4517.0 - Prisoners in Australia, 2009 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/12/2009   
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Contents >> Prisoner characteristics, Australia >> MOST SERIOUS OFFENCE/CHARGE

MOST SERIOUS OFFENCE/CHARGE

A most serious offence/charge is determined for each prisoner (see Explanatory Notes, paragraphs 74-77). At 30 June 2009, the most prevalent offences/charges for prisoners (either sentenced or unsentenced) were: acts intended to cause injury (19%); sexual assault (12%); illicit drug offences and unlawful entry with intent (both 11%); robbery and extortion (10%); and homicide (9%).


Age

Prisoners in the 25-34 year age group accounted for the highest proportion of prisoners for the following offence/charge categories:

  • unlawful entry with intent - 43%;
  • robbery and extortion - 43%;
  • acts intended to cause injury - 40%; and
  • illicit drugs - 33%.

Prisoners aged 35-44 years accounted for the highest proportion of prisoners for homicide and sexual assault (31% and 28% respectively).

PROPORTION OF PRISONERS, selected most serious offence/charge, by age group(a)
Graph: PROPORTION OF PRISONERS, selected most serious offence/charge, by age group(a)


Comparing different age groups (see chart below):
  • prisoners 55 and over were more likely to be imprisoned for sexual assault than for other selected most serious offence/charge types (45%);
  • of the 45-54 age group, the highest proportion (22%) were also in prison for the most serious offence/charge of sexual assault;
  • for each of the remaining age groups, the offence with the highest proportion of prisoners was acts intended to cause injury.
PROPORTION OF PRISONERS, age groups by selected most serious offence/charge(a)
Graph: PROPORTION OF PRISONERS, age groups by selected most serious offence/charge(a)






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