Jail

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JAIL CUSTODY

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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

The average number of deaths in jails per year in 2005-2016 was 100. 2006 and 2015 saw the highest numbers of deaths, at 125 and 115, respectively. There were 95 reported deaths in jails in 2016.

RACE/ETHNICITY

White people were most represented in jail deaths (43%), compared to their representation in deaths in police interactions (38%) and prison deaths (42%).

CAUSE OF DEATH

Cause of death in jails varied by race/ethnicity and gender. For example, suicide was the cause of death for 35% of white people who died in jail, while it accounted for 29% of deaths of Latino/a people and 11% of deaths of black people. And alcohol/drug intoxication was the cause of death for 14.5% of females who died in jail, while it accounted for 8% of male deaths.

CHARGE STATUS

Most people in jail have not been convicted of a crime and are being held pre-trial, often because they are unable to pay bail. This was the case for Sandra Bland, who died in the Waller County Jail in 2015. Over 75% of the people who died in jail had not been convicted of the crime for which they were being held.

AT THE TIME OF ENTRY INTO THE FACILITY DID THE DECEASED APPEAR INTOXICATED, EXHIBIT MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS, OR EXHIBIT MEDICAL PROBLEMS?

Jails reported that 40% of people who died in jail appeared intoxicated, exhibited mental health problems, or exhibited medical problems upon entry into the facility.

TYPE OF JAIL

While county jails are overseen by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, municipal jails are essentially unmonitored. In 2005-2016, 147 people reportedly died in municipal jails, with 29% of those deaths by alcohol/drug intoxication and 35% by suicide. By comparison, in 2005-2016, 1058 people reportedly died in county jails, with 6% of those deaths by alcohol/drug intoxication and 25% by suicide. Natural causes accounted for 22% of deaths in municipal jails and 58% of deaths in county jails.

HOW LONG WAS THE PERSON IN CUSTODY?

Over 40% of people who died in jails died within their first seven days of being in custody.

TABLE OF CASES

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