Prisoner numbers remain stable in 2019


The number of adult prisoners in Australian prisons remained stable in 2019, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

On 30 June 2019, there were 43,028 prisoners in custody. This represents an increase of less than one per cent from 30 June 2018.

The number of female prisoners decreased 4 per cent (131) while the number of male prisoners increased by less than one per cent (195) since 2018. Males continue to comprise the majority of Australia’s prisoner population (92% of total prisoners).

ABS Director of the National Centre of Crime and Justice Statistics, William Milne, said the decrease in the number of female prisoners follows a period of increase. “The four per cent decrease in the number of female prisoners since last year was the first decrease in eight years,” Mr Milne said.

“Acts intended to cause injury and Illicit drug offences remained the most common offences or charges for prisoners in 2019. The largest increase in prisoner numbers was for Sexual assault and related offences, and the largest decrease was for Unlawful entry with intent.”

Further information, including state and territory data, can be found in Prisoners in Australia, 2019 (cat. no. 4517.0), available for free download from the ABS website:

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