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COVID-19 spurs 25% drop in inmates held in local jails


COVID-19 spurs 25% drop in inmates held in local jails

Special Report:
Impact of COVID-19 on the Local Jail Population, January-June 2020

Show footnotes

  • From March to June 2020, about 208,500 inmates received expedited release in response to COVID-19.

  • During the pandemic, jail facilities became less crowded, as indicated by the decrease in occupied bed space from 81% at midyear 2019 to 60% at midyear 2020.

  • The number of inmates held for a misdemeanor declined about 45% since midyear 2019, outpacing the decline in the number of inmates held for a felony (down 18%).

  • The percentage of inmates held for a felony increased from 70% at midyear 2019 to 77% at midyear 2020.

  • From March to June 2020, jails conducted 215,360 inmate COVID-19 tests. More than 11% of these tests were positive.


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New Releases

Passing of Jinney S. Smith

With immense sadness, BJS shares that Jinney S. Smith, Ph.D., Deputy Director for Statistical Operations, passed away on March 24, 2021. She joined BJS in July of 2020 and we were thrilled to have her. Jinney supervised the BJS units responsible for a variety of national statistical data collections and programs covering the criminal justice process from victimization to arrest, prosecution, incarceration, and recidivism. She was a key member of the executive management team with responsibilities for developing and implementing data collection plans, policies and programs; and for preparing responses to requests for statistics or other information from leadership components of the Department of Justice, the White House, and Congress. Despite the total virtual environment, we all got to know Jinney during our many meetings, including those she spearheaded to engage more with staff. She was a valued colleague and a talented statistician. She was committed to the mission of the agency and clearly enjoyed the work. Jinney’s passing is a significant loss for BJS; she will be greatly missed by her colleagues. Our thoughts are with her family during this difficult time. Her obituary is available here.


New Grants and Payment Management Systems Now Available!


The Justice Grants System (JustGrants) and the Department of the Treasury’s Automated Standard Application for Payments (ASAP) are now available for all award management and payment activities. Award recipients with the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) can login to JustGrants or visit the informational website for further resources and support. Additionally, ASAP is now available for enrolled Department of Justice award recipients to request funds. For more information on how to request funds in ASAP, please reference the user guide.



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