"This report provides an update to annual tables based on the Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (DCRP), a data collection that measures inmate mortality data in state prisons and local jails by the number and causes of deaths. In 2008, 960 inmates died in U.S. jails (a mortality rate of 123 deaths per 100,000 jail inmates). In 2009, 948 inmates died in U.S. jails (a rate of 127 deaths per 100,000 jail inmates). State prison facilities reported 3,452 inmate deaths in 2008 (a rate of 260 deaths per 100,000 prison inmates) and 3,408 inmate deaths in 2009 (257 deaths per 100,000 prison inmates). Consistent with data from previous years, local jail deaths constituted approximately 25% of inmate deaths in adult correctional facilities nationwide."
Bureau of Justice Statistics: http://www.bjs.gov/