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Maricopa County Jail System Average Daily Population Count

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The Maricopa County Jail system, one of the largest in the country, has grown every year throughout the decade with only one exception. These data come from an annual publication of the Maricopa County Justice System Planning and Information Department. The county oversees the jail, which is staffed and operated by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. The jail system consists of several facilities in and around downtown Phoenix.

Generally speaking, the jail system holds two types of inmates: those who have been arrested and are awaiting court action but are still legally considered innocent (about 74%), and those who have been convicted, usually of relatively minor crimes, and are serving their sentences (about 26%). In most cases, individuals convicted of misdemeanors (offenses penalized by up to a year of incarceration) serve their time in jail, while most people convicted of felonies (punishable by a year or more) go to state prison. The average length of stay for all jail inmates is about 26 days; for pre-trial prisoners, however, it is about 6 days.