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Data from the corrective services collection is released quarterly in Corrective Services, Australia (cat. no. 4512.0) and accompanying data cubes within approximately 2 months of the reference period. Each release includes data for the current quarter, along with 3 year time series for some data items.
The data are extracted from the administrative records held by corrective services agencies in each state and territory, and from the Australian Attorney-General's Department for details about federal prisoners. The data are not subject to sampling error. Non-sampling errors can arise from inaccuracies in recording by corrective services agencies, when data is extracted, processed and disseminated. The ABS has limited influence over any errors associated with data recorded by external sources. The ABS works with the corrective services agencies to develop a consistent set of rules for scope, coverage, counting rules and data item definitions to minimise data extraction errors. Efficient processing and editing procedures are in place within the ABS to minimise processing and reporting errors.
Revisions to data may be made when new information about the accuracy of previously published data has been identified.
Although national standards and classifications are used in the compilation of these statistics, some discrepancies remain between the states and territories. These are due to legislative and procedural differences between jurisdictions and the way that these differences are reflected in agencies' administrative data systems. As part of the quality assurance strategy, the ABS is working with corrective services agencies to minimise the effect of these differences.
In all states and territories except Queensland, persons are considered adults if aged 18 years and over. In Queensland persons are considered adults if aged 17 years and over.
Statistics for persons held in custody are presented by the state or territory in which they were held and this may not be the state or territory in which they were sentenced.
The ABS also publishes an annual publication that provides a snapshot of all prisoners taken as at midnight 30 June of each year: Prisoners in Australia (cat. no. 4517.0). The publication provides breakdowns of prisoners by a number of characteristics not available for the corrective services publication such as prisoner age, country of birth and most serious offence. Data about persons serving community-based orders are not available from the Prisoner Census. These data are not comparable to those in Corrective Services, Australia due to differences in counting units and/or date of collection.
The corrective services collection does not collect information about individuals held under the authority of juvenile justice agencies.
The Corrective Services, Australia publication contains detailed Explanatory Notes and a Glossary which provides information about the data sources, counting rules, terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.
To assist in the comparison across states and territories, imprisonment rates are included in the publication. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rates are included to allow for meaningful comparisons of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous prisoner populations.
In addition to the information provided in the publication, a series of supplementary data cubes are also available providing detailed breakdowns by states and territories.
If the information you require is not available from the publication or the data cubes, then the National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics may be able to help you with a customised service to suit your needs. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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