Changing Trends: An Analysis of the Allegheny County Jail Population

From 2000 to 2012, Allegheny County Jail bookings decreased by approximately one-third. Arrests are the principal contributor to the number of bookings over time, but the number of arrests that result in a booking decreased over time due to changes in judicial procedure regarding arrests for Driving under the Influence (DUI) and use of a validated risk-assessment instrument to facilitate pre-trial release decisions.

The decrease in bookings was accompanied by an increase in jail-bed days used. Categorizing bookings into Length-of-Stay groups revealed that reductions in bookings from 2000 to 2011 were specific to stays of two days or less. The increase in jail-bed days used was impacted most significantly by an increased number of bookings for stays of one month or greater.  The report also examines inmates’ human service involvement and residence prior to booking.

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