New South Wales’ prison population has soared.
Between late September 2012 and late March 2014, it rose by 13%, reaching a record high in March this year of 10,917.
And the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has released a report that says it could get worse.
If the current trend continues, the prison population will grow to 12,500 by 2015, an increase of 17%.
The bureau says two things caused this rise: higher arrest rates and tougher penalties.
From the report:
The NSW prison population has undergone some remarkable changes in the last 13 years. Between mid-2001 and mid-2009 it increased by 34%. Over the next 3 years it then fell by 8%, reaching a temporary low of 9,600 inmates. The relief provided to correctional administrators by this fall in inmate numbers, however, turned out to be short-lived. Between late September 2012 and late March 2014, the prison population reversed course and rose by 13%, reaching a record high in March this year of 10,917.
The report also says the marginal costs of each additional prisoner over the period from September 2013 to the present was approximately $119 per day.
Here’s a chart released by the agency which demonstrates the rapid increase.
There’s been a significant increase in arrests for certain crimes over the past year and a subsequent increase in the number given a prison sentence.
These crimes, according to the bureau, include obtaining a benefit by deception, driving while licence is disqualified or suspended, burglary/break and enter, serious assault resulting in injury and dealing and trafficking in illicit drugs.
There’s also been an increase in the number of people jailed for aggravated sexual assault.
You can read the full report released by the bureau here.
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