4512.0 - Corrective Services, Australia, March Quarter 2016 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/06/2016   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

PERSONS IN CORRECTIVE SERVICES

The Corrective Services, Australia publication presents data for two different populations; persons in full-time custody and persons in community-based corrections. For the latter population, offenders may be counted more than once if they have two or more different types of community-based corrections orders operating simultaneously. These populations cannot be compared directly, however they are presented together to provide an overview of persons in Corrective Services.


Mar Qtr 16
Dec Qtr 15 to Mar Qtr 16

% change

Mar Qtr 14 to Mar Qtr 16

% change


Persons in full-time custody
37,996
2.4%
7.1%
Persons in community-based corrections
62,035
1.5%
12.6%


Number of persons in custody

In the March quarter 2016, the average daily number of full-time prisoners in Australia was 37,996. This was an increase of:
  • 887 prisoners (2%) from the December quarter 2015; and
  • 2,529 prisoners (7%) from the March quarter 2015. (Table 1)

Graph Image for PERSONS IN FULL-TIME CUSTODY(a), Mar 2013 to Mar 2016

Footnote(s): (a) Based on average daily number

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



From December 2015, there were increases in prisoner numbers across all states and territories.

In the March quarter 2016, the largest contributors to the national number of prisoners were:
  • New South Wales (12,420 persons or 33%);
  • Queensland (7,730 persons or 20%);
  • Victoria (6,394 persons or 17%); and
  • Western Australia (5,893 persons or 16%). (Table 1)

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), supervision orders (parole, bail, sentenced probation) and post-sentence supervision orders.

The average daily number of persons serving community-based corrections orders increased to 63,035 persons in the March quarter 2016. This was an increase of:
  • 952 persons (2%) from the December quarter 2015; and
  • 7,040 persons (13%) from the March quarter 2015. (Table 1)

Graph Image for PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS(a), Mar 2013 to Mar 2016

Footnote(s): (a) Based on number on the first day of the month

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



Three states accounted for just over three-quarters of the national number of persons in community-based corrections:
  • Queensland (17,792 persons or 28%);
  • New South Wales (17,661 persons or 28%); and
  • Victoria (13,606 persons or 22%). (Table 1)

From the December quarter 2015, there were increases across all states and territories, except for Tasmania, which decreased by 2 persons or less than one per cent. The largest increases were recorded in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland (up by 446, 197 and 172 persons, respectively). (Table 1)

PERSONS IN CUSTODY

Sex

The average daily number of males and females in custody both increased from the March quarter 2015 (by 7% or 2,347 prisoners and 7% or 183 prisoners respectively). (Table 1)

Across the states and territories, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory had the highest proportion of male prisoners (each with 94%), and Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland had the lowest proportion of male prisoners (each with 91%). (Table 1)

The average daily imprisonment rate for males was 383 prisoners per 100,000 adult male population, which was approximately 12 times the rate for females (32 female prisoners per 100,000 adult female population). (Table 5)

Type of full-time custody

Secure custody refers to prisoners housed in medium or maximum security custodial facilities requiring them to be confined by a secure physical barrier.

During the March quarter 2016, the average daily number of prisoners in secure prison custody in Australia was 29,859 (79% of prisoners in full-time custody), an increase of 7% (1,926 prisoners) from the March quarter 2015. Of all states and territories:
  • Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory had the highest proportion of prisoners in secure custody, each with 98% (518 prisoners and 411 prisoners, respectively); and
  • The Northern Territory had the lowest proportion of prisoners in secure custody (57% or 988 prisoners). (Table 6)

Open custody refers to prisoners housed in minimum security custodial facilities that do not require them to be confined by a secure parameter or physical barrier, irrespective of whether a physical barrier exists.

There were 8,137 prisoners (21% of prisoners in full-time custody) in open custody in Australia in the March quarter 2016, an increase of 8% (603 prisoners) from the March quarter 2015. (Table 6)

The average daily imprisonment rates (per 100,000 adult population) for persons in secure custody and open custody have both increased (by 6% and 7%, respectively) since the March quarter 2015, which aligns with the overall increasing imprisonment rate in Australia. (Table 7)

Legal status

Legal status refers to where a person may be either sentenced or unsentenced depending on the warrant(s) or court order(s) that provide the legal basis for the administration of the person through the criminal justice system.

In the March quarter 2016, the average number of full-time prisoners on the first day of the month was 37,833, of which:
  • 26,229 (69%) were sentenced; and
  • 11,532 (30%) were unsentenced. (Table 8)

Unsentenced prisoners increased nationally by 21% (2,023 prisoners) from the March quarter 2015. This accounted for the more than three-quarters (80%) of the overall increase in prisoners in Australia.

Graph Image for UNSENTENCED PRISONERS(a), Mar 2014 to Mar 2016

Footnote(s): (a) Based on average number on the first day of the month

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



Sentenced prisoner receptions

Sentenced prisoner receptions refer to:
  • persons entering into corrective services custody from the community, having received a sentence of imprisonment as an outcome of a court proceeding;
  • persons who are sentenced to custody while in custody on remand (i.e. changed legal status from an unsentenced to a sentenced prisoner); or
  • persons entering custody as a result of defaulting on the payment of a fine.

Sentenced prisoners in custody who receive a further sentence of imprisonment are not counted as sentenced receptions.

In the March quarter 2016, there were 9,460 sentenced prisoner receptions into full-time prison custody in Australia, representing an increase of 7% (613 prisoners) from the March quarter 2015. (Table 10)

Federal prisoners

Federal prisoners are persons charged and sentenced under a Commonwealth statute or transferred from another country to serve their sentence in Australia.

During the March quarter 2016, the average daily number of federal sentenced prisoners in Australia was 991. This represented an increase of 16% (133 prisoners) from the March quarter 2015. (Table 12)

New South Wales continued to account for nearly half of all federal prisoners, representing 46% (453 prisoners). (Table 12)

Rates per 100,000 adult population

Nationally, the average daily imprisonment rate was 205 prisoners per 100,000 adult population in the March quarter 2016. All states and territories recorded increases in their imprisonment rate from the December quarter 2015. (Table 3)

In the March quarter 2016, the Northern Territory had the highest average daily imprisonment rate (958 prisoners per 100,000 adult population) and Tasmania had the lowest average daily imprisonment rate (132 prisoners per 100,000 adult population). (Table 3)

Graph Image for AVERAGE DAILY IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), By states and territories, Mar 2015 and Mar 2016

Footnote(s): (a) Rate is the number of persons per 100,000 adult population

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners

The average daily number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult prisoners in Australia was 10,558. This was an increase of:
  • 4% or 407 prisoners from the December quarter 2015; and
  • 7% or 720 prisoners from the March quarter 2015. (Table 1)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners represented 28% of the total full-time adult prisoner population, and accounted for approximately 2% of the total Australian population aged 18 years and over (based on Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0) and Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2001 to 2026 (cat. no. 3238.0)). (Table 1)

In the March quarter 2016, three states continued to account for nearly three-quarters of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoner population: New South Wales (3,004 prisoners or 28%), Queensland (2,503 prisoners or 24%) and Western Australia (2,251 prisoners or 21%). (Table 1)

The national average daily Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate was 2,338 prisoners per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. The highest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rates were recorded in:
  • Western Australia (3,745);
  • Northern Territory (3,025); and
  • South Australia (2,572). (Table 14)

Between the December 2015 and March 2016 quarters, the largest increases in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate were in the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland and the Northern Territory (increasing by 199, 81 and 60 prisoners per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, respectively). (Table 14)

In the March quarter 2016, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners based on first day of the month figures was 10,478 prisoners, of which:
  • 69% (7,236 prisoners) were sentenced; and
  • 31% (3,211 prisoners) were unsentenced. (Table 15)

Unsentenced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners increased by 21% (551 prisoners) from the March quarter 2015. (Table 15)

Graph Image for AVERAGE DAILY ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), Mar 2014 to Mar 2016

Footnote(s): (a) Rate is the number of prisoners per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



Graph Image for ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), By states and territories, Mar 2015, Dec 2015 and Mar 2016

Footnote(s): (a) Rate is the nmber of prisoners per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS

All reported daily averages for number of persons serving community-based corrections orders are based on first day of the month figures. For more information, please refer to the Explanatory Notes, paragraphs 2 and 12.

Sex

In the March quarter 2016, the average daily number of persons serving community-based corrections orders was 63,035. Of these, 51,430 or 82% were male (a rate of 562 males per 100,000 adult male population) and 11,582 or 18% were female (a rate of 123 females per 100,000 adult female population). (Tables 1 and 18)

Type of orders

In the March quarter 2016, the three most prevalent order types in Australia were:
  • Sentenced probation (60% or 38,080 persons);
  • Parole (22% or 13,573 persons); and
  • Community service orders (16% or 10,274 persons). (Table 19)

From the December quarter 2015, there were increases across all order types except for fine option orders. The largest increase was in persons serving sentenced probation orders (up 2% or 809 persons), with this increase accounting for the majority (85%) of the overall increase in the community-based corrections population. (Table 19)

The average daily number of persons on parole was 13,573, an increase of 1,188 persons (10%) from the March quarter 2015. The largest increase in parole orders over this period was recorded in New South Wales (578 persons or 13%), followed by Queensland (508 persons or 10%). (Table 19)

The average daily number of persons serving community service orders was 10,274, an increase of 1,396 persons (16%) from the March quarter 2015. The largest increase was recorded in Victoria (612 persons or 57%), followed by Queensland (549 persons or 27%). (Table 19)

Graph Image for PROPORTION OF PERSONS SERVING SELECTED COMMUNITY-BASED ORDER TYPES(a), By states and territories, Mar 2015 and Mar 2016

Footnote(s): (a) From the June quarter 2015, post-sentence supervision orders are excluded from sentenced probation orders (see Explantory Notes paragraph 38)

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



Rates per 100,000 adult population

In the March quarter 2016, the daily average national rate of persons in community-based corrections was 340 persons per 100,000 adult population, a quarterly increase of 1% (4 persons per 100,000 adult population) and an annual increase 11% (34 persons per 100,000 adult population). (Table 18)

Graph Image for COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS RATE(a), By states and territories, Mar 2015, Dec 2015 and Mar 2016

Footnote(s): (a) Rate is the number of persons serving community-based corrections orders per 100,000 adult population, based on average number on the first day of the month.

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons in community-based corrections

The average daily number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons in community-based corrections for the March quarter 2016 was 12,350, representing nearly 20% of the total community-based corrections population. (Table 20)

Nationally, there were increases of 173 persons (1%) from the December quarter 2015 and 1,200 persons (11%) from the March quarter 2015. (Table 20)

Three-quarters of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-based corrections population were located in three states: Queensland (4,050 persons), New South Wales (3,805 persons) and Western Australia (1,426 persons). (Table 20)

Graph Image for ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS(a), Mar 2014 to Mar 2016

Footnote(s): (a) Based on average number on the first day of the month

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia