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Federal Deaths in Custody and During Arrest, 2021 – Statistical Tables

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2023

This report presents statistics on deaths that occur during federal arrest, detention, and incarceration in the United States. It is the fourth in a series in response to the Death in Custody Reporting Act (DCRA) of 2013 (P.L. 113–242) that requires federal law enforcement agencies to report information about the death of any person who dies while detained, under arrest, being arrested, or in the custody of federal law enforcement officers. It describes decedent, incident, and facility characteristics of deaths in federal custody and during arrest by federal law enforcement agencies during fiscal year 2021.

  • Accidents accounted for the largest portion (40%) of arrest-related deaths in fiscal year (FY) 2021, followed by homicides (32%) and suicides (23%).
  • In FY 2021, about 89% of decedents in arrest-related deaths were male, 73% were white, and 65% were ages 25 to 44.
  • In 44% of arrest-related deaths in FY 2021, law enforcement was serving a warrant when they made initial contact with the decedent.
  • An immigration violation was the most serious offense allegedly committed by decedents in 46% of arrest-related deaths in FY 2021.

Date Published: November 17, 2023