Nation’s Jail Count Fell Markedly In 5 Years; 11.7 Million Admitted In Year


The nation’s jail population dropped significantly between midyear 2008 and midyear 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics said today. After a peak of 785,533 in 2008, the total was only 731,208 last year. The decrease was especially significant in view of California’s increase of 12,000 jail inmates under its 2011 prisoner “realignment” of shifting inmates from state prisons to local jails.

There remains a huge turnover of jail inmates, with facilities admitting about 11.7 million people in the jear ending June 30, 2013. That was down from a peak of 13.6 million admissions in 2008. The number of persons admitted to local jails in 2013 was 16 times the estimated 731,352 average daily number of jail inmates. Large jails, with an average daily population of 1,000 or more inmates, held 48 percent of the jail population at midyear 2013, but accounted for 6 percent of all jail jurisdictions. The female inmate population rose 10.9 percent between midyear 2010 and 2013, while the male population declined 4.2 percent. White inmates accounted for 47 percent of the total jail population; 36 percent were black and 15 percent Hispanic.

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