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By Randy Pierce
With the exception of the actual number of detainees, little has changed in four years from a demographic standpoint concerning the composition of individuals incarcerated at the Madison County Jail in Edwardsville.
This information was shared recently with the Madison County Board Judiciary Committee, which includes Chris Guy of Maryville as one of its members, by Chief Deputy Sheriff Marcos Pulido.
The annual report for 2022 prepared by Jail Administrator Captain Kris Tharp showed that there were 4618 offenders booked into the facility during those 12 months, a substantial drop from the 7061 and 7449 listed in the reports for 2018 and 2019, respectively, but an increase from the 3731 shown for 2020. There was no such report made available for 2021 when the coronavirus pandemic was still prevalent before winding down last year.
As shown in the aforementioned booking information, the statistics in those reports indicate that there were more people confined to the jail for much shorter time periods in 2018 and 2019 than the other more recent years reported. This is also evident, but to a less marked extent, in the listing of the average daily jail population which stood at 313 in 2018, 371 in 2019, 279 in 2020 and 278 in 2022.
The average stay for the detainees in 2022 was 16 days, only four more than in 2018 and 2019. There have also been negligible differences in their average ages, this spread during the four years reported here being from 34 to 37.
Males booked in 2022 totaled 3340 or 72 per cent of all of those detained with females making up the remaining 28 per cent, again closely mirroring the same information for the years 2018 through 2020.
Racially, Caucasians comprised 70 per cent or 3249 of those jailed in Madison County last year while African-Americans totaled 1235 or 27 per cent and the remainder consisted of Hispanics, Asians and multi-racial individuals. These figures reflect only single-digit percentage differences from the years 2018 to 2020.
There were, as of the date of Tharp’s most recent report, 20 detainees held who were charged with homicide compared to 28 in 2020, 19 in 2019 and 24 in 2018. Felony offenses accounted for 3221 of the 2022 detainees with another 1371 jailed for misdemeanors and 19 for civil-related matters.
The felony numbers for 2019 were much higher at 5112 and in 2018 when they reached 4896 before falling off to 2714 in 2020. For misdemeanors, there were 1465 in 2018, 1577 in 2019 and 794 during the height of the pandemic in 2020. These trends were similar for civil incarcerations with 80 in 2018, 70 in 2019 and 19 in 2020.