Females confined in jails increase by 18 percent-males decline-jails in the US

Old prison jail cells

County and city jails held an estimated 744,600 inmates at midyear 2014, which was significantly lower than the peak population of 785,500 inmates at midyear 2008 per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).

The number of females confined in county and city jails increased by 18 percent between midyear 2010 and 2014. During that same period, the male population declined about 3 percent.

Since 2000, the jail inmate population increased by 20 percent (up 123,400 inmates).

Local jails held 109,100 females at midyear 2014, which was higher than the 99,700 at the 2008 peak year. Male inmates in local jails fell from an estimated 685,900 to 635,500 during the same period.

Males have consistently made up at least 85 percent of the jail population since 2000.

Additionally, the jail incarceration rate—the confined jail population per 100,000 U.S. residents—decreased steadily from a peak of 259 inmates per 100,000 at midyear 2007 to 234 per 100,000 at midyear 2014.

The adult only jail incarceration rate has also declined from a high of 340 inmates per 100,000 at midyear 2007 to 302 per 100,000 at midyear 2014.

At midyear 2014, about 6 in 10 adult inmates were not convicted, but were in jail awaiting court action on a current charge—a rate unchanged since 2005.

About 4 in 10 inmates were sentenced offenders or convicted offenders awaiting sentencing.

Since 2000, 95 percent of the growth in the overall jail inmate population (up 123,500) was due to an increase in the unconvicted population (up 117,700 inmates). The convicted population increased by about 5,800 inmates.

White inmates accounted for just under half of the total jail population in 2014. Thirty-five percent of inmates were black, and 15 percent were Hispanic.

From midyear 2010 to 2014, the number of white inmates increased by 21,200. During that same period, the number of black and Hispanic inmates declined by 19,400 and 7,500, respectively.

Local jails held 4,200 juveniles age 17 or younger at midyear 2014, a significantly lower number than the peak population of 7,700 juveniles in 2008. Juveniles accounted for 0.6 percent of the confined population at midyear 2014, which was down from 1.2 percent at midyear 2000.

Nearly 90 percent of juvenile inmates were tried or awaiting trial in adult court. The number of juveniles not charged as an adult declined from 1,900 to 500 inmates between midyear 2010 and 2014.

Other key findings include—

  • Local jails admitted an estimated 11.4 million persons during the 12-month period ending June 30, 2014, which was down from a peak of 13.6 million admissions in 2008.
  • The largest jails (those with an average daily population of 1,000 or more inmates) held 47 percent of the jail inmate population at midyear 2014, but accounted for just 6 percent of all jail jurisdictions nationwide.
  • Since peaking in 2007 (96 percent), the percentage of rated capacity occupied at midyear 2014 (84 percent) was the lowest since 2000. Rated capacity is the maximum number of beds or inmates allocated to each jail facility by a state or local rating official.

The report, Jail Inmates at Midyear 2014 (NCJ 248629) can be found on the BJS website at http://www.bjs.gov/.

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