4512.0 - Corrective Services, Australia, December quarter 2016 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/03/2017   
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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.


Dec Qtr 16
Sep Qtr 16 to Dec Qtr 16

% change

Dec Qtr 15 to Dec Qtr 16

% change


Persons in full-time custody
39,568
1.4%
6.6%
Persons in community-based corrections
67,329
0.8%
8.4%



Number of persons in custody

In the December quarter 2016, the average daily number of full-time prisoners in Australia was 39,568. This was an increase of:
1% (563 persons) from the September quarter 2016; and
7% (2,459 persons) from the December quarter 2015. (Table 1)

Graph Image for PERSONS IN FULL-TIME CUSTODY(a), Dec 2011 to Dec 2016

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

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



In the last five years (from December quarter 2011 to December quarter 2016), the number of persons in custody has increased 36% or 10,494 persons. (Historical data)

From September quarter 2016, there were increases in prisoner numbers across all states and territories except for Northern Territory which decreased by less than 1%.

In the December quarter 2016, the largest contributors to the national prisoner population were:
New South Wales (32% or 12,793 persons );
Queensland (20% or 8,083 persons);
Victoria (17% or 6,779 persons); and
Western Australia (16% or 6,323 persons). (Table 1)

Number of persons in community-based corrections

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.

The average daily number of persons serving community-based corrections orders was 67,329 persons in the December quarter 2016. This represented an increase of:
1% (536 persons) from the September quarter 2016; and
8% (5,246 persons) from the December quarter 2015. (Table 1)

Graph Image for PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS(a), Dec 2011 to Dec 2016

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

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



Nationally, persons in community-based corrections have been increasing for seven straight quarters, from March quarter 2015 to December quarter 2016. Over this period persons in community-based corrections have increased of 20% or 11,334 persons. There were legislation changes relating to sentencing that occurred in several states and territories in 2014 and 2015 that are likely to have contributed to the increase in community-based corrections since then. (Historical data)

Since the September quarter 2016, there were small increases across all states and territories, except for Victoria and Tasmania which had decreases of 1% (175 persons) and 3% (54 persons) respectively. The largest quarterly increases were recorded in Western Australia (5% or 260 persons) and the Northern Territory (3% or 36 persons). (Table 1)

Three states accounted for over three-quarters of the national number of persons in community-based corrections:
Queensland (30% or 19,873 persons);
New South Wales (28% or 18,593 persons); and
Victoria (21% or 14,115 persons). (Table 1)

PERSONS IN CUSTODY

Sex

The average daily number of males and females in custody both increased since the December quarter 2015, 6% or 2,102 persons and 13% or 357 persons, respectively. (Table 1)

For the December quarter 2016, the average daily imprisonment rate for males was 393 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

Secure custody refers to prisoners housed in medium or maximum security custodial facilities requiring them to be confined by a secure physical barrier.

During the December quarter 2016, the average daily number of prisoners in secure custody in Australia was 31,217 (79% of prisoners in full-time custody), an increase of 7% (2,043 persons) from the December quarter 2015. (Table 6)

Open custody refers to prisoners 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.

There were 8,351 prisoners in open custody in Australia in the December quarter 2016 (21% of prisoners in full-time custody), which was represented an increase of 5% (416 persons) over the year. (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 December quarter 2016, the average number of full-time prisoners on the first day of the month was 39,527, of which:
68% (26,976) were sentenced; and
32% (12,470) were unsentenced. (Table 8)

Nationally, unsentenced prisoners increased slightly over the quarter (up 1%), but over the year, the increase was 18% (1,865 persons). (Table 8)

Between December quarter 2011 and December quarter 2016, unsentenced prisoners have increased 84% or 5,704 persons. (Historical data)

Graph Image for UNSENTENCED PRISONERS(a), Dec 2011 to Dec 2016

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

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



Sentenced prisoner receptions

Sentenced prisoner receptions refer to:
persons entering into corrective services custody from the community, having received a sentence of imprisonment as an outcome of a court proceeding;
persons who are sentenced to custody while in custody on remand (i.e. changed legal status from an unsentenced to a sentenced prisoner); and
persons entering custody as a result of defaulting on the payment of a fine.

Sentenced prisoners in custody who receive a further sentence of imprisonment are not counted as sentenced receptions.

In the December quarter 2016, there were 10,714 sentenced prisoner receptions into full-time prison custody in Australia, representing an increase of 3% (319 persons) from the September quarter 2016 and an increase of 10% (989 persons) for the year. (Table 10)

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 December quarter 2016, the average daily number of federal sentenced prisoners in Australia was 995, up by 2% (23 persons) from the December quarter 2015. (Table 11)

Rates per 100,000 adult population

Nationally, the average daily imprisonment rate in the December quarter 2016 was 211 persons per 100,000 adult population, the Northern Territory continued to have the highest rate of all states and territories with 891 persons per 100,000 adult population. Western Australia had the next highest rate, with 313 persons per 100,000 adult population.

Tasmania had the lowest average daily imprisonment rate (142 persons per 100,000 adult population). (Table 3)

Graph Image for AVERAGE DAILY IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), By states and territories, Dec 2015 and Dec 2016

Footnote(s): (a) Rate is the number of prisoners per 100,000 adult population

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners

The average daily number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult prisoners in Australia during the December quarter 2016 was 10,788. This represented:
An increase of 1% (120 persons) from the September quarter 2016; and
An increase of 6% (637 persons) from the December quarter 2015. (Table 1)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners represented 27% of the total full-time adult prisoner population, 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)

In the December quarter 2016, three states continued to account for nearly three-quarters of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoner population: New South Wales (28% or 3,065 persons), Queensland (24% or 2,561 persons) and Western Australia (22% or 2,384 persons). (Table 1)

Graph Image for AVERAGE DAILY ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), Dec 2014 to Dec 2016

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

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



The national average daily Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate was 2,388 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 (3,965);
Northern Territory (2,831); and
South Australia (2,687). (Table 13)

Graph Image for ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), By states and territories, Dec 2015, Sep 2016 and Dec 2016

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

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



Between the September 2016 and December 2016 quarters, the largest increases in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate were in Victoria and Queensland (increasing by 103 and 91 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, respectively). (Table 13)

Since the December quarter 2015, only the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory had a decrease in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate, decreasing by 135 and 102 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, respectively. (Table 13)

In the December quarter 2016, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners, based on first day of the month figures was 10,714 persons, of which:
70% (7,474 persons) were sentenced; and
30% (3,205 persons) were unsentenced. (Table 14)

Unsentenced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners increased by 12% (333 persons) from the December quarter 2015, in line with the 18% annual increase in the total unsentenced population. (Table 8 and 14)

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.

Sex

In the December quarter 2016, the average daily number of persons serving community-based corrections orders was 67,329. Of these, 81% (54,501) were male and 19% (12,808) were female. (Table 1 and 16)

Type of orders

In the December quarter 2016, the three most prevalent order types in Australia were:
Sentenced probation (56% or 40,537 persons);
Parole (20% or 14,781 persons); and
Community service orders (15% or 10,993 persons). (Table 18)

Since the September quarter 2016, there were increases across all order types except for bail orders, restricted movement and fine option.

Whilst the increase in persons serving sentenced probation orders from the September quarter 2016 was minimal (up 1% or 353 persons), this increase accounted for 87% of the overall increase in the community-based corrections population. Sentenced probation orders increased 9% (3,266 persons) from the December quarter 2015. (Table 18)

The average daily number of persons on parole was 14,781, up 10% (1,377 persons) from the December quarter 2015. The largest increase in parole orders for states and territories this period was recorded in New South Wales (up 16% or 797 persons). (Table 18)

Graph Image for PROPORTION OF PERSONS SERVING SELECTED COMMUNITY-BASED ORDERS(a), By states and territories, Dec 2015, Sep 2016 and Dec 2016

Footnote(s): (a) From the June quarter 2015, post-sentence supervision orders are excluded from sentenced probation orders (see Explantory Notes paragraph 38)

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



Rates per 100,000 adult population

In the December quarter 2016, the daily average national rate of persons in community-based corrections was 359 persons per 100,000 adult population, representing a 1% increase from the September quater 2016 and a 7% increase from the December quarter 2015. (Table 17)

Graph Image for COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS RATE(a), By states and territories, Dec 2015, Sep 2016 and Dec 2016

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

The average daily number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons in community-based corrections for the December quarter 2016 was 13,564, representing 20% of the total community-based corrections population. (Table 19)

Nationally, there were increases of 3% (350 persons) from the September quarter 2016 and 11% (1,387 persons) from the December quarter 2015. (Table19)

Three-quarters of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-based corrections population were located in three states: Queensland (35% or 4,695 persons), New South Wales (31% or 4,178 persons) and Western Australia (11% or 1,479 persons). (Table 19)

Graph Image for ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS(a), Dec 2014 to Dec 2016

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

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



The increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons with a community-based corrections order since the March quarter 2015 is also reflected in the overall national increase in these orders over the same period.