​NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly Update March 2018

NSW adult prison population growth continues

Full report - NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly update March 2018  (pdf 1.3mb)

Embargo: 10:30am, Monday 30 April 2018


New figures released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) show that the NSW prison population grew by 4.2 per cent in the last 12 months. That is an increase of 539 prisoners. As of March this year, the prison population stood at 13,494.

Most of the growth came from an increase in the number of defendants remanded in custody, which increased by 338 in the last 12 months. The number of sentenced prisoners increased by 201 (2.4%); from 8,486 to 8,687.

The adult remand population is dominated by prisoners charged with offences involving acts intended to cause injury (e.g. assault) and drug offences. Defendants charged with these offences account for more than half the remand population.

The sentenced prisoner population is dominated by offenders convicted of acts intended to cause injury, sexual offences, drug offences and justice procedure offences (e.g. breaching a suspended sentence). Offenders convicted of these offences account for more than half the sentenced prisoner population.

BOCSAR expects the NSW prison population to continue increasing over the next year: with the number of prisoners (including those held in police cells) expected to reach 13,930 by March 2019.

The number of juveniles in detention remained fairly steady over the previous 12 months fluctuating between 268 and 308. Most juveniles (both on remand and among those given a custodial penalty) have been charged with or convicted of robbery, break and enter or a justice procedure offences.

Commenting on the findings the Executive Director of BOCSAR, Dr Don Weatherburn, said that the one of the more troubling features of the growth in NSW prisoner numbers was the rapid growth over the first three months of this year.

“More than 500 prisoners were added to the prison population between January and March this year. This is more than usual and comes after a year of relative stability in inmate numbers.”

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn 02 8346 1100
Copies of the report: www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au