Like many other countries, New Zealand forecasts prison population numbers annually. The forecast is a key instrument for strategic planning within the Justice Sector. It is used to plan prison capacity needed for the future.
In addition to setting out the forecast, this summary highlights two aspects of the 2006 forecast, in particular:
- the development of a new cross-sectoral approach to forecasting the prison population and an improved methodology for preparing the forecast; and
- a baseline forecast that incorporates the estimated impacts of Effective Interventions and 1250 additional Police staff agreed by Cabinet in 2006
Note: The full report of the Justice Sector 2006-2014: Prision Population Forecast is no longer available online. If you would like to access a copy please email the Ministry of Justice.
The 2006 Justice Sector Prison Population Forecast provides two scenarios.
The baseline forecast scenario projects a growth in the average monthly prison population numbers from 7656 in June 2006 to 9028 by June 2014. This is an increase of approximately 18.5% in the eight year period covered. This baseline incorporates the estimated combined impacts of Effective Interventions and 1250 additional Police staff approved by Cabinet in 2006.
The second scenario is drawn from the baseline but excludes the impact of Effective Interventions and 1250 additional Police staff; in this scenario the prison population would rise to 9578 by June 2014, a 25.1% increase in the eight years from June 2006.
The difference between these scenarios suggests the potential significance of Effective Interventions in reducing the rate of increase in the prison population in the forecast period.