Jails Stuffed To Capacity In Many U.S. Counties

This chart shows jail statistics from 2008 in the 50 U.S. counties with the largest numbers of inmates. More than half of the counties on this list had jails operating at 95 percent capacity or greater. In 16 counties, jails were overcrowded — that is, they were occupied at more than 100 percent capacity. In Florida, two counties — Lee and Polk — had jails operating at as much as 131 percent capacity.

Note: Counties ranked by inmate population density

County Average Daily
Jail Population
Percent Of
Capacity
County
Population
Inmates Per
100,000
New York City 13,849 71 1,634,795 847
Orleans Parish, La. 2,613 90 311,853 838
Shelby County, Tenn. 5,765 89 906,825 636
Baltimore City 4,010 116 636,919 630
Philadelphia City 8,811 102 1,447,395 609
Davidson County, Tenn. 3,528 107 626,144 563
District of Columbia 3,012 86 591,833 509
Polk County, Fla. 2,456 131 580,594 423
Gwinnett County, Ga. 3,311 100 789,499 419
Bernalillo County, N.M. 2,607 116 635,139 410
Orange County, Fla. 4,294 99 1,072,801 400
Denver County, Colo. 2,380 128 598,707 398
DeKalb County, Ga. 2,906 93 739,956 393
Pinellas County, Fla. 3,559 83 910,260 391
Lee County, Fla. 2,313 131 593,136 390
Cobb County, Ga. 2,579 96 698,158 369
Hillsborough County, Fla. 3,985 92 1,180,784 337
Fresno County, Calif. 3,049 81 909,153 335
Suffolk County, Mass. 2,445 83 732,684 334
Sacramento County, Calif. 4,563 90 1,394,154 327
Milwaukee County, Wis. 3,037 101 953,328 319
Broward County, Fla. 5,500 96 1,751,234 314
El Paso County, Texas 2,226 96 742,062 300
Alameda County, Calif. 4,371 102 1,474,368 296
Kern County, Calif. 2,372 88 800,458 296
Miami-Dade County 7,050 121 2,398,245 294
Essex County, N.J. 2,260 98 770,675 293
Mecklenburg County, N.C. 2,610 99 890,515 293
San Bernardino County, Calif. 5,593 94 2,015,355 278
Fulton County, Ga. 2,789 91 1,014,932 275
Allegheny County, Pa. 3,246 95 1,215,103 267
Travis County, Texas 2,662 81 998,543 267
Marion County, Ind. 2,344 88 880,380 266
Dallas County, Texas 6,385 82 2,412,827 265
Santa Clara County, Calif. 4,660 122 1,764,499 264
Harris County, Texas 10,000 107 3,984,349 251
Bexar County, Texas 4,062 93 1,622,899 250
Maricopa County, Ariz. 9,265 102 3,954,598 234
Palm Beach County, Fla. 2,900 89 1,265,293 229
Franklin County, Ohio 2,457 100 1,129,067 218
Los Angeles County 19,836 87 9,862,049 201
Tarrant County, Texas 3,500 82 1,750,091 200
Orange County, Calif. 6,000 89 3,010,759 199
Cook County, Ill. 9,900 98 5,294,664 187
San Diego County 5,363 109 3,001,072 179
Riverside County, Calif. 3,530 115 2,100,516 168
Clark County, Nev. 3,115 106 1,865,746 167
King County, Wash. 2,657 80 1,875,519 142
Wayne County, Mich. 2,336 87 1,949,929 120

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