4512.0 - Corrective Services, Australia, March quarter 2019 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/06/2019   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

PERSONS IN CORRECTIVE SERVICES

The Corrective Services, Australia publication presents data for three different populations:

    • persons in full-time custody;
    • persons in community-based corrections; and
    • prisoner receptions.

These populations cannot be compared directly. However, they are presented together to provide an overview of persons in corrective services.


Mar Qtr 19
Dec Qtr 18 to Mar Qtr 19

% change

Mar Qtr 18 to Mar Qtr 19

% change


Persons in full-time custody
43,320
1.3%
2.9%
Persons in community-based corrections
75,544
2.9%
9.5%


PERSONS IN CUSTODY

In the March quarter 2019, the average daily number of prisoners in Australia was 43,320. This was an increase of 1% (541 persons) from the December quarter 2018.

There were increases in all states and territories except for South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

Nationally, there was a 3% (1,218 persons) annual increase from the March quarter 2018.

In the last five years (from the March quarter 2014 to the March quarter 2019), the average number of persons in custody has increased by 30% (10,074 persons). (Table 1 and historical data)

PERSONS IN FULL-TIME CUSTODY(a), Mar 2014 to Mar 2019

Persons in full-time custody(a), Mar 2014 to Mar 2019

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

Commonwealth of Australia 2019

In the March quarter 2019, the largest contributors to the national prisoner population were:
    • New South Wales (31% or 13,475 persons);
    • Queensland (21% or 8,987 persons);
    • Victoria (19% or 8,187 persons); and
    • Western Australia (16% or 6,909 persons). (Table 1)

Sex

Over the past five years, the number of males in custody increased by 30% (9,070 persons) and the number of females in custody increased by 38% (1,004 persons). (Table 1 and historical data)

For the March quarter 2019, the average daily imprisonment rate for males was 413 persons per 100,000 adult male population, which was more than eleven times the rate for females (36 female persons per 100,000 adult female population). (Table 5)

Type of full-time custody

Prisoners can be housed in either:
    • Secure custody, where they are held in medium or maximum security custodial facilities requiring them to be confined by a secure physical barrier; or
    • Open custody, where they are housed in minimum security custodial facilities that do not require them to be confined by a secure perimeter or physical barrier, irrespective of whether a physical barrier exists.

In the March quarter 2019, 81% of prisoners in full-time custody were held in secure custody and the remaining 19% in open custody, representing an average daily number of 35,177 and of 8,143 prisoners respectively.

Since the March quarter 2018, the secure custody prisoner population increased by 4% (1425 persons) and the open custody prisoner population decreased by 2% (207 persons). (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 March quarter 2019, the average number of full-time prisoners on the first day of the month was 43,130, of which:
    • 66% (28,385) were sentenced; and
    • 34% (14,662) were unsentenced.

Unsentenced prisoners increased by 5% for the quarter (692 persons) and year (689 persons). (Table 8)

UNSENTENCED PRISONERS(a), Mar 2014 to Mar 2019

Unsentenced prisoners(a), Mar 2014 to Mar 2019

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

Commonwealth of Australia 2019

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 March quarter 2019, the average daily number of federal sentenced prisoners in Australia was 830, a decrease of 11% (100 persons) from the December quarter 2018.

Three states and territories represented 87% of the federal sentenced prisoners in the March quarter 2019:
    • New South Wales (47% or 391 persons);
    • Victoria (28% or 230 persons); and
    • Western Australia (12% or 97 persons). (Table 10)

For more information, please refer to the Explanatory Notes, Comparability and Significant Events, Australia section.

Rates per 100,000 adult population

Nationally, the average daily imprisonment rate for the March quarter 2019 was 221 persons per 100,000 adult population.

The Northern Territory continued to have the highest imprisonment rate of all states and territories with 944 persons per 100,000 adult population, increasing from 905 persons in the December quarter 2018. In contrast, the imprisonment rates in the other states and territories ranged from 146 persons per 100,000 adult population in the Australian Capital Territory to 345 persons per 100,000 adult population in Western Australia. (Table 3)

AVERAGE DAILY IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), By states and territories, Mar 2018, Dec 2018 and Mar 2019

Average daily imprisonment rate(a), By states and territories, Mar 2018, Dec 2018 and Mar 2019

Footnote(s): (a) Rate is the number of prisoners per 100,000 adult population. Based on average daily number.

Commonwealth of Australia 2019

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners

The average daily number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners during the March quarter 2019 was 12,144 persons. This represented an increase of:
    • 3% (368 persons) since the December quarter 2018; and
    • 3% (327 persons) since the March quarter 2018.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners represented 28% of the total full-time adult prisoner population during the March quarter 2019.

Three states continue to account for nearly three-quarters of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoner population:
    • New South Wales (28% or 3,411 persons);
    • Queensland (24% or 2,868 persons); and
    • Western Australia (22% or 2,696 persons). (Table 1)

Based on first day of the month figures, there were 12,059 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners in the March quarter 2019, of which 65% (7,794 persons) were sentenced and 35% (4,231 persons) were unsentenced. (Table 13)

The national average daily Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate was 2,476 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. The highest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate was recorded in Western Australia (4,119 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population) and the lowest was in Tasmania (744 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population).

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate increased by 10 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population for the quarter. (Table 12)

ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), By states and territories, Mar 2018, Dec 2018 and Mar 2019

ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), By states and territories, Mar 2018, Dec 2018 and Mar 2019

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

Commonwealth of Australia 2019

PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS

Reported daily averages for number of persons serving community-based corrections orders are based on first day of the month figures. For the community-based corrections order types, offenders may be counted more than once if they have two or more different types of orders operating simultaneously. For more information, please refer to the Explanatory Notes, Introduction and Counting Rules sections.

Community-based corrections orders are non-custodial and served under the authority of adult corrective services agencies and include restricted movement, reparations (fine option and community service), supervision orders (parole, bail, sentenced probation) and post-sentence supervision orders.

Number of persons in community-based corrections

The average daily number of persons serving community-based corrections orders in the March quarter 2019 was 75,544 persons, representing a quarterly increase of 3% (2,116 persons). This increase in part can be explained by the introduction of two new sentence types: Community Correction Order (CCO) and Conditional Release Order (CRO) under the NSW Sentencing Reform. For more information, please refer to the Explanatory Notes, Comparability and Significant Events, New South Wales section.

There was a national increase of 10% (6,580 persons) in the average daily number of persons serving community-based corrections orders since the March quarter 2018.

PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS(a), Mar 2014 to Mar 2019

PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS(a), Mar 2014 to Mar 2019

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

Commonwealth of Australia 2019

Three states accounted for over three-quarters of the national number of persons in community-based corrections:
    • New South Wales (34% or 25,712 persons);
    • Queensland (28% or 20,976 persons); and
    • Victoria (18% or 13,339 persons).

Over the past five years (since the March quarter 2014), persons serving community-based corrections orders increased by 36% or 19,840 persons. (Table 1 and historical data)

Sex

In the March quarter 2019, males accounted for 80% (60,771 persons) of the total persons serving community based corrections orders, and the remaining one-fifth were female (14,756 persons).

Over the past five years (since March quarter 2014), females serving community-based corrections orders have increased at a higher rate than males, increasing by 44% (4,480 persons) compared to males by 34% (15,380 persons). (Table 1 and historical data)

Type of orders

A person may be serving more than one type of CBC order at the same time. Therefore, the total count of orders may be greater than the total count of persons serving CBC orders. For more information, please refer to the Explanatory Notes, Counting Rules section.

In the March quarter 2019, there were 82,061 CBC orders being served. This represented an increase of less than 1% (477 orders) since the December quarter 2018.

The three most prevalent order types in Australia were:
    • Sentenced probation (59% or 48,472 orders);
    • Parole (21% or 17,505 orders); and
    • Community service orders (13% or 10,527 orders).

There were quarterly increases for all CBC order types except Fine option and Community service.

Fine option had the largest numeric decrease, decreasing by 12% (335 orders) since the December quarter 2018. The decrease can be partially attributed to Victoria Fines Reform Act 2014 and the transition to Work and Development Orders in Queensland. For more information, please refer to the Explanatory Notes, Comparability and Significant Events, Victoria and Queensland sections. (Table 17)

PROPORTION CBC ORDER TYPES, Mar 2019

PROPORTION CBC ORDER TYPES, Mar 2019

Footnote(s): (a) Based on average number on the first day of the month
        * Data for the following community-based corrections orders are not available or not applicable for certain jurisdictions

Commonwealth of Australia 2019

Rates per 100,000 adult population

In the March quarter 2019, the daily average national rate of persons in community-based corrections was 386 persons per 100,000 adult population. The rate reflects an annual increase of 28 persons per 100,000 adult population since the March quarter 2018. (Table 16)

COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS RATE(a), By states and territories, Mar 2018, Dec 2018 and Mar 2019

COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS RATE(a), By states and territories, Mar 2018, Dec 2018 and Mar 2019

Footnote(s): (a) Rate per 100,000 persons for the state/territory of interest.

Commonwealth of Australia 2019

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 March quarter 2019 was 16,016. This number increased 12% (1,702 persons) since the March quarter 2018. The increases can be linked to the introduction of two new sentence types: Community Correction Order (CCO) and Conditional Release Order (CRO) under the NSW Sentencing Reform. For more information, please refer to the Explanatory Notes, Comparability and Significant Events, New South Wales section.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons made up over one fifth (21%) of the total community-based corrections population, of which more than three-quarters (79%) were located within three states:
    • New South Wales (37% or 5,891 persons);
    • Queensland (31% or 4,917 persons); and
    • Western Australia (12% or 1,851 persons). (Table 18)

ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS(a), Mar 2017 to Mar 2019

ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS(a), Mar 2017 to Mar 2019

Footnote(s): (a) Rate per 100,000 persons for the state/territory of interest.

Commonwealth of Australia 2019

PRISONER RECEPTIONS

A reception refers to the entry into full-time adult corrective services custody from the community.

In the March quarter 2019, there were 17,349 prisoner receptions in Australia.

Prisoner receptions increased by less than 1% since:
    • the December quarter 2018 by 7 persons; and
    • the March quarter 2018 by 49 persons.

The majority of prisoner receptions in the March quarter 2019 were male, comprising 86% (14,872 persons) of all prisoner receptions with females accounting for 2,476 prisoner receptions. (Table 20)

Of all prisoner receptions in the March quarter 2019:
    • 77% (13,392 persons) were unsentenced; and
    • 23% (3,957 persons) were sentenced. (Table 21)

There were 5,845 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoner receptions; an increase of 3% (179 persons) since the December quarter 2018.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoner receptions represented 34% of the overall prisoner receptions population.

Since the December quarter 2018, male Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoner receptions increased by 4% (190 persons), while female Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoner receptions decreased by 1% (11 persons). (Table 20)