Chicago Jail Population Back Over 10,000–Most In a Single U.S. Jail


After dipping to 8,900 in 2011, the average annual jail population in Chicago’s Cook County, primarily inmates awaiting trial, has been on the rise, with the daily count now often more than 10,000, the highest totals since 2007, reports the Chicago Tribune.

About 5 percent of detainees at the jail have been awaiting trial for more than two years, says the sheriff's office. With that rise in population, Chicago has regained its spot, once held by Houston, as home of the most populous single-site jail in the U.S. — and also effectively Illinois' largest mental health facility.

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