Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research

Number of people on remand awaiting trial in NSW hits record high   

Link to Report Summary: 

Release date: Thursday 8 February 2024  

New figures released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) show the number of adults on remand in NSW reached the highest point on record in December 2023 at 5055 people.  Remandees are unsentenced and are in custody waiting for their court matter to be finalised. 

In contrast, the overall prison population is at its lowest point since late 2015. In December 2023 there were 12,091 adults in custody which is 1544 fewer than four years previous (down 11% since December 2019).  These changes are due to an increase in remandees alongside a larger fall in sentenced prisoners. In the four years to December 2023, the number of adults on remand increased by 416 people (up 9%) while the number of sentenced prisoners fell by 1960 people (down 22%).  

Commenting on the findings, BOCSAR Executive Director, Jackie Fitzgerald, said “More people than ever are in prison waiting for their day in court and accordingly, remandees now make up a greater proportion of the prison population than ever before. In December 2023, 42% of adults in prison were on remand, up from 34% in December 2019. On average people are currently spending an average of 90 days on remand.” 

The main offences driving the increase in the adult remand population are:  

  • domestic violence assault (up 201 or 33.2%)  
  • sexual offences (up 144 or 24.9%)  
  • non-domestic assault (up 71 or 10.6%)  
  • intimidation/stalking (up 62 or 29.8%) 
  • weapons offences (up 50 or 46.3%) 

Further enquiries:  Jackie Fitzgerald, Executive Director, 0423 139 687   

Email: bcsr@justice.nsw.gov.au    

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