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4512.0 - Corrective Services, Australia, Mar 2006  
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NOTES

FORTHCOMING ISSUES

ISSUE (QUARTER) Release Date
June 2006 21 September 2006



ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION

This publication presents information on persons in custody and community-based corrections. The statistics are derived from information provided to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) from administrative records held by corrective services agencies in each state and territory, and from the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department for details on federal prisoners. Details are provided for each state and territory on: prisoner numbers and imprisonment rates by type of custody (i.e. open or secure custody or periodic detention); prisoner numbers by legal status (sentenced or unsentenced) for all prisoners and for Indigenous prisoners; the number of sentenced receptions into custody; the number of federal prisoners; and the numbers and rates of persons serving community-based corrections orders.


The ABS acknowledges the valuable contribution of the Board of Management and the Advisory Group of the National Corrective Services Statistics Unit as well as the staff of the various agencies that provide the statistics that are presented in this publication.



FURTHER INFORMATION

More information about ABS activities in the field of crime and justice statistics is available from the Crime and Justice theme page on the ABS web site <www.abs.gov.au>. Details of other ABS publications relating to Crime and Justice statistics can be found in paragraphs 39-40 of the Explanatory Notes.



INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Nick Skondreas on Melbourne (03) 9615 7375.



SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


PERSONS IN CORRECTIVE SERVICES

Based on first day of the month averages, for the March quarter 2006 there were 78,153 persons under the authority of corrective services (excluding those in periodic detention). This represents an increase of 2% (1,848 persons) since the March quarter 2005. The total comprised 24,260 persons in full-time custody and 53,893 persons in community-based corrections. Since the March quarter 2005, persons in full-time custody increased by 1% (182 persons) and persons in community-based corrections increased by 3% (1,666 persons).



PERSONS IN CUSTODY

Number of prisoners

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



The average daily number of full-time prisoners in Australia in the March quarter 2006 was 24,425, an increase of 1% on the previous quarter and an increase of 1% on the March quarter 2005.


Rates per 100,000 adults

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



Nationally, the March quarter 2006 average daily imprisonment rate was 156 prisoners per 100,000 adult population, the same as the March quarter 2005 (156 prisoners). The Northern Territory had the highest imprisonment rate (565 prisoners per 100,000 adult population), followed by Western Australia (227) and Queensland (178). The Australian Capital Territory (including Australian Capital Territory prisoners held in New South Wales prisons) and Victoria had the lowest imprisonment rates (79 and 91 prisoners per 100,000 adults respectively).


The largest proportional increase in imprisonment rates since the March quarter 2005 was recorded in the Australian Capital Territory (9%) (including Australian Capital Territory prisoners held in New South Wales prisons). The largest proportional decrease over the same period was recorded in Tasmania (9%).


Sex

Of the average daily number of full-time prisoners in Australia in the March quarter 2006, 22,795 (93%) were male and 1,630 (7%) were female. The average daily imprisonment rate for males was 295 prisoners per 100,000 adult male population, while for females it was 21 prisoners per 100,000 adult female population. Males were 14 times more likely to be in prison than females.


Type of full-time custody

The average daily number of prisoners in secure prison custody in the March quarter 2006 was 18,436 (75% of prisoners in full-time custody). Open prison custody comprised 5,989 prisoners.


In the March quarter 2006, all prisoners held in full-time custody in the Australian Capital Territory were in secure custody. Of the other states and territories, South Australia had the highest proportion of prisoners in secure custody (90%), followed by Victoria (89%). New South Wales (including Australian Capital Territory prisoners held in New South Wales prisons) had the lowest proportion of prisoners in secure full-time custody (61%).


Legal status

The average number of prisoners in full-time custody on the first day of each month in the March quarter 2006 was 24,260, comprising an average of 5,254 (22%) unsentenced and 19,005 (78%) sentenced prisoners. South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory (including Australian Capital Territory prisoners held in New South Wales prisons) had the highest proportions of unsentenced prisoners (both 34%). The lowest proportions of unsentenced prisoners were recorded in Western Australia (17%), followed by Victoria (18%).

UNSENTENCED PERSONS IN PRISON CUSTODY, Proportion per month
Graph: Unsentenced persons in prison custody, proportion per month



Indigenous prisoners

In the March quarter 2006 there were 5,842 Indigenous adult prisoners in full-time custody in Australia, comprising 5,377 (92%) males and 465 (8%) females. Almost 80% of the total Indigenous prisoner population was located in three states: New South Wales (1,823 persons); Queensland (1,450); and Western Australia (1,351).

INDIGENOUS PERSONS IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), Per month
Graph: Indigenous persons imprisonment rate, per month



The national rate of imprisonment for Indigenous persons in the March quarter 2006 was 2,035 per 100,000 adult Indigenous population, an increase of 2% since the March quarter 2005 and an increase of 1% since the previous quarter.


The highest rate of imprisonment of Indigenous persons was recorded in Western Australia (3,268 Indigenous prisoners per 100,000 adult Indigenous population), followed by New South Wales (2,239).

INDIGENOUS IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), By State and Territory
Graph: Indigenous imprisonment rate, by state and territory



The largest proportional increases in the rate of imprisonment of Indigenous persons since the March quarter 2005 were recorded in Victoria and Queensland (both 10%). The next highest increase (5%) was in the Australian Capital Territory (including Australian Capital Territory prisoners held in New South Wales prisons).


The age standardised national rate of imprisonment of Indigenous people from the annual National Prisoner Census conducted at June 2005 was 12 times higher (1,561 per 100,000 adult Indigenous population) than the rate for non-Indigenous persons (129 per 100,000 adult non-Indigenous population). Imprisonment rates in the National Prisoner Census are able to take into account the different age profiles of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations. Further information on the comparison of imprisonment rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations can be found in Prisoners in Australia 2005 (cat. no. 4517.0).


Periodic detention

Periodic detention is a form of custody only used in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. During the March quarter 2006 there was an average daily number of 771 persons in New South Wales and 100 persons in the Australian Capital Territory held in periodic detention. The rate of imprisonment for periodic detainees decreased in New South Wales by 5% and increased in the Australian Capital Territory by 1% between the March quarters of 2005 and 2006.


Federal prisoners

In the March quarter 2006, there were 656 federal prisoners in Australia, a decrease of 5 (1%) since the March quarter 2005. More than half (58%) of these federal prisoners were sentenced in New South Wales.



PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS

Community-based corrections orders are non-custodial orders under the authority of corrective services and include restricted movement, fine option, community service, parole, bail and sentenced probation. Unless otherwise specified figures are based on first day of the month. In the March quarter 2006, there were 53,893 persons in community-based corrections in Australia, a decrease of 2% (1,304 persons) since the December quarter 2005 and an increase of 3% (1,666 persons) since the March quarter 2005.


Sex

Of the average number of persons in community-based corrections in Australia in the March quarter 2006, 44,064 (82%) were male and 9,726 (18%) were female.


Rates per 100,000 adults

Nationally, the rate of persons in community-based corrections was 343 persons per 100,000 adult population for the March quarter 2006. This was an increase of 2% since the March quarter 2005 (337 persons per 100,000 adults), and a decrease of 3% since the December quarter 2005 (353 persons per 100,000 adults). The largest increases since the March quarter 2005 were recorded in South Australia (16%), followed by Tasmania (11%).

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


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



In the March quarter 2006, the rate of community-based corrections for males was 570 per 100,000 adult male population compared to 122 females per 100,000 adult female population. Males were almost five times more likely to be in community-based corrections than females.


Type of orders

In the March quarter 2006, there were 8,983 persons serving parole orders following a period of imprisonment. More than three quarters (76%) of persons serving parole orders were located in three states: New South Wales (3,886 persons); Victoria (1,540); and Western Australia (1,362).


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