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National Jail Population Increased Last Year After A Pandemic Drop

The nation's jails had 663,000 inmates as of mid-2022, 4% more than a year earlier, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics reported on Thursday. The total was 21% higher than at mid-year 2020. There had been a 25% decline in jail prisoners from 2019 to 2020, as authorities reduced admissions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of mid-2022, 505,700 inmates were being held for a felony offense, accounting for 76% of the jail population. There were a total of 915,900 jail beds in the U.S., 72% of which were occupied.


In the year ending June 30, 2022, people admitted to jails spent an average of 32 days in custody before release, longer than the 23-day average a decade earlier. About 1,300 persons served weekend-only sentences on the weekend before the last weekday in June 2022, down from 10,400 in 2012. The 92,900 women in jail accounted for 14% of the jail inmate population. From 2021 to 2022, the number of females in jail increased 9%, while the number of males increased 3%. The number of youths 17 or younger in jail decreased from 5,400 to 1,900 .The racial and ethnic composition of the jail population remained stable. At midyear 2022, about 48% of all persons held in jail were white, 35% were black and 14% were Hispanic. From midyear 2012 to midyear 2022, the jail incarceration rate for Hispanic persons decreased at an average annual rate of 3.7%. The rate decreased 2.4% a year for black persons and 0.7% a year for white persons.


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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