF (439K) | ASCII file (89K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 43K)

Assessment of Coverage in the Arrest-Related Deaths Program Provides an executive summary of the Arrest-Related Deaths (ARD) component of the Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (DCRP) technical assessment report. Data from the ARD represent a national accounting of persons who have died during the process of arrest, including homicides by law enforcement personnel and deaths attributed to suicide, intoxication, accidental injury, and natural causes.
  PDF (501KB) | ASCII file (4KB) | Comma-delimited (CSV) (Zip format 4KB)
Part of the Arrest-Related Deaths Series

Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons, 2000–2013 - Statistical Tables Present inmate death records from each of the nation's 50 state prison systems. Death records include information on decedent personal characteristics (age, race or Hispanic origin, and sex), decedent criminal background (legal status, offense type, and time served), and the death itself (date, time, location, and cause of death, as well as information on the autopsy and medical treatment provided
  Press Release | Summary (PDF 223KB) | PDF (2.3MB) | ASCII file (46KB) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 66KB)
Part of the Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons Series

Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons, 2000-2013 - Statistical Tables DEATHS IN LOCAL JAILS AND STATE PRISONS INCREASED FOR THE THIRD CONSECUTIVE YEAR
  Press Release

Arrest-Related Deaths Program: Data Quality Profile Provides a data quality profile of the Arrest-Related Deaths (ARD) component of the Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (DCRP).
  PDF (609K) | ASCII file (65K) | Zip format (59K)
Part of the Arrest-Related Deaths Series

Arrest-Related Deaths Program Assessment: Technical Report Provides a technical assessment of the coverage of the Arrest-Related Deaths (ARD) component of the Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (DCRP).
  PDF (1.4M) | ASCII file (114K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 37M)
Part of the Arrest-Related Deaths Series

Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons, 2000–2012 - Statistical Tables Presents national and state-level data on the number of inmate deaths that occurred in local jails and state prisons, the distribution of deaths across jails, and the aggregate count of deaths in federal prisons.
  Press Release | PDF (2M) | ASCII file (23K) | Zip format (98K)
Part of the Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons Series

Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons, 2000-2011 - Statistical Tables Presents national and state-level data on the number of inmate deaths that occurred in local jails and state prisons, how the deaths are distributed across jails, and an aggregate count of deaths in federal prisons.
  Press Release | PDF (2.1M) | ASCII file (46K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 58K)
Part of the Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons Series

Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons, 2000-2011 - Statistical Tables NUMBER OF JAIL DEATHS AT LOWEST RECORDED LEVEL DURING 2011 State prison deaths up four percent
  Press Release
Part of the Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons Series

Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons, 2000-2010 - Statistical Tables Presents national and state-level data on the number of inmate deaths that occurred in local jails and state prisons, and includes aggregated data on deaths in federal prisons.
  Press Release | PDF (1.11M) | ASCII file (23K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 40K)
Part of the Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons Series

Terms & Definitions

Federal prisons Prison facilities run by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Prisoners housed in these facilities are under the legal authority of the federal government. This excludes private facilities under exclusive contract with BOP.
 
Mortality rate A measure of the frequency of deaths in a defined population during a specified interval of time. It is usually defined as the number of deaths per 100,000 inmates. For example, the overall mortality rate for local jails in 2011 was 122 jail deaths per 100,000 jail inmates.
 
Prison Compared to jail facilities, prisons are longer-term facilities owned by a state or by the Federal Government. Prisons typically hold felons and persons with sentences of more than a year; however, the sentence length may vary by state. Six states (Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Delaware, Alaska, and Hawaii) have an integrated correctional system that combines jails and prisons. There are a small number of private prisons, facilities that are run by private prison corporations whose services and beds are contracted out by state or federal governments.