NSW Custody Statistics: quarterly update September 2015

Full Report: NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly Update September 2015 (pdf 1.3mb)

Embargo: 10.30AM, Monday, 2 November 2015


The NSW adult prison population grew by 14 per cent between October 2014 and September 2015, reaching a new record high in September this year of 11,801. This brings the total increase in the NSW adult prison population over the last two years to 17 per cent.

The Indigenous prison population has increased faster than the non-Indigenous population, rising by 18 per cent since October last year and 20 per cent over the last two years (compared with 12 per cent and16 per cent, respectively, for the non-Indigenous prison population).

The increase in total prisoner numbers is largely due to a growth in prisoners on remand. Over the last 12 months, the number of remand prisoners has increased by an additional 916 adult prisoners whereas the number of sentenced prisoners has increased by an additional 503 adult prisoners.


Over the last 12 months the number of juveniles in custody rose by nine per cent. Over the last two years, however, the number of juveniles in custody has fallen by seven per cent.

In contrast to the long-term trend for adult prisoners (which is up), the long-term trend for juveniles in detention is down. The annual average number in detention in successive years since 2011 has been 367 (in 2011), 334 (in 2012), 313 (in 2013) and 290 (in 2014).

Commenting on the findings, the Director of BOCSAR said the rapid increase in the number of adult prisoners was unexpected.

"Normally, the number of remand prisoners tapers off from April to August but there has been no sign of that this year. The surge in remand numbers has also been followed by a surge in the number of sentenced prisoners.

"Given the usual surge in the number of prisoners on remand over the Christmas-New Year period, we can expect further rapid increases in the number of people in prison."

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn – 8346 1100

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