BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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What qualifies as custody of an inmate?

In the Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (DCRP), custody refers to the physical holding of an inmate in a facility. It also includes the period during which a correctional authority maintains a chain of custody over an inmate. For instance, if a jail transports an ill inmate to a hospital for medical services and that inmate dies while in the chain of custody of the jail, that death is counted as a death in custody. A death that occurs when an inmate is not in the custody of a correctional authority is considered beyond the scope of the DCRP. Out-of-scope deaths include inmates on escape status or under the supervision of community corrections, specifically inmates on probation, parole, or home-electronic monitoring.


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