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Jail Inmates in 2016 (2018)

At midyear 2016, about 740,700 inmates were confined in county and city jails in the United States (figure 1, table 1). The midyear jail population (i.e., the number of inmates held in custody on the last weekday in June) remained relatively stable from 2011 to 2016 and below a peak of 785,500 in 2008, which was the highest count since 1982. There were 229 jail inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents at midyear 2016, down from 259 per 100,000 residents at midyear 2007. Jails reported 10.6 million admissions during 2016, which was 14.5 times the size of the average daily population (ADP) in 2016 (731,300 inmates).

Findings in this report are based on the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Annual Survey of Jails (ASJ), a nationally representative survey of county or city jail jurisdictions and regional jails in the country. Started in 1982, the ASJ tracks changes in the number and characteristics of local jail inmates nationwide. It also collects annual data on jail inmate turnover, jail capacity and space usage by other authorities.

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