here for the full report (pdf 985Kb)
Release date: 11 July 2013
After steadily declining between April 2011 (10,027) and July 2012 (9,491), the NSW prison population has begun to rise again, according to a new report released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.
The report is the first in a new quarterly series being produced by the Bureau examining trends in the number of adults and juveniles held in custody in NSW.
The figures released by the Bureau show that the NSW prison population increased by an additional 377 prisoners between July last year (9,491) and March this year (9,868).
Most of the growth in adult prisoner numbers since July 2012 came from an increase in the number of prisoners held on remand (up 15%).
The total number of juveniles in custody fell by 13.6 per cent from April 2011 (360) to March 2013 (311).
The decline in the number of juveniles in custody has come about in almost equal measure from a reduction in juveniles in custody after being refused bail by the courts (down 14.1%) and a reduction in the number of juveniles given a custodial sentence (down 13.2%).
Remand receptions comprise the overwhelming majority of juveniles received into custody Receptions of juveniles into custody are down overall (13.5% between April 2011 and March 2013) and this reduction is due to falls in both the number of juveniles entering custody after being refused bail by the courts (down 13%) and the police (down 16.0%).
There has been little change in the number of juveniles given a custodial sentence, which averages about 13 a month. It should be noted, however, that an average of 42 juveniles each month change their status from being held in custody on remand to being in custody as a sentenced offender.
The average monthly number of juveniles entering custody over the last two years as a result of police bail refusal (232.0 juveniles) is substantially higher than the average number entering custody over the last two years as a result of court bail refusal (133.5 juveniles).
On average over the last two years, however, juveniles in custody as a result of bail refusal by police represented only 2.4 per cent of all juveniles in custody. By contrast, on average, juveniles in custody as a result of court bail refusal accounted for 48.3 per cent of all juveniles in custody.
The small proportion of juveniles in custody as a result of police bail refusal arises because, while the number entering custody as a result of police bail refusal is high, most juveniles refused bail by police are brought before a court as soon as possible. The time spent on remand as a result of police bail refusal is therefore very short.
Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn 9231-9190