Between September 2012 and March 2014 the NSW prison population rose by 13%, reaching a record high in March this year of 10,917. If the current trend in inmate numbers continues, the NSW prison population will likely rise by another 17% (about 12,500 inmates) by March 2015.
The increase in the prisoner numbers is due to two factors: higher arrest rates and tougher penalties. This is the conclusion of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research in a new report 'Why is the NSW prison population growing?' See the media release for a summary of the findings of this report by Don Weatherburn, Wai-Yin Wan and Simon Corben (Issue paper No 95, April 2014).
The Attorney General is hailing this as a mark of success in making the community safer. See his media statement 'Community safe as arrests and imprisonment rise', 15 May 2014.
More about prisons and prisoners
For further information you can look at the following resources:
- NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research – scroll down the alphabetic list to 'prison'
- Australian Institute of Criminology – imprisonment and detention
- Find Legal Answers - prisoners
- Magazine articles: Use Informit Online - Law if you have a Library card for the State Library. Type in 'prison' or 'imprisonment' and select full text
- Case study on new style of prison for Indigenous offenders: See Law Report, 20 May 2014.