Overview

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OVERVIEW

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Each figure represents a person who died in custody. Roll over the figures to learn more about these deaths.

YEAR OF DEATH

624 custodial deaths were reported in 2016, the lowest number since 2011. 2015 saw the most custodial deaths, with 704, compared to an average of 640 per year over the previous ten years.

RACE/ETHNICITY

Black people comprised 12% of Texas’s population in 2010 and 29% of custodial deaths in 2005-2016. White people comprised 45% of Texas’s population in 2010 and 42% of custodial deaths in 2005-2016. Latinos/as comprised 38% of Texas’s population in 2010 and 27% of custodial deaths in 2005-2016.

CAUSE OF DEATH

The top three causes of death in custody were natural causes/illness, suicide, and homicide by law enforcement or correctional staff. However, depending on the type of custody (i.e. police, jail, or prison), race, and gender, the leading causes of death varied greatly.

CHARGE STATUS

From 2005 to 2016 more than 2100 people died without having been convicted of a crime.

CUSTODY TYPE

Deaths in Texas’ criminal justice system can occur in encounters with police pre-booking, in jail, or in prison. Each phase of custody presents its own risks and challenges to a person’s wellbeing.

AGE

People who died in police custody or in police interactions tended to be younger than people who died in prisons and jails, and age also varied by race/ethnicity. The median age for people who died in police interactions was 32, 43 in jails, and 54 in prisons. The median age for white people who died in custody was 53, while the median age for black people was 49, and 48 for Latinos/as.

TABLE OF CASES

Name Date of death Gender Age Race Cause of death Official Summary