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Mortality in State and Federal Prisons, 2001–2019 – Statistical Tables

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2021

This report presents detailed statistical tables on mortality in state and federal prisons. It provides information on cause of death; decedent characteristics, such as age, sex, and race or ethnicity; and mortality rates of inmate populations, compared to the general U.S. adult population.

  • In 2019, a total of 3,853 prisoners died in state prisons or private prison facilities under a state contract, a decrease of 284 deaths from 2018.
  • The number of federal prisoners who died in the custody of a facility operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) increased from 378 in 2018 to 381 in 2019.
  • The mortality rate was higher in state prisons (330 per 100,000 state prisoners) in 2019 than in BOP-operated facilities (259 per 100,000 federal prisoners).
  • Almost 87% of the 65,027 state prisoners and 89% of the 7,125 federal prisoners who died in custody from 2001 to 2019 died of illness.

Date Published: December 1, 2021