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Federal Deaths in Custody and During Arrest, 2016-2017 - Statistical Tables

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2020
0 pages

Federal law enforcement and detention agencies reported 92 arrest-related deaths and 897 deaths in custody in fiscal years (FY) 2016 and 2017, according to data from the Federal Law Enforcement Agency Deaths in Custody Reporting Program, which the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) developed in compliance with the Death in Custody Reporting Act (DICRA).


This report is the first in a series that examines deaths that occur during federal arrest, detention, and incarceration in the United States. It describes decedent, incident, and facility characteristics of deaths in federal custody and during arrest by federal law enforcement agencies during Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017.

  • Federal agencies reported 51 arrest-related deaths and 468 deaths in custody in fiscal year (FY) 2016 and 41 arrest-related deaths and 429 deaths in custody in FY 2017.
  • Homicide (47%) and suicide (42%) accounted for nearly 90% of federal arrest-related deaths in FY 2016 and FY 2017 combined.
  • During the 2-year period, almost all federal arrest-related decedents were male (97%), 66% were white, and 26% were black.
  • Nearly 90% of federal deaths in custody in FY 2016 (86%) and FY 2017 (87%) were due to illness.

Date Published: December 1, 2020