NSW youth detention at historic low

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Measures adopted to reduce the NSW prison population during the COVID-19 pandemic have seen the number of youths locked up drop to a record low.

Latest figures released by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research show the NSW prison population remained steady in the three months to September after falling sharply between March and May.

In September there were 12,701 adults in custody - a six per cent reduction or 821 fewer prisoners than a year ago.

The state's youth detention population has dropped to a historic low with 190 young people in custody, a 19 per cent drop, or 45 fewer young people, compared to last September.

Measures implemented in March by the Department of Communities and Justice in response to the pandemic led to a large drop in the prison population.

The measures included: releasing more prisoners from remand to wait for their court case in the community, reducing the rate at which people charged were jailed on remand and a reduction in people sentenced to prison as court appearances were deferred.

In the third quarter of 2020 the prison population remained steady from that drop.