What are we measuring?
About 26,000 individuals were booked into the Fulton County Jail in the course 2017 after being arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor or felony violations or for such things as failure to appear in court or probation violations.  Some people may spend only hours in jail before being released on bond while others may spend months awaiting trial for serious crimes or after being sentenced to serve time.  This measure tracks the daily number of detainees in any of the Fulton County jail facilities averaged over the course of a year.
Fulton County Jail Population Compared to National Benchmark Counties
Each year the U.S. Department of Justice conducts a survey of jails operated by county and municipal governments across the U.S.  Data from the 2014 and 2015 surveys were used to compare the Fulton County average daily jail population to that of its national benchmark counties.  Because the survey includes all jail and detention centers, the average daily population of the Atlanta Detention Center was included in the Fulton County count in order to be comparable to the benchmark counties.  As illustrated in the chart below, Fulton County ranked second only to Shelby County, Tennessee in the total average daily jail population.