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4512.0 - Corrective Services, Australia, Mar 2011  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/06/2011   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


PERSONS IN CORRECTIVE SERVICES

Based on first day of the month averages, for the March quarter 2011, there were 83,161 persons under the authority of corrective services (excluding those in periodic detention). The total comprised 28,404 persons in full-time custody and 54,757 persons in community-based corrections. This represents a decrease of 3% (2,413 persons) from the March quarter 2010. Over the same period, persons in full-time custody decreased by 2% (448 persons) and persons in community-based corrections decreased by 3% (1,965 persons).


Number of prisoners

During the March quarter 2011, the average daily number of full-time prisoners in Australia was 28,523 persons. This was an decrease of 2% from the December quarter 2010.

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 March quarter 2011, there were 54,757 persons in community-based corrections in Australia based on first day of the month averages, a decrease of 2% (1,050 persons) from the December quarter 2010.

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 March quarter 2011 average daily imprisonment rate was 165 prisoners per 100,000 adult population, a decrease of 4% from the March quarter 2010. The Northern Territory had the highest imprisonment rate (719 prisoners per 100,000 adult population), followed by Western Australia (262) and New South Wales (179).

The Australian Capital Territory and Victoria had the lowest imprisonment rates (83 and 105 prisoners per 100,000 adult population respectively).

The Australian Capital Territory recorded the largest proportional increase in imprisonment rates from the March quarter 2010 (18%). The largest proportional decrease over the same period was recorded in Western Australia (7%).

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 March quarter 2010, 26,503 (93%) were male and 2,020 (7%) were female. The average daily imprisonment rate for males was 310 prisoners per 100,000 adult male population; 13 times more than the rate for females (23 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 March quarter 2011 was 22,311 (78% of prisoners in full-time custody). Open prison custody comprised 6,213 prisoners (22%).

All prisoners in the Australian Capital Territory are in secure prison custody. Queensland had the next highest proportions of prisoners in secure custody (91%), followed by Tasmania (90%); Victoria and South Australia (both 89%).


Legal status

The average number of prisoners in full-time custody on the first day of each month in the March quarter 2011 was 28,404, comprising an average of 21,673 (76%) sentenced and 6,730 (24%) unsentenced prisoners. Sentenced prisoners decreased by 3% from both the previous quarter and from the March quarter 2010.

Unsentenced prisoners increased by 6% from the previous quarter and by 3% from the March quarter 2010. The Australian Capital Territory and South Australia had the highest proportions of unsentenced prisoners (40% and 34% respectively). The lowest proportions of unsentenced prisoners were recorded in Western Australia (18%), Victoria and Tasmania (both 19%).

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



Sentenced prisoner receptions

There were 7,298 sentenced prisoner receptions into full-time custody in Australia in the March quarter 2011; a decrease of 2% (131) from the December quarter 2010 and a decrease of 1% (89) from the March quarter 2010.


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 program has ceased in New South Wales from October 2010, but some prisoners are still undertaknig pre-existing sentences.

During the March quarter 2011 there was an average daily number of 289 persons in New South Wales and 61 persons in the Australian Capital Territory held in periodic detention. The rate of imprisonment for periodic detainees decreased by 39% in New South Wales (from8.5 per 100,000 to 5.2 per 100,000) from the December quarter 2010, and increased by 13% in the Australian Capital Territory (from 19.2 per 100,000 to 21.7 per 100,000).


Federal prisoners

In the March quarter 2011, there were 841 federal sentenced prisoners in Australia based on first day of the month figures, an increase of 10% from the March quarter 2010. Just under half (411) of the federal prisoners were sentenced in New South Wales.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners

The average daily number of full-time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult prisoners in Australia in the March quarter 2011 was 7,506, comprising 6,872 (92%) males and 634 (8%) females. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners represented 26% of the total full-time prisoner population in the March quarter 2011, the same proportion as for the December quarter 2010. The total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population aged 18 years and over at 31 March 2010 was 2% of the Australian population.

Approximately 75% of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoner population was located in the states of New South Wales (2,205), Western Australia (1,782) and Queensland (1,650) combined.

The national average daily Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate in the March quarter 2011 was 2,208 per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, a decrease of 2% from the previous quarter and of 4% from the March quarter 2010.

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


Different age profiles of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous population can affect 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 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate from the annual Prisoner Census conducted at June 2010 was 14 times higher (1,892 per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 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 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous populations can be found in Prisoners in Australia, 2010 (cat.no.4517.0).

The highest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate was recorded in Western Australia (3,832 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population), followed by South Australia (2,609) and the Northern Territory (2,338). The lowest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate was recorded in Tasmania (542), followed by Victoria (1,309).

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 March quarter 2010 was recorded in the Australian Capital Territory (19%), followed by the Northern Territory (7%). Western Australia (11%), and New South Wales (6%) recorded the largest proportional decreases over the same period.


PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS

Rates per 100,000 adults

Nationally, the rate of persons in community-based corrections was 316 persons per 100,000 adult population for the March quarter 2011 based on first day of the month figures. This was a decrease of 5% from the March quarter 2010 (333 persons per 100,000 adults). The largest decrease from the March quarter 2010 was recorded in Western Australia (18%), while the largest increase was recorded in Tasmania (19%).

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 March quarter 2011, 44,720 (82%) were male and 9,998 (18%) were female.

In the March quarter 2011, the rate of community-based corrections for males was 523 per 100,000 adult male population compared to 114 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 March quarter 2011, there were 12,051 persons on parole following a period of imprisonment. Three states accounted for approximately 85% of persons serving parole orders: New South Wales (4,354 or 36%), Queensland (4,326 persons or 36%), and Victoria (1,604 or 13%). The largest proportional decrease in parole orders from the December quarter 2010 was recorded in Western Australia (5%).

For this same period, there were 33,053 persons under sentenced probation and 9,451 persons serving community service orders; a decrease of 2% and 4% respectively from the December quarter 2010.


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 March quarter was 10,570. This represents a decrease of 2% (190) from the previous quarter. The largest decreases in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in community-based corrections from the previous quarter were in Western Australia 7% (106) and South Australia 6% (56). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders represented 19% of the total number of persons in community-based corrections in the March quarter 2011.

Approximately 75% of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-based corrections population was located in the states of New South Wales (3,082), Queensland (3,364) and Western Australia (1,446).

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


Indigenous proportion of persons in Community Based Corrections (a), Per month



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