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Media Release: NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly update June 2014

Release date: Monday 28 July, 2014  Embargo: 9.30AM

Full report: NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly update June 2014 - pdf 855Kb

After reaching a peak of 10,822 in April this year, the number of adults in custody fell back to 10,515 in June (a reduction of over 300 prisoners).

The fall in adult custody numbers is mainly attributable to a drop in the number of defendants on remand. Adult remand receptions fell by 27 per cent between April and June this year. By contrast, adult sentenced prisoner receptions over the same time period fell by just three per cent.

The number of juveniles in custody has also fallen significantly since the beginning of this year. After peaking at 338 in February, the number of juveniles in custody fell by 16 per cent within four months, reaching a low of 284 in June.

As with adult custody numbers, the fall in juvenile custody numbers is mainly attributable to a drop in the number of defendants being remanded in custody by police.

Between February and June this year, the number of remand receptions arising from police bail refusal fell by 58 per cent. Over the same time period the number of remand receptions arising from court bail refusal fell by 40 per cent.

According to the director of the Bureau, the fall in remand numbers coincides with the introduction of the new Bail Act but the precise reason for the fall is not yet clear.

"There are three possibilities. The first is that courts are granting bail to a higher proportion of defendants.

The second is that the arrest rate for serious offences is falling.

The third is that police are more often dispensing with any requirement for bail.

We will have a clearer picture of which of these is true by September."

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn 9231-9190

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