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New Zealand's bulging prison population 'unprecedented'

The growth of the prison population is “unprecedented” and “unanticipated”, according to the Budget released on Thursday by Finance Minister Steven Joyce.

The system has a built-in buffer for the population but, on several occasions in recent months, the authorities have referred to the “unexpected” rise in the number of inmates.

In November, the population behind bars hit 10,000, dipped in December, then hit 10,200 in early 2017.

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