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4512.0 - Corrective Services, Australia, March 2012 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/06/2012   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


PERSONS IN CORRECTIVE SERVICES

Based on first day of the month averages, for the March quarter 2012 there were 29,226 persons in full-time custody and 53,763 persons in community-based corrections. This comprises an increase of 822 persons (3%) in full-time custody from the March quarter 2011, and a decrease of 994 persons (2%) in community-based corrections for the same period. This represents a decrease of 172 persons (less than 1%) in corrective services from the March quarter 2011.


Number of prisoners

During the March quarter 2012, the average daily number of full-time prisoners in Australia was 29,303 persons. This was an increase of 229 persons (1%) from the December quarter 2011.

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 2012, there were 53,763 persons in community-based corrections in Australia based on first day of the month averages, a decrease of 848 persons (2%) from the December quarter 2011.

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 2012 average daily imprisonment rate was 166 prisoners per 100,000 adult population, an increase of 1% from the March quarter 2011. The Northern Territory had the highest imprisonment rate (821 prisoners per 100,000 adult population), followed by Western Australia (268) and New South Wales (171).

The Australian Capital Territory and Victoria had the lowest imprisonment rates (97 and 110 prisoners per 100,000 adult population respectively).

The Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory recorded the largest proportional increases in imprisonment rates from the March quarter 2011 (16% and 14% respectively). The only proportional decrease over the same period was recorded in New South Wales (4%).

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 2012, 27,240 (93%) were male and 2,063 (7%) were female. The average daily imprisonment rate for males was 314 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 2012 was 22,915 (78% of prisoners in full-time custody). Open prison custody comprised 6,389 prisoners (22%).

The Australian Capital Territory had the highest proportion of prisoners in secure custody (96%), followed by Tasmania (93%) and Queensland (91%).


Legal status

The average number of prisoners in full-time custody on the first day of each month in the March quarter 2012 was 29,226, comprising an average of 22,169 (76%) sentenced and 7,057 (24%) unsentenced prisoners. Sentenced prisoners decreased by 1% from the previous quarter and increased by 2% from the March quarter 2011.

Unsentenced prisoners increased by 4% (291) from the December quarter 2011 and increased by 5% (327) from the March quarter 2011. The Australian Capital Territory and South Australia had the highest proportions of unsentenced prisoners (37% and 32% respectively). The lowest proportions of unsentenced prisoners were recorded in Victoria (19%) and Western Australia (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 8,149 sentenced prisoner receptions into full-time custody in Australia in the March quarter 2012; a decrease of less than 1% (5) from the December quarter 2011 and an increase of 12% (851) from the March 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 program has ceased in New South Wales from October 2010, but some prisoners are still undertaking pre-existing sentences.

During the March quarter 2012 there was an average daily number of 51 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 18% in New South Wales from the December quarter 2011 (from 1.1 per 100,000 to 0.9 per 100,000), and decreased by 9% in the Australian Capital Territory (from 23.6 per 100,000 to 21.4 per 100,000).


Federal prisoners

In the March quarter 2012, there were 948 federal sentenced prisoners in Australia based on first day of the month figures, an increase of 13% from the March quarter 2011 and a decrease of less than 1% from the December quarter 2011. Just under half (435) 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 March quarter 2012 were Queensland 39 persons (39%) and Western Australia 31 persons (20%).


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 2012 was 7,873, comprising 7,194 (91%) males and 679 (9%) females. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners represented 27% of the total full-time prisoner population in the March 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 (2,194), Western Australia (1,910) and Queensland (1,676).

The national average daily Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate in the March quarter 2012 was 2,247 per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, an increase of less than 1% from the previous quarter and an increase of 2% from the March quarter 2011.

The imprisonment rate for males was 4,194 per 100,000 adult male Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population; 11 times more than the rate for females (380 females per 100,000 adult female Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population).

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. 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 2011 was 14 times higher (1,868 per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population) than the rate for non-Indigenous persons (130 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, 2011 (cat. no. 4517.0).

The highest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate was recorded in Western Australia (3,991 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population), followed by the Northern Territory (2,645) and South Australia (2,596). The lowest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate was recorded in Tasmania (648), followed by Victoria (1,409).

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 2011 was recorded in Tasmania (20%), followed by the Australian Capital Territory (14%). New South Wales (3%) and Queensland (2%) recorded the largest proportional decreases over the same period.

Of the full-time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoner population 75% (5,890) were sentenced and 25% (1,932) unsentenced in the March quarter 2012. Unsentenced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners increased 7% (130) from the December quarter 2011, and 10% (180) from the March quarter 2011. Sentenced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners increased 1% (87) from the December quarter 2011, and 4% (215) from the March quarter 2011.


PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS

Rates per 100,000 adults

Nationally, the rate of persons in community-based corrections was 305 persons per 100,000 adult population for the March quarter 2012 based on first day of the month figures. This was a decrease of 3% from the March quarter 2011 (316 persons per 100,000 adults). The largest decrease from the March quarter 2011 was recorded in Western Australia (12%), while the largest increase was recorded in Tasmania (9%).

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

There were 53,763 persons in community-based corrections in Australia in the March quarter 2012, of these 43,960 (82%) were male and 9,761 (18%) were female.

In the March quarter 2012, the rate of community-based corrections for males was 506 per 100,000 adult male population compared to 109 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 2012, there were 12,335 persons on parole following a period of imprisonment. Three states accounted for approximately 87% of persons serving parole orders: Queensland (4,569 persons or 37%), New South Wales (4,458 or 36%) and Victoria (1,704 or 14%). The largest proportional decreases in parole orders from the December quarter 2011 were recorded in Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory (both 2%).

For this same period, there were 32,220 persons under sentenced probation and 8,629 persons serving community service orders; a decrease in the number of persons under sentenced probation of 1% (475 persons), and a decrease in the number of persons on community service orders of 3% (259 persons) from the December quarter 2011.


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 10,681; a decrease of 1% (128 persons) from the previous quarter. The numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in community-based corrections increased from the December quarter by less than 1% (16 persons) in New South Wales. The largest proportional decreases were in Western Australia (6% or 92) and the Australian Capital Territory (4% or 7). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders represented 20% of the total number of persons in community-based corrections in the March quarter 2012.

Approximately 75% of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-based corrections population was located in three states: Queensland (3,355), New South Wales (3,277) and Western Australia (1,397).

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)



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