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Media Release: NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly update Sep 2014

Release date: Thursday 20 October, 2014  Embargo: 10.30AM

Full report:  NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly update Sep 2014 - pdf 1.3Mb

The NSW adult prison population has fallen from a peak of 10,825 in April to 10,426 in September, according to the September quarterly corrections report released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

Most of the fall occurred because of a decrease in the number of defendants being on remand (down 16 %, from 3,238 in April 2014, to 2,720 in September).  

There has been very little change in the offence profile of those held in custody. Prisoners held on remand are most likely to be facing charges involving acts intended to cause injury (24.9%); drug offences (21.9%); robbery/extortion (9.3%); break and enter (9.1%); or sexual assault offences (9.7%).

Sentenced prisoners are likely to have been convicted of similar offences, although a significant proportion of sentenced prisoners (14.7%) are serving sentences for justice procedure offences (e.g. breach of a suspended sentence, breach of an apprehended violence order).

The number of juveniles in custody also fell significantly over the period April - September, 2014 (down 21%, from 322 to 255).    

Once again, most of the fall was due to a drop in the number of defendants being held on remand (down 39%, from 155 to 95 over the period April - September, 2014).

According to the director of the Bureau, Dr Don Weatherburn, the recent decline in juvenile and adult custody numbers is partly seasonal and partly due to a reduction in police use of bail court attendance notices (bail CANs) in the period leading up to and immediately after the commencement of the new Bail Act in May this year.

"This change in the method of proceeding against offenders resulted in a sharp fall in the number of defendants refused bail. Police use of bail CANs is now increasing again, so it is unlikely the sharp fall in remand numbers will continue."  

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn 02 9231 9190

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