4512.0 - Corrective Services, Australia, Dec 2007 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/03/2008   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


PERSONS IN CORRECTIVE SERVICES

Based on first day of the month averages, for the December quarter 2007 there were 80,265 persons under the authority of corrective services (excluding those in periodic detention). The total comprised 26,442 persons in full-time custody and 53,823 persons in community-based corrections. This represents an increase of 4% (2,775 persons) from the December quarter 2006. From the December quarter 2006, persons in full-time custody increased by 2% (642 persons) and persons in community-based corrections increased by 4% (2,133 persons).


PERSONS IN CUSTODY

Number of prisoners

PERSONS IN PRISON CUSTODY, Average daily number per month
Graph: Persons in prison custody, average daily number per month


The average daily number of full-time prisoners in Australia in the December quarter 2007 was 26,372. This was a decrease of less than 1% on the September quarter 2007, and an increase of 2% from the December quarter 2006.


Rates per 100,000 adults
AVERAGE DAILY IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), By State and Territory
Graph: Average daily imprisonment rate, by state and territory


Nationally, the December quarter 2007 average daily imprisonment rate was 163 prisoners per 100,000 adult population, an increase of less than 1% from the December quarter 2006 (163 prisoners). The Northern Territory had the highest imprisonment rate (550 prisoners per 100,000 adult population), followed by Western Australia (241) and New South Wales (179).

The Australian Capital Territory (including Australian Capital Territory prisoners held in New South Wales prisons) and Victoria had the lowest imprisonment rates (67 and 105 prisoners per 100,000 adults respectively).

The largest proportional increase in imprisonment rates from the December quarter 2006 was recorded in South Australia (8%). The largest proportional decrease over the same period was recorded in Queensland (7%).


Sex

Of the average daily number of full-time prisoners in Australia in the December quarter 2007, 24,480 (93%) were male and 1,892 (7%) were female. The average daily imprisonment rate for males was 308 prisoners per 100,000 adult male population, while for females it was 23 prisoners per 100,000 adult female population. Males were more than 13 times more likely to be in prison than females.


Indigenous Prisoners

The average daily number of full-time Indigenous adult prisoners in Australia in the December quarter 2007 was 6,391, comprising 5,820 (91%) males and 571 (9%) females. Almost 80% of the total Indigenous prisoner population was located in New South Wales (1,982), Western Australia (1,616) and Queensland (1,409).

AVERAGE DAILY INDIGENOUS IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), Per month
Graph: Average Daily Indigenous imprisonment rate, per month


The national average daily Indigenous imprisonment rate in the December quarter 2007 was 2,174 per 100,000 adult Indigenous population, a decrease of 1% from the previous quarter and an increase of 1% from the December quarter 2006.

The highest Indigenous imprisonment rate was recorded in Western Australia (3,801 Indigenous prisoners per 100,000 adult Indigenous population), followed by New South Wales (2,363).

AVERAGE DAILY INDIGENOUS IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), By State and Territory
Graph: Average Daily Indigenous imprisonment rate, by state and territory


The largest proportional increase in the Indigenous imprisonment rate from the December quarter 2006 was recorded in South Australia (19%).

Different age profiles of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous population can affect the imprisonment rate numbers. The quarterly collection is unable to take age into account; however, data from the Prisoner Census collection can provide this level of detail.

The national age standardised Indigenous imprisonment rate from the annual Prisoner Census conducted at June 2007 was over 13 times higher (1,787 per 100,000 adult Indigenous population) than the rate for non-Indigenous persons (134 per 100,000 adult non-Indigenous population). Further information on the comparison of imprisonment rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations can be found in Prisoners in Australia 2007 (cat.no.4517.0).


Type of full-time custody

The average daily number of prisoners in secure prison custody in the December quarter 2007 was 20,027 (76% of prisoners in full-time custody). Open prison custody comprised 6,346 (24%) prisoners.

In the December quarter 2007, all prisoners held in full-time custody in the Australian Capital Territory were in secure custody. Of the other states and territories, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania had the highest proportion of prisoners in secure custody (90%, 89% and 89% respectively). New South Wales (including Australian Capital Territory prisoners held in New South Wales prisons) had the lowest proportion of prisoners in secure full-time custody (61%).


Legal status

The average number of prisoners in full-time custody on the first day of each month in the December quarter 2007 was 26,442, comprising an average of 20,338 (77%) sentenced and 6,105 (23%) unsentenced prisoners. Sentenced prisoners increased by less than 1% from the previous quarter and increased by 2% from the December quarter 2006. The average number of unsentenced prisoners on the first day of the month decreased by less than 1% from the previous quarter and increased by 5% from the December quarter 2006. The Australian Capital Territory (including Australian Capital Territory prisoners held in New South Wales prisons) and South Australia had the highest proportions of unsentenced prisoners (42% and 33% respectively). The lowest proportions of unsentenced prisoners were recorded in Western Australia and Victoria (17% and 19% respectively).

UNSENTENCED PERSONS IN PRISON CUSTODY, Proportion per month
Graph: Unsentenced persons in prison custody, proportion per month



Sentenced Prisoner Receptions

There were 7,025 sentenced prisoner receptions into full-time custody in Australia in the December quarter 2007. The number of sentenced receptions increased by 149 (2%) from the September quarter 2007, and increased by 686 (11%) from the December quarter 2006.


Periodic detention

Periodic detention is a form of custody or order where a sentenced prisoner is required to be held in custody on a part-time basis. This type of custody order is only used in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. During the December quarter 2007 there was an average daily number of 775 persons in New South Wales and 54 persons in the Australian Capital Territory held in periodic detention. The rate of imprisonment for periodic detainees increased by 4% in New South Wales, and decreased by 20% in the Australian Capital Territory from the September quarter 2007 to the December quarter 2007.


Federal prisoners

In the December quarter 2007, there were 695 federal prisoners in Australia, an increase of 43 (7%) from the December quarter 2006. More than half (409) of these federal prisoners were sentenced in New South Wales.


PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS

Community-based corrections orders are non-custodial orders served under the authority of adult corrective services agencies and include restricted movement, fine option, community service, parole, bail, and sentenced probation. Unless otherwise specified figures are based on first day of the month. In the December quarter 2007, there were 53,823 persons in community-based corrections in Australia, an increase of 2% (907 persons) from the September quarter 2007 and an increase of 4% (2,133 persons) from the December quarter 2006.


Sex

Of the average number of persons in community-based corrections in Australia in the December quarter 2007, 43,896 (82%) were male and 9,844 (18%) were female.


Rates per 100,000 adults

Nationally, the rate of persons in community-based corrections was 334 persons per 100,000 adult population for the December quarter 2007. This was an increase of 2% from the December quarter 2006 (327 persons per 100,000 adults). The largest increase from the December quarter 2006 was recorded in Victoria (8%). The largest decreases were recorded in Tasmania (10%) and the Northern Territory (8%).

COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS RATE(a), Per month
Graph: Community-based corrections rate, per month


COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS RATE(a), By State and Territory
Graph: Community-based corrections rate, by state and territory


In the December quarter 2007, the rate of community-based corrections for males was 552 per 100,000 adult male population compared to 120 females per 100,000 adult female population. Males were almost five times more likely to be in community-based corrections than females.


Type of orders

In the December quarter 2007, there were 10,958 persons serving parole orders following a period of imprisonment, an increase of 7% from the September quarter 2007. More than three quarters (79%) of persons serving parole orders were located in three states: New South Wales (4,160 persons), Queensland (3,058) and Victoria (1,404). The largest proportional increase in parole orders from the September quarter 2007 was recorded in Queensland (20%), followed by Western Australia (10%).

For this same period, there were 33,049 persons under sentenced probation and 9,907 persons serving community service orders.