Prison population showing signs of decline

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New figures released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) show that the NSW prison population is continuing to show signs of decline. In December 2018 the NSW prison adult population stood at 13,165.

This drop has been driven by a recent decrease in the number of sentenced prisoners, which decreased 6 per cent since its peak in June 2018 (i.e. 549 fewer sentenced prisoners). The number of defendants remanded in custody in 2018 (that is, prisoners awaiting trial or sentence) first rose to 4,807 in March before falling to 4,586 in December 2018 (a net increase of 3.1%).
Over the next 12 months the male prison population is forecast to reach a peak of 12,548 in June 2019 before declining to 12,362 in December 2019. The female prison population is forecast to rise to 972 in May 2019 before declining to 943 in December 2019.

The juvenile custody population was slightly lower in December 2018 than in December 2017, with very little change in the course of the 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.

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