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Remand prisoners big driver of prisoner increase

06 July 2017

Statistics released by the Department of Corrections on the number of prisoners in New Zealand at the end of the March 2017 quarter show an increase of 8.2% from the March 2016 quarter.

While the number of sentenced prisoners grew by 5.3% there was a 16.1% increase in the number of remand prisoners.

The big increase in remand prisoners is shown more dramatically over the last five years, with an increase of 51.4% between 2012 and 2017, compared with a 5.2% increase in the number of sentenced prisoners. 

Remand prisoners made up 28.8% of all prisoners at the end of March 2017, compared to 22.0% at the end of March 2012.

Men made up 93% of all prisoners at the end of March 2017, and 50.9% of prisoners were Māori. The highest proportion of prisoners - 33% - were in the 20 to 29 year age group, and 37.6% of prisoners' most serious offence involved violence.

Prisoner Population, at end of quarter
MeasureMarch
2017
March
2016
ChangeMarch
2012

Change 2012
to 2017

Male remand prisoners2682230516.4%180049.0%
Male sentenced prisoners665163484.8%63874.1%
Total male prisoners933386537.9%818714.0%
Female remand prisoners21018712.3%11090.9%
Female sentenced prisoners49243313.6%40122.7%
Total female prisoners70262013.2%51137.4%
All remand prisoners2892249216.1%191051.4%
All sentenced prisoners714367815.3%67885.2%
Total prisoners1003592738.2%869815.4%

Other information on prisoners, end of quarter
MeasureMar-17Mar-16Mar-12
Ethnicity
Māori50.9%51.0%51.3%
European32.0%32.4%32.7%
Pacific11.0%11.2%11.5%
Other (incl Asian)4.7%4.4%3.9%
Unknown1.4%1.0%0.6%
Most serious offence
Vioence37.6%37.2%40.5%
Dishonesty20.3%17.1%18.4%
Sexual offences20.0%25.6%21.1%
Drugs & anti-social13.0%12.9%11.2%
Traffic3.6%3.3%4.9%
Administrative1.6%1.1%0.9%
Other3.9%2.9%2.9%
Age group
Under 203.4%NA*NA*
20 to 2414.3%NANA
25 to 2918.7%NANA
30 to 3928.8%NANA
40 to 4919.8%NANA
50 to 5910.0%NANA
60 and over5.0%NANA


*Information is provided as a bar graph and the exact percentage is not given.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019