4512.0 - Corrective Services, Australia, December Quarter 2012 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/03/2013   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


PERSONS IN CORRECTIVE SERVICES

Based on first day of the month averages, for the December quarter 2012 there were 29,788 persons in full-time custody and 54,132 persons in community-based corrections. This comprises an increase of 600 persons (2%) in full-time custody from the December quarter 2011, and a decrease of 479 persons (1%) in community-based corrections for the same period.


Number of prisoners

During the December quarter 2012, the average daily number of full-time prisoners in Australia was 29,821 persons. This was an increase of 436 persons (1%) from the September quarter 2012.

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 2012, there were 54,132 persons in community-based corrections in Australia based on first day of the month averages, a decrease of 379 persons (1%) from the September quarter 2012.

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 2012 average daily imprisonment rate was 169 prisoners per 100,000 adult population, an increase of 2% from the December quarter 2011. The Northern Territory had the highest imprisonment rate (843 prisoners per 100,000 adult population), followed by Western Australia (263) and New South Wales (172).

The Australian Capital Territory and Victoria had the lowest imprisonment rates (91 and 115 prisoners per 100,000 adult population respectively).

The Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory recorded the largest proportional increases in imprisonment rates from the December quarter 2011 (9% and 6% respectively). The only proportional decrease over the same period was recorded in Tasmania (8%).

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



Sex

The average daily number of full-time prisoners in Australia in the December quarter 2012 was 29,821, comprising 27,601 (93%) males and 2,220 (7%) females. This represents an increase in the average daily number of males in custody of 2% (547) and females 10% (199) from the December quarter 2011. The average daily imprisonment rate for males was 318 prisoners per 100,000 adult male population; more than 12 times 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 2012 was 23,312 (78% of prisoners in full-time custody). Open prison custody comprised 6,508 prisoners (22%).

Following Tasmania, which does not have any open security prisons, the Australian Capital Territory had the highest proportion of prisoners in secure custody (96%), followed by Queensland (92%) and South Australia (90%).


Legal status

The average number of prisoners in full-time custody on the first day of each month in the December quarter 2012 was 29,788, comprising an average of 22,741 (76%) sentenced and 7,046 (24%) unsentenced prisoners. Sentenced prisoners increased by 1% from both the previous quarter and from the December quarter 2011.

Unsentenced prisoners increased by 1% (85) from the September quarter 2012 and increased by 4% (280) from the December quarter 2011. The Australian Capital Territory and South Australia had the highest proportions of unsentenced prisoners (33% and 32% respectively). The lowest proportions of unsentenced prisoners were recorded in Tasmania (19%), Western Australia 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 8,708 sentenced prisoner receptions into full-time custody in Australia in the December quarter 2012; an increase of 4% (370) from the September quarter 2012 and an increase of 7% (602) from the December quarter 2011.


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 currently only used in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. This sentencing option has been discontinued in New South Wales from October 2010, but some prisoners are still undertaking pre-existing sentences.

During the December quarter 2012 there was an average daily number of 13 persons in New South Wales and 67 persons in the Australian Capital Territory held in periodic detention. The rate of imprisonment for periodic detainees decreased by 33% in New South Wales from the September quarter 2012 (from 0.3 to 0.2 per 100,000 adult population), and increased by 8% in the Australian Capital Territory (from 21 to 23 per 100,000 adult population).


Federal prisoners

In the December quarter 2012, there were 967 federal sentenced prisoners in Australia based on first day of the month figures, an increase of 2% from the December quarter 2011 and an increase of 1% from the September quarter 2012. Just under half (468) of the federal prisoners were sentenced in New South Wales.

The two states with the largest increase in numbers over the twelve months to the December quarter 2012 were New South Wales 35 persons (8%) and Victoria 9 persons (7%). The largest decrease in numbers over the same period was recorded in Western Australia (33 persons or 17%).


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners

The average daily number of full-time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult prisoners in Australia in the December quarter 2012 was 8,115, comprising 7,369 (91%) males and 747 (9%) females. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males in custody increased 5% (371 persons) and females 20% (126 persons) from the December quarter 2011. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners represented 27% of the total full-time prisoner population in the December quarter 2012, the same proportion as for the September quarter 2012. The total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population aged 18 years and over at 30 June 2011 was 2% of the Australian population.

Three states accounted for approximately 73% of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoner population: New South Wales (2,208), Western Australia (1,975) and Queensland (1,761).

The national average daily Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate in the December quarter 2012 was 2,316 per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, an increase of 3% from both the previous quarter and from the December quarter 2011.

AVERAGE DAILY ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), Per month
Graph: Average Daily Indigenous imprisonment rate, per month


The imprisonment rate for males increased from the December quarter 2011 by 2% to 4,296 per 100,000 adult male Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. The imprisonment rate for females increased 17% to 418 females per 100,000 adult female Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population over the same period. The imprisonment rate for males is more than 10 times the rate for females.

Different age profiles of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous population can affect imprisonment rate numbers. While this quarterly statistical collection is unable to take age into account, data from the Prisoner Census collection can provide this level of detail.

The national age standardised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate from the annual Prisoner Census conducted at June 2012 was 15 times higher (1,914 per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population) than the rate for non-Indigenous persons (129 per 100,000 adult non-Indigenous population). Further information on the comparison of imprisonment rates between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous populations can be found in Prisoners in Australia, 2012 (cat. no. 4517.0).

The highest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate for the December quarter 2012 was recorded in Western Australia (4,126 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population), followed by the Northern Territory (2,794) and South Australia (2,534). The lowest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate was recorded in Tasmania (624), followed by the Australian Capital Territory (1,518).

AVERAGE DAILY ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), By states and territories
Graph: Average Daily Indigenous imprisonment rate, by state and territory


The largest proportional increase in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate from the December quarter 2011 was recorded in the Australian Capital Territory (25%), followed by Victoria (15%). The largest proportional decreases over the same period were recorded in South Australia (5%), New South Wales and Tasmania (both 1%).

Of the full-time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoner population 77% (6,190) were sentenced and 23% (1,900) unsentenced in the December quarter 2012. Unsentenced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners increased 1% (24) from the September quarter 2012, and increased 5% (98) from the December quarter 2011. Sentenced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners increased 3% (160) from the September quarter 2012, and 7% (387) from the December quarter 2011.


PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS

Rates per 100,000 adults

Nationally, the rate of persons in community-based corrections was 307 persons per 100,000 adult population for the December quarter 2012 based on first day of the month figures. This was a decrease of 1% from the December quarter 2011 (311 persons per 100,000 adults). The largest decreases from the December quarter 2011 were recorded in Western Australia (10%) and the Australian Capital Territory (9%), whilst the largest increases were recorded in Tasmania (6%) and the Northern Territory (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

Based on first day of the month averages, there were 54,132 persons in community-based corrections in Australia in the December quarter 2012, of these 44,421 (82%) were male and 9,676 (18%) were female.

In the December quarter 2012, the rate of community-based corrections for males was 512 per 100,000 adult male population compared to 108 females per 100,000 adult female population. The community-based corrections rate for males was more than four times that of females.


Type of orders

In the December quarter 2012 there were 8,211 persons serving community service orders, a decrease of 677 persons (8%) from the December quarter 2011. The largest decreases in numbers over this period were recorded in Queensland (269 persons or 14%), New South Wales (219 persons or 8%) and South Australia (141 persons or 13%). The largest increase was recorded in Tasmania (142 persons or 13%).

There were 12,689 persons on parole in the December quarter 2012, an increase of 362 persons (3%) from the December quarter 2011. The largest increases in numbers over this period were recorded in Queensland (182 persons or 4%), New South Wales (87 persons or 2%) and Western Australia (65 persons or 16%). Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria accounted for approximately 87% of persons serving parole orders. The only decrease in parole orders from the December quarter 2011 was recorded in South Australia (73 persons or 8%).


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in community-based corrections

Based on first day of the month averages, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in community-based corrections for the December quarter was 10,886; a decrease of 1% (82 persons) from the previous quarter. The largest proportional increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in community-based corrections from the September quarter was recorded in Victoria (3% or 16 persons) followed by Western Australia (1% or 19 persons). The largest proportional decreases were in South Australia (4% or 39 persons) and Tasmania (4% and 12 persons). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders represented 20% of the total number of persons in community-based corrections in the December quarter 2012.

Approximately 75% of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-based corrections population was located in three states: New South Wales (3,437), Queensland (3,311) and Western Australia (1,417).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Community-Based Corrections, Number on first day of month
Graph: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Community-Based Corrections, Number on first day of month


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, proportion of persons in Community-Based Corrections (a), Per month

Graph: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, proportion of persons in Community-Based Corrections (a), Per month