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4512.0 - Corrective Services, Australia, Dec 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/03/2005   
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NOTES


ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION

This publication presents information on persons in custody and community-based corrections. The statistics are derived from information provided to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) from administrative records held by corrective services agencies in each state and territory, and from the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department for details on federal prisoners. Details are provided for each state and territory on numbers and imprisonment rates by type of custody (i.e. open or secure custody or periodic detention). Information is also presented on prisoner numbers by legal status (sentenced or unsentenced) for all prisoners and for Indigenous prisoners, together with the number of sentenced receptions into custody and the number of federal prisoners.

The ABS acknowledges the valuable contribution of the Board of Management, the Advisory Group of the National Corrective Services Statistics Unit and the staff of the various agencies that provide the statistics that are presented in this publication.


CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE

The presentation of tables 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 14 has changed. Previously tables 3 and 4 included disaggregation for males and females by type of custody. These data are now presented in tables 3-6. Previously tables 7, 8, 9 and 11 included disaggregation by sentence type. Previously table 14 included disaggregation by sex.


INDIGENOUS IMPRISONMENT RATES

The ABS has temporarily discontinued publication of Indigenous imprisonment rates pending the rebasing of these rates, including historical data, on the new experimental estimates of the Indigenous population based on the 2001 Census of Population and Housing. These will replace the 1996 Census based series which were previously used as denominators for calculating Indigenous imprisonment rates. The rebased rates will be included in future issues of this publication. See paragraph 28 of the Explanatory Notes for further information.


FURTHER INFORMATION

More information about ABS activities in the field of crime and justice statistics is available from the Crime and Justice theme page on the ABS web site. Details of other ABS publications relating to Crime and Justice statistics can be found in paragraphs 35-37 of the Explanatory Notes.


INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Nick Skondreas on Melbourne (03) 9615 7381.


SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


NUMBER OF PRISONERS

PERSONS IN PRISON CUSTODY, Average daily number per month
Graph - Persons in prison custody, Average daily number per month



The average daily number of prisoners in Australia in the December quarter 2004 was 23,816, an increase of 326 (1%) on the September quarter 2004 and 938 (4%) on the December quarter 2003. These increases reflect the upward trend of the annual average daily prisoner numbers. The annual average daily number of prisoners for 2004 (23,312) was 3% higher than for 2003 (22,578), which was 4% higher than 2002 (21,713).


RATES PER 100,000 ADULTS

AVERAGE DAILY IMPRISONMENT RATE(a)
Graph - Average daily imprisonment rate per 100,000 adult population



Nationally, the average daily imprisonment rate was 154 prisoners per 100,000 adult population during the December quarter 2004, an increase of 3% since the December quarter 2003 (151 prisoners). The Northern Territory had the highest imprisonment rate (532 prisoners per 100,000 adult population), followed by Western Australia (221) and Queensland (180). The Australian Capital Territory (including Australian Capital Territory prisoners held in New South Wales prisons) and Victoria had the lowest imprisonment rates (74 and 93 prisoners per 100,000 adults respectively).

Of all states and territories, the largest proportional increase (17%) in imprisonment rates since the December quarter 2003 was recorded in Tasmania. The next highest increase was Western Australia (10%), followed by New South Wales (6%). Victoria recorded a decrease in its imprisonment rate (6%) over the same period.


SEX

Of the average daily number of full-time prisoners in Australia in the December quarter 2004, 22,217 (93%) were male and 1,599 (7%) were female. The average daily imprisonment rate for males was 293 prisoners per 100,000 adult male population. The average daily imprisonment rate for females was 20 prisoners per 100,000 adult female population. Males were 15 times more likely to be in prison than females.


INDIGENOUS PRISONERS

INDIGENOUS PERSONS IN FULL-TIME CUSTODY
Graph - Indigenous persons in full-time custody



In the December quarter 2004, there were 5,358 Indigenous prisoners. The number of Indigenous prisoners has increased by 9% (455) since the December quarter 2003. Of all Indigenous prisoners, 9% (456) were female, which is slightly higher than the overall proportion of female prisoners in full-time custody (7%).

The average of the number of unsentenced Indigenous prisoners on the first day of each of the three months in the December quarter was 1,043 (19%). This compares to a proportion of 21% of all prisoners who were unsentenced in the quarter.


TYPE OF FULL-TIME CUSTODY

The average daily number of prisoners in secure prison custody in the December quarter 2004 was 16,995 (71% of prisoners in full-time custody). The remaining prisoners were held in open prison custody. Nationally, the proportions of prisoners held in secure and open prison custody have remained stable over the past two years.

In the December quarter 2004, all prisoners held in full-time custody in the Australian Capital Territory were in secure custody. In other states and territories, the highest proportions of prisoners held in secure full-time prison custody were recorded in Victoria (90%) and South Australia (89%). The proportion of prisoners in secure full-time custody was lowest in New South Wales (including Australian Capital Territory prisoners held in New South Wales prisons) at 53%. This represents 49% of all persons held in New South Wales, including periodic detainees.


LEGAL STATUS AND SENTENCE TYPE

The average of the number of prisoners in full-time custody on the first day of each of the three months in the December quarter 2004 was 23,779. Of these, the average number of unsentenced prisoners was 4,931 (21%). The Australian Capital Territory (including Australian Capital Territory prisoners held in New South Wales prisons) and South Australia had the highest proportions of unsentenced prisoners (34% and 32% respectively). The lowest proportion of unsentenced prisoners was recorded in Western Australia (15%).

PERSONS IN PRISON CUSTODY, Proportion unsentenced per month
Graph - Persons in prison custody, Proportion unsentenced per month



SENTENCED RECEPTIONS

There were 6,373 sentenced receptions into full-time custody in Australia in the December quarter 2004. The number of sentenced receptions increased by 261 (4%) since the September quarter 2004, and increased by 400 (7%) since the December quarter 2003.


PERIODIC DETENTION

Periodic detention is a form of custody only used in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. During the December quarter 2004 there was an average daily number of 771 persons in New South Wales and 98 persons in the Australian Capital Territory held in periodic detention. While the rate of imprisonment for periodic detention in the Australian Capital Territory increased by 19% between the December quarters 2003 and 2004, in New South Wales it increased by 1% during the same period. In the December quarter 2004, 60% of all persons in custody (full-time and periodic detention) in the Australian Capital Territory were in periodic detention. In contrast 8% of all persons in custody in New South Wales were in periodic detention.


FEDERAL PRISONERS

In the December quarter 2004, there were 675 federal prisoners in Australia, an increase of 6 (1%) since the December quarter 2003. Of the federal prisoners, more than half were sentenced in New South Wales.


PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS

In the December quarter 2004, there were 51,922 persons in community-based corrections in Australia, an increase of 3% (1,381 persons) since the December quarter 2003.

Rates per 100,000 adults

Nationally, the rate of persons in community-based corrections was 337 persons per 100,000 adult population for the December quarter 2004. This was an increase of 1% since the December quarter 2003 (332 persons per 100,000 adults). The largest increase was in Western Australia (7%), followed by Tasmania (6%) and the Northern Territory (5%). South Australia recorded the largest proportional decrease (4%).

COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS RATE(a)
Graph - Community-based corrections rate per 100,000 adult population



In the December quarter 2004, the male rate of participation in community-based corrections was 557 per 100,000 adult male population in comparison to 119 females per 100,000 adult female population. Males were five times more likely to be in community-based corrections than females.

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