New Zealand Law Society - Big jump in number of people on remand

Big jump in number of people on remand

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The number of prisoners on remand has doubled in just 10 years.

Department of Corrections figures show that there were 3,592 people on remand at 31 December 2019. Of those, 270 are women.

That compares to a total of 1,729 at the same time period in 2009. Then, just 105 women were on remand. In December 2014 there were 1,865 people on remand.

The figures also show that 884 people are being held on remand at Mt Eden Corrections Facility in Auckland, but 10 years ago there were just 249 at the facility.

A recent Stuff report, says the department has had to fly in guards from around the country to open a new unit at Mt Eden to deal with the increase.

The December 2019 statistics also show that:

  • The total prison population stands at 9,857 – in 2009 it was 8,244.
  • The number of women prisoners totals 666 - compared to 493 in 2009.
  • The ethnic breakdown shows Māori are the biggest group in prison making up 51.8% of the prison population – a slight increase from 50.8% a decade ago.
  • The biggest group by age are those aged in their 30s – 32.3% followed by those in their 20s (29.5%).
  • Violence remains the main reason people end up inside - at 39.7% of all crimes.
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