4517.0 - Prisoners in Australia, 2016 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/12/2016   
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ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PRISONER CHARACTERISTICS

Snapshot

At 30 June, 2016:
  • There were 10,596 prisoners who identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, a 7% increase (711 prisoners) from 30 June, 2015 (9,885 prisoners). The number of non-Indigenous prisoners increased by 8% (2,002 prisoners). (Table 2)
  • From 30 June, 2015, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate increased by 4%, from 2,253 to 2,346 prisoners per 100,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. The non-Indigenous rate increased by 6% over the same period from 146 to 154 prisoners per 100,000 non-Indigenous population. (Table 19)
  • The proportion of adult prisoners who identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ranged from 8% in Victoria (535 prisoners) to 84% (1,393 prisoners) in the Northern Territory. (Table 13)

Graph Image for PRISONERS, Indigenous status, 30 June 2006 to 30 June 2016

Source(s): Prisoners in Australia


  • The most common offence/charge for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners was acts intended to cause injury (33% or 3,534 prisoners) followed by unlawful entry with intent (15% or 1,605 prisoners). The most common offence/charge for non-Indigenous prisoners was illicit drug offences (18% or 4,929 prisoners) and acts intended to cause injury (17% or 4,825 prisoners). (Table 1)

Graph Image for PROPORTION OF PRISONERS, Indigenous status by selected most serious offence or charge(a), 30 June 2016

Footnote(s): a) For a definition of most serious offence/charge, see Explanatory Notes, paragraphs 85–87. (b) Offences against justice procedures, government security and operations.

Source(s): Prisoners in Australia


  • Just over three out of four Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners (76% or 8,052 prisoners) had been imprisoned under sentence previously, compared to nearly one in two non-Indigenous prisoners (49% or 13,768 prisoners). (Table 28)