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4512.0 - Corrective Services, Australia, Dec 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/03/2010   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


PERSONS IN CORRECTIVE SERVICES

Based on first day of the month averages, for the December quarter 2009, there were 86,282 persons under the authority of corrective services (excluding those in periodic detention). The total comprised 28,870 persons in full-time custody and 57,412 persons in community-based corrections. This represents an increase of 4% (3,111 persons) from the December quarter 2008. Over the same period, persons in full-time custody increased by 5% (1,505 persons) and persons in community-based corrections increased by 3% (1,606 persons).


Number of prisoners

During the December quarter 2009, the average daily number of full-time prisoners in Australia was 28,822 persons. This was an increase of less than 1% from the September quarter 2009, and of 6% on the December quarter 2008.

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



Number of 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, reparations (fine options and community service) and supervision orders (parole, bail, and sentenced probation). In the December quarter 2009, there were 57,412 persons in community-based corrections in Australia based on first day of the month averages, an increase of 1% (580 persons) from the September quarter 2009.

PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS, Average number on the first day of the month
Graph: PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS, Average number on the first day of the month



PERSONS IN CUSTODY

Rates per 100,000 adults

Nationally, the December quarter 2009 average daily imprisonment rate was 171 prisoners per 100,000 adult population, an increase of 3% from the December quarter 2008 (166 prisoners). The Northern Territory had the highest imprisonment rate (662 prisoners per 100,000 adult population), followed by Western Australia (280) and New South Wales (188).

The Australian Capital Territory and Victoria had the lowest imprisonment rates (65 and 107 prisoners per 100,000 adult population respectively).

Western Australia recorded the largest proportional increase in imprisonment rates from the December quarter 2008 (17%). The largest proportional decrease over the same period was recorded in the Tasmania (6%).

AVERAGE DAILY IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), By states and territories
Graph: Average daily imprisonment rate, by state and territory



Sex

Of the average daily number of full-time prisoners in Australia in the December quarter 2009, 26,702 (93%) were male and 2,120 (7%) were female. The average daily imprisonment rate for males was 321 prisoners per 100,000 adult male population; almost 13 times more than the rate for females (25 female prisoners per 100,000 adult female population).


Type of full-time custody

The average daily number of prisoners in secure prison custody in the December quarter 2009 was 21,885 (76% of prisoners in full-time custody). Open prison custody comprised 6,937 prisoners (24%).

Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia had the highest proportion of prisoners in secure custody of those in full-time custody (90%, 89% and 89% respectively), followed by Queensland (87%).


Legal status

The average number of prisoners in full-time custody on the first day of each month in the December quarter 2009 was 28,870, comprising an average of 22,443 (78%) sentenced and 6,427 (22%) unsentenced prisoners. Sentenced prisoners increased by 1% from the previous quarter and by 7% from the December quarter 2008.

Unsentenced prisoners decreased by 1% from the previous quarter and increased by 1% from the December quarter 2008. The Australian Capital Territory and South Australia had the highest proportions of unsentenced prisoners (41% and 34% respectively). The lowest proportions of unsentenced prisoners were recorded in Western Australia (15%), Tasmania and Victoria (both 20%).

PROPORTION OF UNSENTENCED PERSONS IN PRISON CUSTODY (a), Per month
Graph: Unsentenced persons in prison custody, proportion per month



Sentenced prisoner receptions

There were 7,614 sentenced prisoner receptions into full-time custody in Australia in the December quarter 2009; a decrease of 1% from the September quarter 2009, and an increase of less than 1% (15) from the December quarter 2008.


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 2009 there was an average daily number of 865 persons in New South Wales and 56 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 by 10% in the Australian Capital Territory from the September quarter 2009.


Federal prisoners

In the December quarter 2009, there were 761 federal sentenced prisoners in Australia based on first day of the month figures, an increase of 9% from the December quarter 2008. More than half (424) of the federal prisoners were sentenced in New South Wales.


Indigenous prisoners

The average daily number of full-time Indigenous adult prisoners in Australia in the December quarter 2009 was 7,458, comprising 6,815 (91%) males and 644 (9%) females. Indigenous prisoners represented 26% of the total full-time prisoner population in the December quarter 2009. The total Indigenous population aged 18 years and over at 30 June 2009 was 2% of the Australian population.

Over 77% of the total Indigenous prisoner population was located in New South Wales (2,256), Western Australia (1,949) and Queensland (1,568).

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 2009 was 2,338 per 100,000 adult Indigenous population, an increase of 1% from the previous quarter, and a 7% increase from the December quarter 2008.

The highest Indigenous imprisonment rate was recorded in Western Australia (4,438 Indigenous prisoners per 100,000 adult Indigenous population), followed by South Australia (2,602) and New South Wales (2,462). The lowest Indigenous imprisonment rate was recorded in Tasmania (551), followed by the Australian Capital Territory (880).

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


The largest proportional increase in the Indigenous imprisonment rate from the December quarter 2008 was recorded in Western Australia (14%), followed by New South Wales (6%). The Australian Capital Territory (14%) and Tasmania (9%) were the only states/territories to record a proportional decrease over the same period.

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 2009 was over 14 times higher (1,891 per 100,000 adult Indigenous population) than the rate for non-Indigenous persons (136 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, 2009 (cat.no.4517.0).


PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS

Rates per 100,000 adults

Nationally, the rate of persons in community-based corrections was 340 persons per 100,000 adult population for the December quarter 2009 based on first day of the month figures. This was an increase of less than 1% from the December quarter 2008 (339 persons per 100,000 adults). The largest increase from the December quarter 2008 was recorded in Tasmania (16%), while the largest decrease was recorded in Western Australia (5%).

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


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



Sex

Of the average number of persons in community-based corrections in Australia in the December quarter 2009, 46,768 (81%) were male and 10,571 (19%) were female.

In the December quarter 2009, the rate of community-based corrections for males was 562 per 100,000 adult male population compared to 124 females per 100,000 adult female population. The community-based corrections rate for males was almost five times that of females.


Type of orders

In the December quarter 2009, there were 12,415 persons on parole following a period of imprisonment, an increase of 2% from the September quarter 2009. Three states accounted for over 80% of persons serving parole orders: New South Wales (4,417 or 36%), Queensland (4,297 persons or 35%), and Victoria (1,521 or 12%). The largest proportional decrease in parole orders from the September quarter 2009 was recorded in Western Australia (19%).

For this same period, there were 34,709 persons under sentenced probation and 10,802 persons serving community service orders; an increase of less than 1% and 2% respectively from the September Quarter 2009.


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