Full Report: NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly update March 2015 (pdf 1.3mb)
Embargo: 10.30AM, Monday, 18 May 2015
The NSW adult prison population grew by 8.6 per cent between September 2014 and March 2015, reaching a new record high in March this year of 11,363.
The increase is attributable to a growth in prisoners on remand (i.e. unconvicted prisoners awaiting trial or sentence). Between September 2014 and March 2015 the number of adult prisoners on remand grew by 23.3 per cent (from 2,819 to 3,476). Over the same period, the number of sentenced prisoners rose by just 3.2% (from 7,642 to 7,887).
The increase in adult remand numbers since September 2014 was higher for Indigenous prisoners (up 28.9%) than for non-Indigenous prisoners (up 21.6%).
In March 2014 the number of adult prison receptions was more than 12 per cent higher than the number of persons discharged from prison. The growth in receptions is entirely due to an influx of prisoners on remand. Between June 2014 and March 2015, the number of adult remand receptions grew by 45.7 per cent.
The largest increases in the adult remand population over the last three months were for prisoners charged with fraud/deception (up 45.1%); abduction/harassment (up 27.2%); acts intended to case injury (up 26.5%); and robbery/extortion (up 15.4%).
Sentenced prisoners are likely to have been convicted of similar offences as those on remand, although a significant proportion of sentenced prisoners (14.5%) are serving sentences for justice procedure offences (e.g. breach of suspended sentence, breach of apprehended violence order).
The number of juveniles in custody also rose substantially between September 2014 and March 2015 (up 23% from 252 to 310). The increase was significantly higher for Indigenous juveniles (up 34.2%) than for non-Indigenous juveniles (up 14.4%).
Once again, the increase was due to a surge in the number of defendants placed on remand. The number of juveniles on remand rose by 72 per cent (from 93 to 160) between September 2014 and March 2015. Over this same period, the number of juveniles serving a sentence in custody fell slightly (down 5.1%).
Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn – 8346 1100
Copies of the report: www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au