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Full Report: NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly Update June 2015 (pdf 1.3mb)
Embargo: 10.30AM, Wednesday, 29 July 2015
The NSW adult prison population grew by 2.3 per cent between April 2015 and June 2015, reaching a new record high in June this year of 11,624. This brings the total increase in the NSW adult population over the last financial year to 12.2 per cent (i.e. an additional 1,261 prisoners).
The increase is almost entirely attributable to a growth in prisoners on remand. Over the last three months, the remand population has risen by 4.6 per cent (compared with a 1.3 per cent increase in the sentenced prisoner population). Over the last financial year, the adult remand population has risen by nearly a third (32.7%).
Over the last three months (i.e. between April and June 2015), the number of juveniles in custody fell slightly (down 0.6%). Over the last financial year, however, the number of juveniles in detention rose by 16.7 per cent (from 263 in July 2014 to 307 in June 2015).
As with the growth in adult prisoner numbers, the increase in juveniles in detention was almost entirely due to a surge in the number of juvenile defendants placed on remand. The number on remand rose by 35.1 per cent over the last financial year (compared with a 1.4% increase in the number of juvenile offenders in custody serving a sentence).
Commenting on the findings, the Director of the Bureau said the increase is not a result of the NSW Bail Act (2014). At present the percentage of defendants refused bail by the courts is at its long-term level.
"Nor does it appear to be a result of the ‘show cause’ 1 amendments to the NSW Bail Act introduced earlier this year. The remand population did rise after the ‘show cause’ amendments were introduced but it started rising steeply a month prior to those amendments."
The Bail Act was amended in 2015 to require bail refusal for certain specified offences (known as ‘show cause’ offences) unless the accused person ‘shows cause why his or her detention is not justified
"At this stage the principal causes appear to be a growth in the number of people charged with criminal offences between December and March each year and a growth in the number of defendants remanded for breaching their bail conditions."
Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn – 8346 1100
Copies of the report: www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au
1 The Bail Act was amended in 2015 to require bail refusal for certain specified offences (known as ‘show cause’ offences) unless the accused person ‘shows cause why his or her detention is not justified’