Frequently asked questions

The following frequently asked questions relate to the Offender Population Report published by the Department. If you have a question that isn't answered below, contact us.

How often will the Offender Population Report be published?

The Offender Population Volumes Report will be a biennial publication (every two years), and posted on the Department’s website.

Is a print version available?

No, we provide electronic material via the internet, including as a PDF file that can be downloaded and printed.

What does the Offender Population Report record?

The Offender Population Report presents information about volume patterns of offenders managed by the New Zealand Department of Corrections. Data is provided by age, gender, ethnicity, offence group, and sentence type, and shows how volumes have changed over the last three decades. It demonstrates the impacts of changes in offending, and justice sector policies, on the offender population managed by the Department.

The three earlier reports in the series (2007 to 2011) reported financial-year figures (ie to year ending June 30). The 2013 report changes to calendar year reporting (ie ending 31 December 2013).

Can I get access to the raw numbers that underlie the graphs?

From mid-2014, the data sets used to produce the graphs in the Reports will be available via NZ.Stat, a service of Statistics New Zealand

Why do the numbers seem different to those reported in other places?

The Offender Population Report is ‘offender-centric’, which means that the reports count an offender only once on any single day. The Offender Population Report uses a one-day/one-status approach to counting offenders, which is not always used in other justice sector reporting. Other reports use approaches whereby offenders may be counted multiple times due to being managed concurrently under more than one sentence or order.

Why is there no data on bail or convictions or fines?

Offenders dealt with by way of court bail, fines and other lower-level sentences are not managed by the Department of Corrections. Statistical information on these sanctions can be found on the Ministry of Justice website, or the website of Statistics New Zealand.