Australian Bureau of Statistics

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4512.0 - Corrective Services, Australia, Sep 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/12/2003   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

NUMBER OF PRISONERS

PERSONS IN PRISON CUSTODY, Average daily number–Australia
Graph - PERSONS IN PRISON CUSTODY, Average daily number–Australia

In the September quarter 2003, the average daily number of prisoners in Australia was 22,735, an increase of 228 (1%) on the June quarter 2003. This is the highest level on a quarterly basis since the collection commenced in the March quarter 1998. The average daily number of prisoners in Australia increased by 961 (4%) over the year from the September quarter 2002.

RATES PER 100,000 ADULTS

AVERAGE DAILY IMPRISONMENT RATE (a)
Graph - AVERAGE DAILY IMPRISONMENT RATE (a)
(a) Rate per 100,000 adult population

Nationally, the average daily imprisonment rate was 150 prisoners per 100,000 adult population during the September quarter 2003, an increase of 3% since the September quarter 2002. The Northern Territory had the highest imprisonment rate (514 prisoners per 100,000 adult population), followed by Western Australia (200) and Queensland (184). The Northern Territory recorded a 7% increase in the imprisonment rate since the September quarter 2002.

SEX

Of the average daily number of prisoners in Australia in the September quarter 2003, 21,243 (93%) were male and 1,492 (7%) were female. Males were 15 times more likely to be in prison than females.

INDIGENOUS PRISONERS

INDIGENOUS PERSONS IMPRISONMENT RATE (a)
Graph - INDIGENOUS PERSONS IMPRISONMENT RATE (a)
(a) Rate per 100,000 adult Indigenous population

The national rate of imprisonment for Indigenous persons in the September quarter 2003 was 1,919 per 100,000 adult Indigenous population, an increase of 6% since the September quarter 2002 and an increase of 1% since the June quarter 2003. Over the past quarter, the Northern Territory was the only jurisdiction to record a decrease in the Indigenous rate of imprisonment (7%).


INDIGENOUS IMPRISONMENT RATE (a)
Graph - INDIGENOUS IMPRISONMENT RATE (a)
(a) Rate per 100,000 adult Indigenous population, based on first day of month

The highest rate of imprisonment for Indigenous persons was recorded in Western Australia (2,860 Indigenous persons per 100,000 adult Indigenous population) followed by New South Wales (2,146). The Northern Territory recorded the highest proportional increase in the Indigenous rate of imprisonment (18%) between the September quarters 2002 and 2003, followed by Western Australia (15%).

Nationally, the Indigenous rate of imprisonment was 16 times the non-Indigenous rate of imprisonment. The highest ratio of Indigenous to non-Indigenous rates of imprisonment was recorded in Western Australia where the Indigenous rate of imprisonment was 22 times the non-Indigenous rate.

TYPE OF CUSTODY

In the September quarter 2003, the average daily number of prisoners in secure prison custody was 16,413 (72%). The remaining prisoners were held in open prison custody. Nationally, the proportion of persons held in secure and open prison custody has remained fairly stable over the past year.

In the September quarter 2003, the highest proportions of prisoners held in secure custody were recorded in Victoria (89%) and South Australia (88%). The states and territories with the lowest proportions of prisoners in secure prison custody were the Australian Capital Territory (including Australian Capital Territory prisoners held in New South Wales prisons) and New South Wales (48% and 54% respectively).

LEGAL STATUS AND SENTENCE TYPE

Of the total prison population of 22,751, the average number of unsentenced prisoners on the first day of the month was 4,849 (21%) for the September quarter 2003. The Australian Capital Territory – including Australian Capital Territory prisoners held in New South Wales prisons – had the highest proportion of unsentenced prisoners (35%). The lowest proportion of unsentenced prisoners was recorded in Western Australia (15%).

PERSONS IN PRISON CUSTODY, Proportion unsentenced
Graph - PERSONS IN PRISON CUSTODY, Proportion unsentenced

SENTENCED RECEPTIONS


In the September quarter 2003, there were 5,969 sentenced receptions in Australia. The number of sentenced receptions decreased by 466 (7%) compared with the September quarter 2002. Decreases in sentenced receptions between the September quarters 2002 and 2003 were recorded by all jurisdictions except South Australia and the Northern Territory which recorded increases of 100 (39%) and 56 (28%) respectively.

PERIODIC DETENTION

Periodic detention is a form of custody only used in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. During the September quarter 2003 there was an average daily number of 767 persons in New South Wales and 75 persons in the Australian Capital Territory held in periodic detention. In both New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, the rates of imprisonment in periodic detention have decreased between the September quarters 2002 and 2003 (15% and 3% respectively).

FEDERAL PRISONERS

In the September quarter 2003, there were 684 federal prisoners in Australia, a decrease of 66 (9%) since the September quarter 2002 and a decrease of 21 (3%) since the June quarter 2003. Of these persons 617 (90%) were male and 68 (10%) were female.


PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS

In the September quarter 2003, there were 50,406 persons in community-based corrections in Australia, a decrease of 1,981 (4%) since the September quarter 2002 and a decrease of 800 (2%) since the June quarter 2003.

Rates per 100,000 adults

Nationally, the rate of persons in community-based corrections was 332 persons per 100,000 adult population for the September quarter 2003. This is a decrease of 5% on the rate of persons in community-based corrections in the September quarter 2002, and a decrease of 2% since the June quarter 2003.

In the September quarter 2003, the male rate of participation in community-based corrections was 550 per 100,000 adult male population in comparison to 117 females per 100,000 adult female population. Consequently, males were 5 times more likely to be in community-based corrections than females (in comparison to males being 15 times more likely to be imprisoned than females).

COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS RATE (a)–September quarter 2003
Graph - COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS RATE (a)–September quarter 2003
(a) Rate per 100,000 adult population

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