About the Data

Law enforcement agencies, local jails, and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) are required to report to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) every time a person dies in the custody of the agency or institution. This reporting requirement includes events such as deaths by natural causes in prisons, deaths by suicide in jails, and deaths by police officer shooting in facilitating an arrest.

We obtained by public information request to the OAG a database that includes information on all deaths reported between January 2005 and December 2015. From 2005-2012, TDCJ was not reporting deaths that occurred in an in-patient setting; to fill in those gaps, we obtained by public information request to TDCJ a database of prison deaths reported to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. These two databases provide the basis for the information contained in this website.

We have redacted identifying information for minors and victims of family violence or sexual assault.

Download the Texas Custodial Death Report.