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Jail Inmates in 2020 - Statistical Tables

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2021
27 pages

This report is the 34th in a series that began in 1982. It describes the number of inmates held in local jails, jail incarceration rates, inmate demographics, conviction status and most serious offense, the number of admissions to jail, jail capacity, inmate turnover rates, and staff employed in local jails.


  • The number of inmates in local jails across the United States decreased 25% from midyear 2019 (734,500) to midyear 2020 (549,100), after a 10-year period of relative stability.
  • After increasing an average of 2% per year from 2010 to 2019, the number of females confined in local jails decreased 37% from midyear 2019 to midyear 2020. The number of males declined 23% during this same period.
  • At midyear 2020, inmates ages 18 to 34 accounted for 53% of the jail population, while inmates age 55 or older made up 7%.
  • Black U.S. residents (465 per 100,000 persons) were incarcerated at 3.5 times the rate of white U.S. residents (133 per 100,000 persons) at midyear 2020. This marked a decrease from midyear 2010, when the rate for black residents (745 per 100,000) was 4.5 times that of white residents (167 per 100,000).

Date Published: December 1, 2021