4517.0 - Prisoners in Australia, 2017 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/12/2017   
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ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PRISONER CHARACTERISTICS

Snapshot

At 30 June 2017:
  • There were 11,307 prisoners who identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, a 7% increase (711 prisoners) from 30 June 2016. The number of non-Indigenous prisoners increased by 6% (1,654 prisoners). (Table 2)

Graph Image for PRISONERS, Indigenous status, 30 June 2007 to 30 June 2017

Source(s): Prisoners in Australia


  • From 30 June 2017, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate increased by 4%, from 2,346 to 2,434 prisoners per 100,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. The non-Indigenous rate also increased by 4% over the same period from 154 to 160 prisoners per 100,000 non-Indigenous population. (Table 20)
  • The proportion of adult prisoners who identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ranged from 9% in Victoria (610 prisoners) to 84% (1,349 prisoners) in the Northern Territory. (Table 14)
  • The most common offence/charge for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners was Acts intended to cause injury (35% or 3,967 prisoners) followed by Unlawful entry with intent (14% or 1,607 prisoners). The most common offence/charge for non-Indigenous prisoners was Illicit drug offences (19% or 5,777 prisoners) and Acts intended to cause injury (18% or 5,376 prisoners). (Table 1)

Graph Image for PROPORTION OF PRISONERS, Indigenous status by selected most serious offence or charge(a), 30 June 2017

Footnote(s): a) For a definition of most serious offence/charge, see Explanatory Notes, paragraphs 84–86. (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 8,622 prisoners) had been imprisoned under sentence previously, compared to nearly one in two non-Indigenous prisoners (49% or 14,638 prisoners). (Table 29)