4512.0 - Corrective Services, Australia, September quarter 2017 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/11/2017   
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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. These populations cannot be compared directly, however they are presented together to provide an overview of persons in corrective services. For the community-based corrections population, offenders may be counted more than once if they have two or more different types of community-based corrections orders operating simultaneously.


Sep Qtr 17
Jun Qtr 17 to Sep Qtr 17

% change

Sep Qtr 16 to Sep Qtr 17

% change


Persons in full-time custody
41,262
0.1%
5.8%
Persons in community-based corrections
68,878
1.3%
3.1%

PERSONS IN CUSTODY

In the September quarter 2017, the average daily number of full-time prisoners in Australia was 41,262. This was an increase of:

    • 0.1% (58 persons) from the June quarter 2017; and
    • 6% (2,257 persons) from the September quarter 2016.

Since the June quarter 2017, there were increases in the prisoner numbers for New South Wales (1%), Victoria (1%) and Tasmania (4%). In all the remaining states and territories decreases in prisoner numbers were recorded over this period. (Table 1)

In the last five years (from September quarter 2012 to September quarter 2017), the number of persons in custody has increased 40% or 11,877 persons. (Table 1 and historical data)

Graph Image for PERSONS IN FULL-TIME CUSTODY(a), Sep 2012 to Sep 2017

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

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



In the September quarter 2017, the largest contributors to the national prisoner population were:
    • New South Wales (32% or 13,228 persons);
    • Queensland (21% or 8,458 persons);
    • Victoria (17% or 7,143 persons); and
    • Western Australia (16% or 6,720 persons). (Table 1)

Sex

The average daily number of females and males in custody both increased since the September quarter 2016, with both males and females increasing by 6% (2,068 and 189 respectively). (Table 1)

Over the past five years with females increasing by 52% (1,125 persons) and males by 40% (10,752 persons). (Table 1 and historical data)

For the September quarter 2017, the average daily imprisonment rate for males was 405 persons per 100,000 adult male population, which was approximately 12 times the rate for females (34 female persons per 100,000 adult female population). (Table 5)

Type of full-time custody

Prisoners can be housed in either:
    • Secure custody, where they are held in medium or maximum security custodial facilities requiring them to be confined by a secure physical barrier; or
    • Open custody, where they are 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.

During the September quarter 2017, 79% of prisoners in full-time custody were held in secure custody and the remaining 21% in open custody, representing an average daily number of 32,628 and 8,634 persons, respectively.

Both the secure and open custody prisoner populations increased over the year since the September quarter 2016, up 6% (1,917 persons) and 4% (340 persons) respectively. (Table 6)

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 September quarter 2017, the average number of full-time prisoners on the first day of the month was 41,304, of which:
    • 68% (28,207) were sentenced; and
    • 32% (13,020) were unsentenced. (Table 8)

Nationally, unsentenced prisoners decreased 4% over the quarter (483 persons). This is the first decrease since the September Quarter in 2014. (Table 8 and historical data)

Graph Image for UNSENTENCED PRISONERS(a), Sep 2012 to Sep 2017

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

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



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 September quarter 2017, the average daily number of federal sentenced prisoners in Australia was 1,004, an increase of 1% (11 persons) from the September quarter 2016. (Table 10)

Rates per 100,000 adult population

Nationally, the average daily imprisonment rate remained steady from the June quarter at 216 persons per 100,000 adult population in the September quarter 2017. The Northern Territory continued to have the highest imprisonment rate of all states and territories with 890 persons per 100,000 adult population, followed by Western Australia with 339 persons per 100,000 adult population.

Victoria had the lowest average daily imprisonment rate (145 persons per 100,000 adult population). (Table 3)

Graph Image for AVERAGE DAILY IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), By states and territories, Sep 2016 and Sep 2017

Footnote(s): (a) Rate is the number of prisoners per 100,000 adult population. Based on average daily number

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners

The average daily number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners during the September quarter 2017 was 11,325 persons. This represented a decrease of 1% (86 persons) over the quarter and an increase of 6% (657 persons) over the year. (Table 1)

Based on first day of the month figures, there were 11,345 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners in the September quarter 2017, of which 68% (7,725 persons) were sentenced and 32% (3,591 persons) were unsentenced. The number of unsentenced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners increased by 10% (331 persons) from the September quarter 2016, which was higher than the 6% annual increase seen in the total unsentenced prisoner population. (Table 8 and 13)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners represented 27% of the total full-time adult prisoner population (during the September quarter 2017), whilst accounting 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)

Three states continue to account for nearly three-quarters of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoner population: New South Wales (29% or 3,249 persons); Queensland (24% or 2,673 persons); and Western Australia (22% or 2,493 persons). (Table 1)

The national average daily Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate was 2,437 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. The highest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rates were recorded in:
    • Western Australia (4,030 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population);
    • Northern Territory (2,790 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population); and
    • South Australia (2,695 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population). (Table 12)

Graph Image for ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), By states and territories, Sep 2016, Jun 2017 and Sep 2017

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

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



Since the September quarter 2016, only the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory had a decrease in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate, Northern Territory by 1% (or 37 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population) and the Australian Capital Territory by 4% (or 86 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population). (Table 12)

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.

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.

Number of persons in community-based corrections

The average daily number of persons serving community-based corrections orders in the September quarter 2017 was 68,878 persons, representing:
    • an increase of 1% (887 persons) from the June quarter 2017; and
    • an increase of 3% (2,085 persons) from the September quarter 2016. (Table 1)

Graph Image for PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS(a), Sep 2012 to Sep 2017

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia

    Three states accounted for over three-quarters of the national number of persons in community-based corrections:
      • Queensland (29% or 20,257 persons);
      • New South Wales (28% or 18,984 persons); and
      • Victoria (21% or 14,606 persons). (Table 1)
    Over the past 5 years (since the September quarter 2012), persons serving community-based corrections orders increased 26% or 14,397 persons. (Table 1 and historical data)

    Sex

    In the September quarter 2017, males accounted for 80% (55,395 persons) of the total persons serving community-based correction orders and females the remaining 20% (13,463). (Table 15)

    As with persons in custody, over the past five years (since September quarter 2012) females serving community-based correction orders have increased at a higher rate than males, increasing by 38% (or 3,685 persons) and males by 24% (or 10,736). (Table 15 and historical data)

    Type of orders

    In the September quarter 2017, the three most prevalent order types in Australia were:
      • Sentenced probation (56% or 41,402 persons);
      • Parole (21% or 15,171 persons); and
      • Community service orders (15% or 11,001 persons). (Table 17)

    Since the September quarter 2016, the number of persons serving all order types has increased except restricted movement.

    The average daily number of persons on parole was 15,171, up 3% (430 persons) from the June quarter 2017. (Table 17)

    Graph Image for PROPORTION OF PERSONS SERVING SELECTED COMMUNITY-BASED ORDERS, By states and territories, Sep 2016, Jun 2017 and Sep 2017

    Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



    Rates per 100,000 adult population

    In the September quarter 2017, the daily average national rate of persons in community-based corrections was 361 persons per 100,000 adult population, representing an increase of less than 1% from the June quarter 2017 and an increase of 1% or 4 persons for the year. (Table 16)

    Graph Image for COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS RATE(a), By states and territories, Sep 2016, Jun 2017 and Sep 2017

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

    Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons in community-based corrections

    Nationally, the average daily number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons in community-based corrections for the September quarter 2017 was 14,239, representing an increase of 3% (437 persons) from the previous quarter and an increase of 8% (1,025 persons) over the year.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons make up just over one fifth (21%) of the total community-based corrections population, of which three-quarters were located in three states: Queensland (33% or 4,688 persons), New South Wales (31% or 4,401 persons) and Western Australia (12% or 1,725 persons). (Table 18)

    Graph Image for ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS(a), Sep 2015 to Sep 2017

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

    Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia