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Publication Jail Inmates in 2017

Zhen Zeng, Ph.D., BJS Statistician

April 25, 2019    NCJ 251774

 Presents data on inmates confined in local jails from 2005 to 2017, including population counts and incarceration rates, inmate demographic characteristics and conviction status, admissions, jail capacity, and inmate turnover rates. Findings are based on data from BJS's Annual Survey of Jails and Census of Jail Inmates. 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.


  • County and city jails held 745,200 inmates at midyear 2017, down from 780,200 at midyear 2007.
  • The jail incarceration rate declined from 259 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents at midyear 2007 to 229 per 100,000 at midyear 2017, a 12% decrease.
  • In 2017, males were incarcerated in jail at a rate (394 per 100,000 male U.S. residents) 5.7 times that of females (69 per 100,000 female U.S. residents).
  • In 2017, jails reported 10.6 million admissions, a 19% decline from 2007.
  • The estimated average time in jail in 2017 was 26 days.

Part of the Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear Series

Press Release (213K)
Summary (PDF 203K)
Full report (PDF 705K)
Data tables (Zip format 24K)

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About the Source Data
Annual Survey of Jails (ASJ)
Census of Jail Inmates

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