4517.0 - Prisoners in Australia, 2017 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/12/2017   
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New South Wales

Snapshot at 30 June 2017

Graph Image for PRISONERS, New South Wales, 30 June 2007 to 30 June 2017

Source(s): Prisoners in Australia


  • The number of prisoners in New South Wales prisons was 13,149, an increase of 4% (520 prisoners) from 2016.
  • New South Wales had the largest prisoner population nationally, accounting for 32% of the total Australian adult population. (Table 15)
  • The adult imprisonment rate was 216 prisoners per 100,000 adult population, an increase from 211 prisoners per 100,000 adult population in 2016. (Table 19)
  • Just over half (52% or 6,804 prisoners) of prisoners had previously been imprisoned under sentence. (Table 14)
  • The most common offence/charge was Acts intended to cause injury (22% or 2,905 prisoners), followed by Illicit drug offences (18% or 2,340 prisoners) and Sexual assault (12% or 1,672 prisoners). (Table 16)

Sex
  • Males comprised 92% (12,145 prisoners) of the total prisoner population. (Table 14)
  • Since 30 June 2016, the male imprisonment rate increased from 398 to 406 prisoners per 100,000 male adult population, while the female imprisonment rate increased from 31 to 32 prisoners per 100,000 female adult population. (Table 15)

Age
  • The median age of adult prisoners was 35 years of age. (Table 14)

Country of Birth
  • Overseas born prisoners accounted for 21% (2,765 prisoners) of the New South Wales prisoner population, with the largest proportion from New Zealand and Vietnam (both 12% of overseas born prisoners, or 339 and 329 prisoners, respectively). (Table 22)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Prisoners
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders comprised 24% (3,197 prisoners) of the prisoner population. (Table 14)
  • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander age standardised imprisonment rate was 12 times more than the non-Indigenous age standardised imprisonment rate (2,066 prisoners per 100,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult population compared to 179 prisoners per 100,000 adult non-Indigenous population). (Table 18)

Legal Status
  • Unsentenced prisoners comprised 32% (4,269 prisoners) of the prisoner population. The proportion of prisoners who were unsentenced has increased from 22% over the past 10 years. (Tables 14 and 15)
  • The median time spent on remand by unsentenced prisoners was 4.2 months, which was the highest nationally. (Table 32)
  • The median aggregate sentence length of sentenced prisoners was 3.0 years. (Table 26)