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​NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly Update December 2015

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

Embargo: 9.00AM, Friday, 29 January 2016


The NSW adult prison population grew by 12 per cent between January 2015 and December 2015, reaching a new record high in December of 12,121. This brings the total increase in the NSW adult prison population over the last two years to 17 per cent.

The non-Indigenous prison population has increased faster than the Indigenous population, rising by 12 per cent over the last year and 18 per cent over the last two years (compared with 8 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively, for the Indigenous prison population).

Over the last 12 months the remand population increased by 17 per cent while the sentenced prisoner populations increased by 9 per cent.

Receptions of prisoners on remand and receptions of sentenced prisoners both increased over the last 12 months; the former by five per cent and the latter by seven per cent. The length of time spent by remand and sentenced prisoners in custody also increased.


In contrast to the adult prisoner population, over the last 12 months the number of juveniles in custody fell by 6 per cent. As at December 2015, there were 280 juveniles in custody; well down from the peak of 405 juveniles in custody back in June 2011.

Commenting on the findings, the Director of BOCSAR said the rapid growth in prisoner numbers which started around November 2014 shows no sign of easing off.

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

“The Bureau is in the process of analysing the cause of the rapid growth in prisoner numbers and will report the results of its analysis late next month.”

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn – 8346 1100

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