4500.0 - Crime and Justice News, Apr 2000  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/06/2000   
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The NCSSU Board of Management meeting took place in Perth in May 2000. The Board endorsed a proposal from the NCSSU that unspent funds will be re-directed to new work on measuring the performance of home detention programs. To date, this has been the responsibility of the National Corrections Advisory Group (an officer group servicing the Corrective Services Administrators' Conference), and the Board agreement represents a desire to see the work of the NCSSU more closely integrated with their own national policy concerns.

Quarterly Custodial Collection

The December quarter 1999 issue of Corrective Services, Australia (ABS Cat. No. 4512.0) was released on 30 March 2000. Some of the key findings are:

  • In the December quarter, the average daily number of prisoners in Australia was 20,619, an increase of 5% on the December quarter 1998.
  • New South Wales and Western Australia made the greatest contributions to this increase, rising by 6% and 12% respectively.
  • On 1 December 1999 the highest number of Indigenous persons in prison custody was recorded in New South Wales (1,117), followed by Queensland (1,089) and Western Australia (963).
  • Between the September quarter 1999 and the December quarter 1999, the national imprisonment rate decreased by 1%.
  • The highest ratio of Indigenous to non-Indigenous rates of imprisonment was recorded in Western Australia, with an Indigenous rate of imprisonment 21 times the non-Indigenous rate.

Community Based Corrections

A new approach to the Community Based Corrections (CBC) Collection was proposed at the National Corrections Advisory Group meeting in Alice Springs in March. It has been decided that the CBC Collection will occur on an annual basis, and it is expected that it will be published in the September quarter issue of
Corrective Services Australia. The CBC Collection will also use aggregate data rather than unit record data, in an attempt to align it with a collection currently being published by the Productivity Commission in its annual Report on Government Services.