New figures released
today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) show that the
NSW youth detention population fell by 15.1% in the last 12 months. That is a fall of 42 young people down to 237
people in September 2019.
The drop has been driven
largely by a decrease in the number of Aboriginal boys in detention which fell
22% from 124 in September 2018 to 97 in September 2019. While still unacceptably high, the proportion
of the youth detention population who are Aboriginal fell from 49% in September
2018 to 44% in September 2019.
The adult prison
population has remained relatively stable, growing by just 1% in the last 12
months. In September 2019 the NSW Prison
population stood at 13,522 people.
Commenting on the findings, Jackie
Fitzgerald, Acting Executive Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and
Research (BOCSAR) said the fall in the youth detention population was
encouraging. “The decline is consistent with the general reduction in youth
offending over the past decade. In the
last year there has also been a reduction in the proportion of young people
sentenced to custody.”