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Publication Mortality in Local Jails, 2000-2014 - Statistical Tables

Margaret E. Noonan, Bureau of Justice Statistics

December 15, 2016    NCJ 250169

Describes national and state-level data on inmate deaths that occurred in local jails from 2000 to 2014 and includes a preliminary count of inmate deaths in local jails in 2015. Mortality data include the number of deaths and mortality rates by year, cause of death, selected decedent characteristics, and the state where the death occurred. Data are from BJS's Deaths in Custody Reporting Program, which was initiated under the Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-297).


  • Heart disease was the second leading cause of death in local jails, accounting for 23% of deaths between 2000 and 2014.
  • The suicide rate in local jails in 2014 was 50 per 100,000 local jail inmates. This is the highest suicide rate observed in local jails since 2000.
  • More than a third (425 of 1,053 deaths, or 40%) of inmate deaths occurred within the first 7 days of admission.
  • More than a third of inmates who died of homicide (137 of 327) were being held for a violent offense in 2014.
  • Almost half (47%) of suicides occurred in general housing within jails between 2000 and 2014.

Part of the Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons Series

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Mortality in Correctional Institutions (MCI) (Formerly Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (DCRP))

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