County Jail

Do you have concerns about the mental health of an incarcerated individual, or believe they may be suicidal? Call 412-350-2066 or 412-350-2176.

For Incarcerated Individuals and Their Families

Additional Information

Daily Population Report as of 02/20/2024
Day  Population (+/- change)
Today 1,676
Yesterday 1,653 (+23)
Last Week 1,649 (+27)
Last Month 1,665 (+11)

About the Allegheny County Jail

ACJ Overview

Built in 1995, the Allegheny County Jail (ACJ) is a high-rise, direct-supervision jail located in downtown Pittsburgh. Incarcerated individuals committed by the Courts are housed at the ACJ facility and at two alternative housing facilities. While the facility has a capacity of over 3,000, the average daily population has been below 2,000 for the past few years. That work is due to ongoing efforts with partners such as the Safety + Justice Challenge, which focuses on the continued reduction of the number of individuals incarcerated at the facility and promoting programs to help people successfully reenter society.

ACJ is accredited by the American Correctional Association (ACA). It is one of only three ACA-accredited Adult Local Correctional Facilities in Pennsylvania.

The Bureau of Corrections does not determine whether individuals are committed to or released from ACJ. Instead, the Courts make those determinations while the Bureau of Corrections is charged with providing care, custody, and control of persons committed to the facility. Within the facility, ACJ offers services including healthcare, drug and alcohol intervention programs, outpatient counseling services, educational opportunities, re-entry, workforce development opportunities, and rehabilitative programs.

Funding

ACJ is funded primarily by real estate tax dollars. The budget for the jail is part of the full Allegheny County budget, and is available on the Budget and Finance website.

Jail Oversight Board

Jail Oversight Board meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month.

History

Commission on Accreditation for Corrections badgeThe "old" Allegheny County Prison, a historical landmark, was designed by H.H. Richardson and opened in 1884. Despite its architectural significance, the jail's physical plant embodied an operational philosophy (the Auburn model) that was outdated by the time it was opened. The old jail is located on Ross Street, between Fifth and Forbes Avenues in downtown Pittsburgh. A footbridge, known as the "Bridge of Sighs," connects the old jail and the courthouse.

The Auburn model had rows of cells set back-to-back, separated by waterways for utilities. The cells faced narrow walkways, as opposed to the Pennsylvania System which had cells facing each other, ringing an open space. The jail had tiers (called blocks) five stories tall.

Facing crowding problems and space limitations, the Court ordered that Allegheny County could not accept any more prisoners because the facility could not meet constitutional standards. Ultimately, the county constructed a new facility to consolidate the incarcerated population into a building of adequate size, designed in accordance with modern correctional philosophy. The new jail opened in May 1995, launching a new corrections era in Allegheny County.

The old jail has been converted into a combined home of the juvenile and family sections of the Common Pleas Court. The restored and readapted facility has won many national and international design awards.