After the first quarter of 2023, the Monroe County branch of the NAACP issued a news release reporting that “racial disparity in the Monroe County jail is worse than ever.”
That was based on numbers from Jan. 1 through March 31, which showed on average that Black inmates made up 26.5 percent of the jail population. That’s more than six times the 3.9 percent from the US Census estimate for 2022, based on the 2020 decennial count.
A new set of data released by the jail in mid-October, with data through the first nine months of the year, puts the percentage of Black inmates about the same as earlier: 26.67 percent.
Some of the numbers released in mid-October give a snapshot of the average jail population. That’s where the figure of 26.67 percent comes from.
An additional listing released by the jail provides the basics of each inmate’s booking data, including date, gender, race/ethnicity, and the offenses they were charged with. A B Square analysis of the breakdown by race/ethnicity for those booked into the jail this year through the end of September shows that Black people made up 17 percent of them.
That’s less of a disparity, compared to the average jail population, but it points to a different kind disparity—the duration of incarceration. If just 17 percent of those booked into the jail are Black, but 26.67 percent of the average jail population is Black, then Black inmates must be staying in jail longer than other racial/ethnic groups.
That’s proven out by the durational analysis issued by the jail along with other data. According to the Monroe County jail’s numbers, the average duration for a Black inmate’s incarceration was 17 days 12 hours. The average duration for a white inmate’s incarceration was four days shorter: 13 days, 11 hours.
The B Square has charted out below some of the additional data released by the jail in mid-October.