Booking & Pre-trial
Deaths reported from 2005 - 2014
This data shows deaths in city or county jails while a subject is temporarily held in custody pending charges and/or trial. It includes incidents while the subject was awaiting booking, was booked and waiting to be charged, or was charged and awaiting trial. County sheriff's departments manage the county jail systems, which hold most criminal detainees awaiting formal charges and/or trial. Approximately 15% of total deaths in custody occurred among pre-trial detainees awaiting arraignment or trial.
What was the manner of death?
Suicides accounted for 25% of booking-related and pre-trial detention deaths, while deaths due to natural causes accounted for half.
How have these numbers changed over time?
Deaths varied between 100 and 150 incidents per year from 2005 to 2014 with no systematic trend.
Deaths Per Agency Over Time
What agency types accounted for the deaths reported?
County sheriff's departments generally reported booking-related and pre-trial deaths. This is not particularly surprising given that sheriff's departments manage local county jail systems.
What type of offense did the individual commit or was arrested for?
Around 30% of booking-related and pre-trial detention deaths occurred among individuals who committed a violent felony.
How old were those who died?
The average age of those who died in booking and pre-trial stages due to natural causes was 50 years old. Among those who committed suicide, the average was 38 years old; the average among those who died due to accidental causes was 39 years old.
What was the race/ethnicity of those who died?
For all post-booking deaths, Whites account for the largest shares with relatively equal shares accounted for by Blacks and Hispanics.
How does the race/ethnicity of those who died compare to other statewide statistics?
Among deaths in this stage, Blacks died at a rate that was 4.39 times greater than would be expected given their representation in the state population; Native Americans died at a rate 2.79 times greater than would be expected. Relative to their representation in California's institutionalized population, Blacks and Native Americans were not overrepresented among those who died.