More Than 60 Percent of People Held in US Jails Have Not Been Convicted

"Since 2005, more than 60% of all jail inmates were awaiting court action on a current charge. About 4 in 10 inmates were sentenced offenders or convicted offenders awaiting sentencing. The growth in the overall jail inmate population since 2000 was due to the increase in the unconvicted population. Regardless of conviction status, about 68% of jail inmates in 2015 were held for a felony offense, and the remaining 32% were held for either misdemeanor (27%) or other offenses (5%) (not shown)."


Todd D. Minton and Zhen Zeng, PhD, "Jail Inmates in 2015," Bureau of Justice Statistics (Washington, DC: Department of Justice, Dec. 2016), NCJ250394, p. 4.