Table 23Mental health problems among inmates in state and federal correctional facilities (2004) and in local jails (2002), by age, sex, and Hispanic origin and race: percentage, United States

[Data are based on a survey of inmates]

CharacteristicState prison inmates, 2004 (percent)Federal prison inmates, 2004 (percent)Local jail inmates, 2002 (percent)
All inmates56.244.864.2
 24 or younger62.657.870.3
 55 or older39.636.152.4
Hispanic origin and race1

Hispanic origin and race was not reported by an estimated 1,400 jail inmates who had a mental health problem.


Excludes persons of Hispanic origin.


Includes American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asians, Native Hawaiians, Other Pacific Islanders, and inmates who specified more than one race.

NOTES: Any mental health problem was defined by two measures: a recent history of a mental health problem, either in the year before arrest or since admission; or symptoms of a mental health problem that occurred within the 12 months prior to the interview. A recent history of a mental health problem included inmates self-reporting that they were diagnosed with a mental health problem by a mental health professional or that they received treatment for a mental health problem by a mental health professional. Symptoms of a mental disorder were based on criteria specified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) (APA, 1994).

Percent refers to inmates with mental health problems as a proportion of the total number of prisoners in each demographic category.

As an example of how to interpret the estimates in the table, in 2004, 56.2 percent of all inmates housed in state prisons in the United States had a recent mental health problem.

SOURCES: Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities (2004) and Survey of Inmates in Local Jails (2002) Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS); . Unpublished data delivered upon special request by Lauren E. Glaze, BJS Statistician, and verified by Tracy L. Snell, BJS Statistician, March 2, 2009.

James DJ, Glaze LE. Mental health problems of prison and jail inmates (NCJ-213600) Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics; 2006. Retrieved from http://bjs​.ojp.usdoj​.gov/content/pub/pdf/mhppji.pdf.

From: 5, TABLES

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Behavioral Health, United States, 2012.

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