Media Release: NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly update March 2014

 Full report - NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly update March 2014 (pdf 543Kb)

Release date: Thursday 15 May, 2014 Embargo: 10.30AM

Adults in custody

The NSW adult prison population grew by 13 per cent between September 2012 and March 2014, reaching a record high in March this year of 10,741.

The increase in custody numbers since September 2012 was significantly higher for Indigenous prisoners (up 18%) than for non-Indigenous prisoners (up 10%).

In the first three months of 2013, prison receptions were averaging 1,309 a month. In the first three months of   2014, they were averaging 1,446 a month. Discharges from prison also increased, but only slightly. In nine of the last 12 months, the number of prison receptions exceeded the number of discharges.

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 (24.7%), drug offences (21.1%), break and enter (8.8%) or sexual assault offences (7.6%).

Sentenced prisoners are likely to have been convicted of similar offences, although a significant proportion of sentenced prisoners (14.8%) are serving sentences for justice procedure offences (e.g. breach of a suspended sentence, breach of an apprehended violence order).

Juveniles in custody

In contrast to the adult custodial population, the total number of juveniles in custody remained fairly stable over the whole of 2013, after falling from a peak of 357 in May 2012 to a low of 301 in December 2012. As at March 2014, there were 332 juveniles in detention.  

Despite the stable overall trend, over the last 12 months detentions of Indigenous and non-Indigenous juveniles have been heading in opposite directions.

Over the 12 months to March this year, the number of Indigenous juveniles in custody fell by 4.4 per cent, whereas the number of non-Indigenous detentions rose by 15.9 per cent.

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn 02 9231 9190

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