Assessing Inmate Cause of Death: Deaths in Custody Reporting Program and National Death Index [open pdf - 534KB]
"The U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has collected data annually on inmates who died in state prison and local jail and the circumstances surrounding these deaths since the Death in Custody Reporting Act (P. L. 106-297) was passed in 2000. There were no standardized requirements for prison and jail administrators to report inmate deaths prior to the passage of the act. Under BJS's Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (DCRP), respondents from jails and state departments of corrections are asked to report causes of deaths (COD), identifiers, and characteristics of each inmate who died. This includes personal data (i.e., name, date of birth, date of death, and sex), correctional information (i.e., length of stay, legal status, and criminal offense of the deceased), and the circumstances of the death (i.e., medical treatment before death, pre-existing conditions, and time and place of death incident)."
Report No. NCJ 249568
U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics: http://www.bjs.gov/