The number of prisoners in city and county jails rose about 9 percent from June 1985 to June 1986, but the number of inmate deaths from natural and other causes dropped 9 percent, the Bureau of Justice Statistics said yesterday.
The bureau also estimated that in the three years between June 30, 1983, and June 30, 1986, the nation's jail population rose 23 percent and the number of women in those jails went up 37 percent.
The Justice Department agency calculated the jail population on June 30, 1986, at about 274,000. It estimated that 251,235 men, 21,501 women and 1,708 juveniles were in jail when the survey ended.
"Specifically excluded from the report are temporary lockups that house people for less than 48 hours, federal or state institutions and private facilities," the bureau said.
The number of prisoners in state and federal facilities at the same time in 1986 was 528,945. Five states with combined jail-prison systems were not included in the figures.
As of June 30, 1986, men made up about 92 percent of the jail population, the survey showed. Whites represented about 58 percent of the inmates, blacks 41 percent and other races one percent of the inmate population, the report said. Fourteen percent were Hispanic, it said.
There were 277 jail inmate deaths in the one-year period, down 9 percent from the previous year, the bureau said. It said 52 percent were from natural causes, 39 percent from suicides, 5 percent from accidents or undetermined causes and 4 percent from injuries caused by other people.
The report also said that 26 percent of the jails held inmates due to crowding elsewhere and 23 percent of the jails were under court order to reduce their populations.