NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly Update September 2017

NSW adult prison population growth slowing 

Full report - NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly update September 2017  (pdf 1.3mb)

Embargo: 11:30am, Monday 30 October 2017


The NSW prison population reached 13,017 in September this year, not counting prisoners held in police cells.

The growth in the State's prison population is slowing (see graph over page). The growth over the 12 months to September was just 3.0 per cent. This compares with 6.2% over the same 12 month period the year before and 13.7% over the year before that.

Even at the current (low) rate of growth, however, the State's prison population is still expected to reach 13,500 by September next year.

The majority of the increase in inmate numbers over the last 12 months has come from sentenced prisoners, the number of whom rose by 332 (3.9%) over the last 12 months. The number of remand prisoners rose slightly, by 44 (1.1%) over the last 12 months.

The number of Indigenous prisoners grew by 45 (1.5%) over the last 12 months, bringing the total number of Indigenous prisoners in NSW prisons in September this year to 3,090 (i.e. 24% of the total NSW prison population).

On average over the last 12 months, 1,556 prisoners were received into custody and 1,525 were released back into the community


The number of juveniles in custody increased by 13.4%  (up 34, from 254 in September last year to 288 in September this year).  Even so, the number of juveniles in custody is still well below the peak of 405 detainees in June 2011.


Commenting on the findings, the director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) said that the growth in adult prisoners in NSW over the last few years was partly due to a rise in crime (drug trafficking), partly due to tougher policing and partly due to the tougher sentencing by the courts.

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn 02 8346 1100

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