Commitments by Sex to U.S. Prisons and Jails, about 2000-2010

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Counts of males and females committed to (entered into) U.S. federal prisons, state prisons, and jails for available years about 2000-2010. With calculation of commitment sex ratios.

In interpreting incarceration statistics, distinguishing and understanding the differences between stocks and flows of prisoners (inmates) is necessary for rational discussion. Comparing sex ratios in incarceration commitments (flows) to sex ratios of persons held in incarceration (stocks) indicates sex differences in time held. This dataset provides data on commitments and stocks of inmates by sex for federal prisons, state prisons, and jails in the US.

Even more so than U.S. jail statistics in general, jail commitment data are fragmentary and complex. Because no good national data on jail commitments by sex exists, the jail data are drawn from reports of sub-national jurisdictions. A significant share of jail commitments are to separate police lockups holding persons for less than seven days. Since the median time that a persons committed to jail spends there is only about two days, many persons are committed and released after a night or two or in a police lockup.^ ^ However, the sex ratio of persons committed to police lockups is probably similar to the sex ratio of persons committed to jails.

For federal prisons, state prisons, and jails, the ratio of men to women held is about 50% higher than the ratio of men to women committed to incarceration. These statistics are a simple indication of sex bias against men within the U.S. criminal justice system.

Dataset sheets:

  • federal prisons: commitments and prisoner in prison at year-end, by sex, for federal prisons, 1998-2011
  • state prisons: commitments by sex to state prisons, national total for 2011, in New York, California, and Texas in 2012
  • jails: commitments by sex to jails, national estimate for 2012, with specific data for Oregon jails, Cook County (Chicago) jail, and the Miami Dade (Florida) jail
  • federal source: source data tables for federal commitments and in-prison counts
  • jail FL Miami Dade source: monthly data on commitments, with additional in-jail prisoner population counts
  • prison commitments 2002: source table, new court commitments to State prison, 2002: Offense, by gender, race, and Hispanic origin

Related datasets:

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