The NSW prison population reached 13,017 in September this year, not counting prisoners held in police cells. The growth in the State's prison population is slowing (see graph over page). The growth over the 12 months to September was just 3.0 per cent. This compares with 6.2% over the same 12 month period the year before and 13.7% over the year before that. Even at the current (low) rate of growth, however, the State's prison population is still expected to reach 13,500 by September next year.