Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research

NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly Update Sept 2018

Prison population showing signs of decline

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

Embargo: 10:30am, Monday 29 Oct 2018

New figures released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) show that the NSW prison population is starting to show signs of decline.

The number of adult prisoners in custody has steadily dropped over the last four months to 13,372, its lowest point in six months.

This drop has been driven by a recent decrease in the number of defendants remanded in custody (that is, prisoners awaiting trial or sentence), which decreased by 6.2 per cent since April 2018 (298 fewer remanded prisoners). The number of sentenced prisoners, by contrast, rose by 2.1 per cent over the last six months.

BOCSAR expects little growth in the imprisonment rate over the next 12 months. At the current low rate of growth the State's prison population is expected to reach 13,720 by September next year.

The number of juveniles in custody is continuing its downward trend. As at September 2018, there were 283 juveniles in custody. 

The number of juveniles in custody has now fallen from a peak of 405 detainees in June 2011, which equates to 122 fewer juveniles in detention. Current forecasts predict the number of juveniles in detention will continue to fall, expected to reach 250 by September next year.

Commenting on the findings, the Executive Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) said the slowing growth in adult prisoner numbers was an encouraging sign given the rapid build-up in prisoner numbers over the last few years.

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