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Suicide in Local Jails and State and Federal Prisons, 2009-2019 - Statistical Tables

NCJ Number
E. Ann Carson
Date Published
October 2021
36 pages

This report includes statistics on demographic, criminal justice, and suicide incident characteristics and link 2019 suicides with facility-level information obtained in BJS’s recent censuses of local jail and prison facilities.


  • From 2001 to 2019, the number of suicides increased 85% in state prisons, 61% in federal prisons, and 13% in local jails.
  • During 2010-19, suffocation, including hanging and self-strangulation, accounted for nearly 90% of suicide deaths in local jails.
  • During 2015-19, about 12% of deaths by suicide in local jails occurred within the first 24 hours of incarceration, a decrease from almost 22% during 2000-04.
  • The average suicide rate for white inmates in local jails was 93 per 100,000 during the 5-year period of 2015-19, which is 5 times the rate for black inmates (18 per 100,000) and more than 3 times the rate for Hispanic inmates (26 per 100,000).