How did the pandemic affect jails?

As jail populations decreased, the number of people under jail supervision outside of facilities increased by 4%. BJS cites this supervision as another way jails reduced crowding during the pandemic. The data includes those on house arrest, electronic monitoring devices, and community service programs, but does not include those on probation and parolees.

Where did the jail population decrease?

Among the 50 counties with the largest overall populations, Denver County, Colorado, had the largest reduction in its jail population. The county cut the jail population by more than half in 2020. The 10 counties with the largest decreases in jail population are a diverse group in terms of geography, demographics, and politics.