NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly Update March 2019

Adult prison population plateaus while Juvenile detention number continue to fall

Full report - NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly update March 2019 (pdf 1.3mb)

Embargo: 10:30am, Friday, 3 May 2019


New figures released by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) suggest the long-term upward trend in the NSW adult prison population may be starting to stabilise. The NSW prison population has steadily increased over the past five years; rising from under 10,000 in 2013 to an all-time high of 13,651 in May 2018.  For the first time in many years, the number of people currently in custody is equivalent to that of a year ago.  Latest data shows that the adult prison population in March 2019 was 13,466 which is very similar to the 13,494 people in prison in March 2018. 

BOCSAR forecasts show that over the next 12 months the adult prison population is expected to show a modest increase of about a 100 prisoners.

In contrast, the number of juveniles in detention has steadily declined over the past five years and is lower in 2019 than at any time since 2013. In March 2019 there were 246 juveniles in detention; which is a significant decline from only a year before when there were 302 juvenile detainees (March 2018). 

Commenting on the findings Jackie Fitzgerald, Acting Executive Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR), welcomed the long-term reduction in juveniles in detention in NSW noting that the fall reflects the long-term decline in juvenile offending. 

Further enquiries: Jackie Fitzgerald  tel 02 8346 1100 mobile 0423139687
Copies of the report: www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au