Jail Inmates in 2016
US Dept of Justice
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Jail Inmates in 2016

Zhen Zeng, BJS Statistician

February 22, 2018    NCJ 251210

Presents data on inmates confined in local jails between 2000 and 2016, including population counts and incarceration rates, inmate demographic characteristics and conviction status, average daily population, rated capacity of local jails and percent of capacity occupied, and turnover rates by jurisdiction size. Findings are based on data from BJS's Annual Survey of Jails. Unlike prisons, jails are locally administered correctional facilities that typically house inmates with a sentence of 1 year or less; inmates pending arraignment; and individuals awaiting trial, conviction, or sentencing.


  • County and city jails held 740,700 inmates at midyear 2016, down from a peak of 785,500 inmates at midyear 2008.
  • In 2016, jails reported 10.6 million admissions, continuing a general decline since 2008.
  • The jail incarceration rate declined from a peak of 259 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents at midyear 2007 to 229 per 100,000 at midyear 2016.
  • At year-end 2016, non-Hispanic blacks (599 per 100,000 black residents) were incarcerated in jail at a rate 3.5 times that of non-Hispanic whites (171 per 100,000 white residents).
  • The total rated capacity of county and city jails reached 915,400 beds at year-end 2016.

Part of the Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear Series

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Annual Survey of Jails (ASJ)

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