25 September 2023

Prison population settles down

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The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) has released new statistics showing that the long-term trend of continuous growth in the NSW adult prison population may be starting to even out.

The Bureau’s latest data has the adult prison population in March this year at 13,466, slightly lower than the 13,494 people in prison in March 2018.

“For the first time in many years, the number of people currently in custody is equivalent to that of a year ago,” BOCSAR said.

Acting Executive Director of BOCSAR, Jackie Fitzgerald said its forecasts indicated that over the next 12 months the adult prison population would show a modest increase of about 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,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

“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.”

She welcomed the long-term reduction in juveniles in detention in NSW noting that the fall reflected the long-term decline in juvenile offending.

BOCSAR’s 44-page report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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