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Jails in Indian Country, 2014

ADVANCE FOR RELEASE AT 10:00 A.M. EDT Bureau of Justice Statistics
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2015                          Contact: Kara McCarthy (202) 307-1241
HTTP://WWW.BJS.GOV/ After hours: (202) 598-9320


WASHINGTON – An estimated 2,380 inmates were confined in Indian country jails at midyear 2014, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. This represented a 4 percent increase from the 2,287 inmates confined at midyear 2013.

The number of inmates admitted in June 2014 (10,460) was nearly five times the size of the average daily population (2,170) in Indian country jails. During June 2014, the expected average length of stay at admission was about 6 days. At midyear 2014, half (51 percent) of those in Indian country jails were convicted inmates, down from a peak of 69 percent in 2009.

Since 2010, about 30 percent of Indian country jail inmates were held for a violent offense, a decline from a peak of about 40 percent of inmates in 2007. At midyear 2014, the largest percentage of violent offenders were charged with domestic violence (12 percent) and aggravated or simple assault (9 percent). Inmates held for unspecified violence (5 percent) and rape or sexual assault (2 percent) made up less than 10 percent of the jail population.

Between 2000 and 2014, the number of inmates held for alcohol- and drug-related offenses also declined. Indian country jail inmates held for a drug law violation dropped from 8 percent to 5 percent. Those held for driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol decreased from 16 percent to 9 percent of the jail population.

While males represented the largest portion (75 percent) of the inmate population, the percentage of female inmates in Indian country jails increased from 20 percent to 25 percent between 2000 and 2014. During that same period, the juvenile population declined from 16 percent to 8 percent.

Three deaths, including one suicide, were reported in Indian country jails during the 12-month period ending June 30, 2014.  Seventy Indian country jails reported a total of 51 attempted suicides from midyear 2013 to midyear 2014. The number of attempted suicides declined significantly after peaking in 2002.

The 79 Indian country jails at midyear 2014 employed an estimated 1,710 staff members, a number remaining stable since 2010. The majority of Indian country jail employees (72 percent or about 1,230) were jail operations staff who spent more than 50 percent of their time supervising inmates—a 4 percent increase from midyear 2013 and a 22 percent increase from midyear 2010. There were two inmates to every one jail operations employee in 2014, a ratio that has remained stable since 2010.

The number of jail facilities operating in Indian country increased from 68 in 2004 to 79 in 2014. Over this 10-year period, 21 facilities were newly constructed and 11 facilities closed permanently. At midyear 2014, Indian country jails were rated to hold an estimated 3,720 inmates, up from 3,482 in 2013. The jails operated at 64 percent of rated capacity at midyear 2014, down from 66 percent at midyear 2013.

The report, Jails in Indian Country, 2014 (NCJ 248974), was written by BJS statistician Todd D. Minton. The report, related documents and additional information about the Bureau of Justice Statistics' statistical publications and programs can be found on the BJS website at http://www.bjs.gov/.

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The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. More information about OJP can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.

Date Published: October 25, 2015