4512.0 - Corrective Services, Australia, December Quarter 2015  
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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.

Dec Qtr 15
Sep Qtr 15 to Dec Qtr 15

% change

Dec Qtr 14 to Dec Qtr 15

% change


Persons in full-time custody
37,109
2.7%
7.1%
Persons in community-based corrections
62,083
3.5%
10.1%

    Number of persons in custody continues to rise

    In the December quarter 2015, the average daily number of full-time prisoners in Australia was 37,109. This was an increase of:
    • 987 prisoners (3%) from the September quarter 2015; and
    • 2,462 prisoners (7%) from the December quarter 2014. (Table 1)
    Graph Image for PERSONS IN FULL-TIME PRISON CUSTODY(a), Dec 2012 to Dec 2015

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

    Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



    From the September quarter 2015, there were increases in prisoner numbers across all states and territories.

    In the December quarter 2015, the largest contributors to the national number of prisoners were:
    • New South Wales (12,210 persons or 33%);
    • Queensland (7,454 persons or 20%);
    • Victoria (6,319 persons or 17%); and
    • Western Australia (5,727 persons or 15%). (Table 1)
    Number of persons in community-based corrections rises for the second consecutive quarter

    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 62,083 persons in the December quarter 2015. This was an increase of:
    • 2,091 persons (3%) from the September quarter 2015; and
    • 5,681 persons (10%) from the December quarter 2014. (Table 1)
    Graph Image for PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS(a), Dec 2012 to Dec 2015

    Footnote(s): (a) Based on average 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 (17,620 persons or 28%);
    • New South Wales (17,215 persons or 28%); and
    • Victoria (13,409 persons or 22%). (Table 1)
    From the September quarter 2015, there were increases across all states and territories, except for the Northern Territory, which decreased by 2% or 18 persons. The largest increases were recorded in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales (up by 759, 534 and 518 persons, respectively). (Table 1)

    PERSONS IN CUSTODY

    Sex

    The average daily number of males and females in custody both increased from the December quarter 2014 (by 7% or 2,326 prisoners and 5% or 135 prisoners respectively). (Table 1)

    Across the states and territories, the Australian Capital Territory had the highest proportion of male prisoners (95%), and Queensland and Western Australia had the lowest proportion of male prisoners (each with 91%). (Table 1)

    The average daily imprisonment rate for males was 376 prisoners per 100,000 adult male population, which was approximately 13 times the rate for females (30 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.

    In the December quarter 2015, the average daily number of prisoners in secure prison custody in Australia was 29,174 (79% of prisoners in full-time custody), an increase of 7% (1,983 prisoners) from the December quarter 2014. Of all states and territories:
    • Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory had the highest proportion of prisoners in secure custody, each with 98% (506 prisoners and 396 prisoners, respectively); and
    • The Northern Territory had the lowest proportion of prisoners in secure custody (54% or 882 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 7,935 prisoners (21% of prisoners in full-time custody) in open custody in Australia in the December quarter 2015, an annual increase of 6% (479 prisoners). (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 5%, respectively) since the December quarter 2014, 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.

    Post-sentence prisoner data have been included in sentenced prisoner totals since the June quarter 2013 reference period. From the June quarter 2015, post-sentence prisoner data were published as a separate category, and continue to be included in sentenced prisoner totals. For more information, please refer to paragraphs 37 and 38 of the Explanatory Notes.

    In the December quarter 2015, the average number of full-time prisoners on the first day of the month was 36,985, of which:
    • 26,308 (71%) were sentenced; and
    • 10,605 (29%) were unsentenced. (Table 8)
    Unsentenced prisoners increased nationally by 22% (1,928 prisoners) from the December quarter 2014. This accounted for the more than three-quarters (78%) of the overall increase in prisoners in Australia.

    From the September quarter 2015, increases in unsentenced prisoners were recorded in every state and territory, the largest of which was in Victoria (up 168 persons or 12%). (Table 8)

    Graph Image for UNSENTENCED PRISONERS(a), Dec 2013 to Dec 2015

    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 December quarter 2015, there were 9,725 sentenced prisoner receptions into full-time prison custody in Australia, representing an increase of 7% (614 prisoners) from the December quarter 2014. (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 December quarter 2015, the average daily number of federal sentenced prisoners in Australia was 972. This was an increase of 6% (58 prisoners) from the September quarter 2015, and 11% (94 prisoners) from the December quarter 2014. (Table 12)

    New South Wales continued to account for nearly half of all federal prisoners, representing 47% (454 prisoners). (Table 12)

    Rates per 100,000 adult population

    Nationally, the average daily imprisonment rate was 201 prisoners per 100,000 adult population in the December quarter 2015. (Table 3)

    All states and territories recorded increases in their imprisonment rate between the 2014 and 2015 December quarters, except for Victoria which decreased by 4% (from 141 to 136 prisoners per 100,000 adult population). (Table 3)

    In the December quarter 2015, the Northern Territory had the highest average daily imprisonment rate (909 prisoners per 100,000 adult population) and Tasmania had the lowest average daily imprisonment rate (129 prisoners per 100,000 adult population). (Table 3)

    Graph Image for AVERAGE DAILY IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), By states and territories, Dec 2014 and Dec 2015

    Footnote(s): (a) Rate is the number of prisoners 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 was 10,151, representing an increase of 7% or 668 prisoners from the December quarter 2014. (Table 1)

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners represented 27% 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 December quarter 2015, three states continued to account for nearly three-quarters of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoner population: New South Wales (2,978 prisoners or 29%), Queensland (2,330 prisoners or 23%) and Western Australia (2,154 prisoners or 21%). (Table 1)

    The national average daily Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate was 2,313 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 (3,686);
    • Northern Territory (2,966); and
    • South Australia (2,535). (Table 14)
    Between the September and December 2015 quarters, the largest increases in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate were in the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory and Western Australia (increasing by 205, 91 and 87 prisoners per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, respectively). (Table 14)

    In the December quarter 2015, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners based on first day of the month figures was 10,108 prisoners, of which:
    • 71% (7,203 prisoners) were sentenced; and
    • 28% (2,872 prisoners) were unsentenced. (Table 15)
    Unsentenced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners increased by 22% (513 prisoners) from the December quarter 2014. (Table 15)

    Graph Image for AVERAGE DAILY ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), Dec 2013 to Dec 2015

    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, Dec 2014, Sep 2015 and Dec 2015

    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 December quarter 2015, the average daily number of persons serving community-based corrections orders was 62,083. Of these, 50,589 or 81% were male (a rate of 555 per 100,000 adult male population) and 11,459 or 18% were female (a rate of 122 females per 100,000 adult female population). (Tables 1 and 18)

    Type of orders

    In the December quarter 2015, the three most prevalent order types in Australia were:
    • Sentenced probation (60% or 37,271 persons);
    • Parole (22% or 13,404 persons); and
    • Community service orders (16% or 10,088 persons). (Table 19)
    From the September quarter 2015, there were increases across all order types. The largest increase was in persons serving sentenced probation orders (up 4% or 1,473 persons), with this increase accounting for the majority (70%) of the overall increase in the community-based corrections population. (Table 19)

    The average daily number of persons on parole was 13,404, an increase of 890 persons (7%) from the December quarter 2014. The largest increase in parole orders over this period was recorded in Queensland (497 persons or 10%), followed by New South Wales (275 persons or 6%). (Table 19)

    The average daily number of persons serving community service orders was 10,088, an increase of 1,071 persons (12%) from the December quarter 2014. The largest increase was recorded in Victoria (619 persons or 61%), followed by Queensland (371 persons or 18%). (Table 19)

    Graph Image for PROPORTION OF PERSONS SERVING SELECTED COMMUNITY-BASED ORDER TYPES(a), By states and territories, Dec 2014 and Dec 2015

    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 December quarter 2015, the daily average national rate of persons in community-based corrections was 336 persons per 100,000 adult population, a quarterly increase of 3% (10 persons per 100,000 adult population) and an annual increase 9% (27 persons per 100,000 adult population). (Table 18)

    Graph Image for COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS RATE(a), Dec 2013 to Dec 2015

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

    Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



    Graph Image for COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS RATE(a), By states and territories, Dec 2014, Sep 2015 and Dec 2015

    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 December quarter 2015 was 12,177, representing nearly 20% of the total community-based corrections population. (Table 20)

    Nationally, there were increases of 397 persons (3%) from the September quarter 2015 and 746 persons (7%) from the December quarter 2014. (Table 20)

    Just over three-quarters of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-based corrections population were located in three states: Queensland (4,090 persons), New South Wales (3,693 persons) and Western Australia (1,435 persons). (Table 20)

    Graph Image for ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS(a), Dec 2013 to Dec 2015

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

    Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia