Presents national and state-level data on the number of inmate deaths that occurred in local jails and state prisons, and includes aggregated data on deaths in federal prisons. The report presents findings by year from 2000 to 2010 and analyzes 11-year trends in deaths in custody. It provides mortality rates per 100,000 inmates in custody in jail or prison, details cause of death (including deaths attributed to homicide, suicide, illness, intoxication, and accidental injury), and describes decedents' characteristics (including age, race/Hispanic origin, sex, legal status, and time served). Data sources include the Bureau of Justice Statistics' Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (DCRP), initiated in 2000 under the Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2000 (P.L. 106–297), and National Prisoner Statistics series.
- The number of inmates who died while in the custody of local jails declined in 2010, falling to 918 from the 951 deaths in 2009, representing the third consecutive annual decrease since the number of jail deaths peaked at 1,100 in 2007.
- In 2010, males accounted for nearly 9 out of 10 jail inmate deaths (88%). In any single year between 2000 and 2010, males accounted for no less than 87% of jail deaths.
- California, Texas, New York, and Florida together reported about a third of jail deaths in 2010. These states also had the largest jail populations, comprising 32% of the total jail population in 2010.
- The number of inmates who died while in the custody of state prisons declined from 3,414 in 2009 to 3,232 in 2010, for a total decrease of 5%, which is the largest decline in the number of prison deaths since the DCRP began collecting prisoner mortality data in 2001.
- In 2010, males accounted for nearly all prisoner deaths (96%). In any single year between 2001 and 2010, males accounted for no less than 95% of prison deaths.