Pretrial Jail Population

The use of pretrial detention is driving jail overuse nationally. During the past decade, pretrial incarceration rates in rural counties have continued to grow while they have declined in urban counties. In 2013, the national pretrial incarceration rate was 220 per 100,000.  

This table ranks the highest rates of pretrial incarceration. Use the filter to see the list across just urban, suburban, small and mid-sized metros, or rural counties. Use the search box to add any county of interest to the list, and click any county for complete detail. Pretrial incarceration rates are per 100,000 county residents aged 15-64.

    Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Census of Jails (2013).

    Notes: These tables provide rankings for 2,584 of the 3,144 U.S. counties and county equivalents. The 560 excluded counties are the 54 counties in the six states (Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Vermont) that do not have local jails because the state prison system also provides pretrial detention; the 145, mostly rural, counties that did not supply the necessary data to BJS; the 357, mostly rural, counties that either have pretrial incarceration rates in excess of 1,000 per 100,000 or more than 90 percent of the jail population held for other authorities. This latter group is excluded because these places are generally very small counties (e.g., fewer than 10,000 residents) in which the jail effectively serves as a regional jail or contract jail for the state and federal government. Because the preponderance of detainees are from out of the county, the county pretrial incarceration rate cannot be reliably estimated. There are a total of 25,025 pretrial detainees in these excluded counties, or an average of 70 per county.  Because of reporting error, St. Louis County, MO, Allegheny County, PA, Davidson County, TN, Cameron County, TX, and El Paso County, TX use 2012 data from the Survey of Jails instead of 2013.

    The number of pretrial detainees, and the number of individuals held for other local, state, and federal authorities, is the single day count on December 31, 2013. 

    The pretrial incarceration rate is calculated using the county population aged 15 to 64 to account for the fact that under-15 and over-64 population varies widely by county and including them would skew rates and complicate comparisons.