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Mortality in Correctional Institutions (MCI) (Formerly Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (DCRP))

Data Collection Status
Annually starting in 2000 for jails; 2001 for state prisons; deaths in the process of arrest from 2003 to 2014
Latest Data Available
Data Experts
E. Ann Carson, Ph.D., BJS statistician
Collection Period

From 2000 to 2019


Collects inmate death records from each of the nation's 50 state prison systems, Federal Bureau of Prisons, and approximately 2,800 local jail jurisdictions. Between 2003 and 2014, BJS also collected data on persons who died while in the process of arrest.

Death records include information on decedent personal characteristics (age, race or Hispanic origin, and sex), decedent criminal background (legal status, offense type, and time served), and the death itself (date, time, location, and cause of death, as well as information on the autopsy and medical treatment provided for any illness or disease).

Data collections covering these populations were developed in annual phases: Annual collection of individual death records from local jail facilities began in 2000, followed by a separate collection for state prison facilities in 2001. Collection of state juvenile correctional agencies began in 2002 but was discontinued in 2006, and collection of arrest-related death records began in 2003. Due to concerns regarding data quality and coverage issues, BJS temporarily suspended the arrest-related death (ARD) portion of the DCRP in 2014. Datasets are produced in an annual format.

In 2016, the Department of Justice (DOJ) decided to place more emphasis on the section of Death in Custody Reporting Act reauthorization law (P.L. 113-242) that concerned non-compliance with the data collection. Per the law, states that did not report on a quarterly basis individual-level data on deaths occurring in local jails, in state prisons, or in the process of arrest, could be penalized up to 10% of their DOJ-sponsored Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) awards. As a federal statistical agency, BJS data may not be used for enforcement purposes. Therefore, DOJ determined that the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) should manage collection of the data pursuant to the law, since BJA is not under similar requirements to collect data for statistical purposes only. (The Report of the Attorney General to Congress Pursuant to The Death in Custody Reporting Act, December 16, 2016, is located at:

BJS finished collection of deaths that occurred during the 2019 calendar year in December, 2020, and formally closed the MCI collection on March 31, 2021.

Date Created: May 15, 2009