Media Release: NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly update September 2013

Full report - NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly update September 2013 (pdf 802Kb)

Release date: 11 December 2013   Embargo: 10:30am

Adults in custody

The NSW prison population is rising rapidly, according to a new report released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

Figures released by the Bureau show that the NSW prison population increased by an additional 508 prisoners between July last year (9,492) and September this year (10,000).  

According to the Director of the Bureau, Dr Don Weatherburn, in 10 of the last 14 months, the number of new prison receptions exceeded the number of prisoners leaving custody.

'New prisoners arrive at such a high rate (more than 40 a day), it only takes a slight excess of prison receptions over discharges for prison numbers to build up very rapidly.'

Dr Weatherburn said the Bureau was still investigating the precise cause of the growth in prison receptions. 'It is certainly not a result of higher crime rates. With the exception of fraud, rates of all major categories of crime in NSW are in decline.'                  
"The most likely explanation is an increase in police enforcement activity. In the last few months of last year and the first few months of this year, arrest rates for a number of offences, including stealing, receiving, drug trafficking, prohibited weapons offences and breaching apprehended violence orders rose sharply."

Juveniles in custody

In contrast to the adult custodial population, the total number of juveniles in custody has continued to fall, with the number in custody falling by 14 per cent between October 2011 (365) and September 2013 (313)

The decline has come from both the remand and sentenced population. The number of juveniles on remand as a result of court bail refusal fell from 163 in October 2011 to 102 (13%) in September 2013. Over the same period number of sentenced offenders fell by 11 per cent (from 192 to 170).

The vast majority (95%) of juveniles in custody on remand have been refused bail by the courts rather than by police.

Further enquiries:Dr Don Weatherburn 02 9231 9190

Copies of the report: www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au