Herald wrong on prison population

The Herald reports:

New Zealand’s prison population continues to grow despite record-low crime rates and an ambitious Government strategy to cut reoffending.

The number of prisoners has grown steadily over the past 15 years at a rate well above New Zealand’s population growth.

Figures obtained under the Official Information Act show the National-led Government has slowed that trend, but the rate of imprisonment remains stubborn.

After a rare dip in the prison population in 2011/12, the total number of inmates rose again in the year to June 2013.

First of all, the latest stats are for September 2013 which has 8,474 prisoners compared to 8,597 in June. Not sure why one would not use the most recent stats. The stats are on the Corrections website – don’t need the OIA.

But even on June stats, the statement is wrong. June 2013 had 8,597 prisoners and June 2012 was 8,616. That is a small decrease, not a rise.

On the latest stats, we are 8,474 compared to 8,623 in Sep 2012.

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