Bulletin Reports

Prison Mortality

Statistical tables on Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons, 2000–2013 present national and state-level data on the number of inmate deaths that occurred between 2000 and 2013, distribution of deaths across jails, and fatality rates for federal prisons. The report provides annual counts and 14-year trends between 2000 and 2013 of deaths in custody. Additionally, it gives mortality rates per 100,000 inmates in custody in jail or prison; details regarding causes of death, including homicide, suicide, illness, intoxication, and accidental injury; describes decedents’ characteristics, such as age, sex, race or national origin, legal and hold status, and time served; and specifies the state where the deaths occurred. Data are provided by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Deaths in Custody Reporting Program, which was instituted under the Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2000.

Deaths of local jail inmates increased 1 percent, from 958 in 2012 to 967 in 2013. Suicides in local jails increased 9 percent, from 300 in 2012 to 327 in 2013. Jail inmate deaths due to liver disease decreased 35 percent, from 29 in 2012 to 19 in 2013. Deaths in prisons increased from 3,357 in 2012 to 3,479 in 2013, reaching the highest number since prison data collection began in 2001. The total number of deaths increased 4 percent between 2012 and 2013. In 2013 illness-related deaths accounted for 89 percent of all deaths in prison. The prisoner mortality rate increased 3 percent, from 265 deaths per 100,000 state prisoners in 2012 to 274 per 100,000 in 2013.

Complete statistical tables may be located at http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid= 5341, August 4, 2015, NCJ 248756.