How Much Melbourne's Prison Population Explosion Is Costing
Victoria's prison population has grown by 67 per cent since 2005, with one in three detainees behind bars without conviction, a report reveals.
Analysis by the Sentencing Advisory Council of the state's prison numbers found the jump in prisoners is largely due to an increase in people being refused bail, particularly for violent offences.
The Council's Victoria's Prison Population 2005 to 2016 report also found the types of offences people were typically going to jail for had changed.
In 2004-05, property offences were the most common crimes attracting a stint in jail.
In 2014-15, more offenders were imprisoned for offences against another person.
According to reports, in 2013 the Victorian government began introducing thorough changes to parole and bail laws after the murder of Jill Meagher by Adrian Bayley, who was on parole at the time.
Sentencing Advisory Council chairman Arie Freiberg said courts were increasingly "risk adverse" about releasing people on bail, which was driving up the number of prisoners remanded in jail.
According to The Age, Victoria's preoccupation with prison is a costly one, too: it costs $297 per day to lock up each prisoner (compared with the Australian average cost of $224), and the state's prison budget is forecast to reach $1.1 billion next year.