In this issue:
- Census 2001
- NCCJS Meetings
- Upcoming Publications
- Staff News
- Organisation Chart
- NCCJS Contact Points
The 2001 Census of Population and Housing was conducted on 7 August 2001. The expected release date for the 2001 Census output is 17 June 2002. Noteworthy improvements for the collection of 2001 Census data included: the implementation of an Indigenous Enumeration Strategy developed in consultation with Indigenous people and associated organisations; and a more complete coverage of the homeless by having members of the homeless community participate as Census collectors in their communities.
CENSUS PRODUCTS & SERVICES
The Census Guide
The Census Guide is a free CD-ROM which will be issued as three releases (September 2001, July 2002 and November 2002). It will contain a range of 2001 Census reference material and product information including the Census product release schedule and 2001 Directory of Census Statistics (ABS Cat. no. 2910.0). The Directory of Census Statistics details products and services available for the 2001 Census (including an indicative price list) and contains information on Census variables and Census Geographic Structure. To order a free copy of the CD-ROM call 1800 813 939.
Products available on the Internet
Some standard data products will be available free of charge to all users via the Internet. They will include Basic Community Profiles down to the Statistical Local Area (SLA) geographic level. The web site will also show main findings from the statistical publications Selected Social and Housing Characteristics (Cat. no. 2015.0-8), Selected Education and Labour Force Characteristics (Cat. no. 2017.0-8), and Selected Characteristics for Urban Centres/Localities (Cat. no. 2016.0-7).
Census Snapshots are a new product designed to provide a summary overview for a selected geographic area and will be available free of charge via the Internet. They will contain subsets of Community Profile data, including person counts, age and birthplace, presented in a narrative form for easy access by a wide audience. These will be available for Australia, States and Territories, Capital City Statistical Divisions and Statistical Local Areas.
CDATA is a CD-ROM product which provides a large volume of Census small area data (down to the Collection District [CD] level) combined with digital geographic and topographic data. It includes sophisticated manipulation, report generation and mapping software and provides to researchers and planners a tool for analysing, integrating and visualising Census data.
Socio-Economic Indexes For Areas
Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) is a product which categorises areas according to their social and economic conditions. Five indexes will be available: Urban Index of Advantage, Rural Index of Advantage, Index of Disadvantage, Index of Economic Resources and Index of Education and Occupation. SEIFA provides information for a wide range of geographic areas from CD level and above. Users can also customise areas to their own specifications. SEIFA2001 will be available as a stand alone product or as an add-on module for use with CDATA2001.
A range of statistical and thematic publications will be produced for the 2001 Census. Of particular interest is the Social Atlas series (ABS Cat. no. 2030.1-8) which presents thematic maps of key social, demographic and economic characteristics for each capital city in Australia. The series has a common core set of maps including population, ethnicity, education, families, income, labour force, and dwellings.
To make enquiries or discuss customised data requirements phone the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out about the full range of 2001 Census products and services visit www.abs.gov.au/census.
Corrective Services, Australia
The December 2001 quarter issue of Corrective Services, Australia was released on 28 March 2002. The most notable change between the 2000 and 2001 calendar years has been in the number of sentenced receptions which has decreased by 18%. This large national decrease is being driven by changes to sentencing practices in Queensland where there has been a 98% decrease in sentenced receptions for fine default only prisoners and a 26% decrease in other sentenced receptions.
Copies of Corrective Services, Australia (ABS Cat. no. 4512.0) can be ordered by contacting the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
Prisoners in Australia
Prisoners in Australia, 2001 was released on 26 March 2002, 11 weeks earlier than last year's release. The publication contains a range of national and State/Territory data on prisoner counts and rates by personal characteristics (age, sex, Indigenous status, country of birth), whether sentenced or unsentenced, offence, sentence length, as well as information about periodic detainees and federal prisoners. A 10 year time series for a range of variables is also included.
Enhancements made to this issue include imprisonment rates by birthplace, an expanded range of categories for sentence length data, and an appendix with experimental data on the educational attainment levels of prisoners (with some comparison with the attainment levels of the general adult population). The intent is to provide a wider range of personal characteristic data in future issues to enable a better understanding of possible correlations between socio-demographic variables and imprisonment.
One of the most notable changes between 2000 to 2001 has been the strong growth in the number of people on remand, an increase of 15% compared with an overall increase of 3% for total prisoners.
Copies of Prisoners in Australia, 2001 (ABS Cat. no. 4517.0) can be ordered by contacting the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
Recorded Crime, Australia
On 30 May 2002, the ABS will release Recorded Crime, Australia 2001. This will be the ninth issue of this publication. The 2001 issue will contain a revised summary of findings based around a national focus on the themes of change in levels of victimisation, the personal characteristics of victims, and characteristics associated with the offence such as location, outcome of investigation, and weapon use. Data is being included for the first time on the use of knives and syringes as weapons in the commission of an offence. More detailed State and Territory data will be available separately as Companion Tables.
Copies of Recorded Crime, Australia 2001 (ABS Cat. no. 4510.0) will be available from the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 from 30 May 2002.
Higher Criminal Courts
The ABS publication Higher Criminal Courts, Australia 2000-01 will be released on 4 June 2002. The publication will present financial year statistics on the criminal workload of the Supreme and Intermediate Courts in Australia.
This issue will also include a range of new tables on offence and one on penalty. The new tables will be included as experimental data for the forthcoming issue due to existing data quality concerns associated with the level of unknown/not stated for some States/Territories. The ABS will continue its work with the data providers to minimise this current problem with a view to incorporating this data into the main suite of tables in future issues.
Despite the current experimental nature of the offence and penalty data, it is considered that they will offer a valuable insight into Court activity and outcomes.
Copies of Higher Criminal Courts, Australia 2000-2001 (ABS Cat. no. 4513.0) will be available from the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 from 4 June 2002.
Courts Improvement Project
The ABS has ongoing involvement with the Council of Australian Governments' (COAG) work on the annual Report on Government Services publication process. This involvement ranges from participation on the Steering Committee to membership of the various Working Groups. In relation to the Courts Administration Working Group (CAWG), the ABS entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with CAWG to undertake an investigation into the quality and comparability of the data that is collected through the Courts Administration Data Collection.
The project, known as the Courts Improvement Project, is being undertaken in two stages by staff from the National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics, with stage one focussing on issues associated with court lodgments, and stage two on finalisations. The project is looking at a range of data management and data provision practices within each court type in Australia. The current structure and content of the collection manual is also being considered by the project team, to identify where issues of a lack of data comparability across courts, or adherence to CADC requirements relevant to either lodgments or finalisations, is occurring. Options are being developed to address these issues. Stage one is nearing completion, with stage two due for commencement in July of this year for a period of nine months.
The following meetings have been held since October 2001:
- Corrections Advisory Group, 14 Nov 2001
- Court Practitioner's Group, 7-8 Feb 2002
- Police Statisticians, 14-15 Feb 2002
- Courts Board of Management, 21 Feb 2002
- Corrections Advisory Group, 27 Feb 2002
- Crime Advisory Group, 15 March 2002
- Courts Advisory Group, 15 March 2002
- Corrections Board of Management, 21 May 2002
- Crime Board of Management, 22 May 2002
30 May 2002: Recorded Crime, Australia 2001 (ABS Cat. no. 4510.0)
4 June 2002: Higher Criminal Courts, Australia 2000/2001 (ABS Cat. no. 4513.0)
27 June 2002: Corrective Services, Australia March 2002 (ABS Cat. no. 4512.0)
26 September 2002: Corrective Services, Australia June 2002 (ABS Cat. no. 4512.0)
In late 2001, Fiona Shalley joined the NCCJS as a Manager in Statistical Management; Stacey Richardson returned to the NCCJS to work on the Corrections collection; and Belinda Too commenced work on the Recorded Crime collection after a placement on the 2001 Census team.
In early 2002, Anya Roskam joined the NCCJS working in Development and Analysis; Lyn Tucker joined the NCCJS to undertake a 12 month project on sexual assault; Kathy Newbegin began as the Manager of Strategic Co-ordination; Andrew Naughton joined the team to work on the Recorded Crime collection; and Julie Cole began as a Manager in Statistical Management.
During the same period, Laurel Johnson, Amira Peters and Shona Williamson left the ABS.
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NCCJS Contact Points
(03) 9615 7372
National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics
Australian Bureau of Statistics
GPO Box 2796Y
Melbourne VIC 3001