4125.0 - Gender Indicators, Australia, Feb 2015  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/02/2015   
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SAFETY AND JUSTICE

The Safety and Justice section contains the following sub-topics:
  • Victims
  • Imprisonment
  • Offenders


LATEST HIGHLIGHTS



Growth in female sentenced prisoners outpacing males

Between 2001 and 2014, male sentenced prisoners* increased 39% (from 16,978 to 23,644). Female sentenced prisoners increased 63%, increasing from a much smaller starting position (from 1,145 to 1,869). In 2014 however, males still represent about 93% of all sentenced prisoners.



Graph Image for Male and Female Sentenced Prisoners, 2001 to 2014 (a)

Footnote(s): (a) From 2006, in all States and Territories except Queensland, persons remanded or sentenced to adult custody are aged 18 years and over. In Queensland, 'adult' refers to persons aged 17 years and over. Prior to 2006, in Victoria persons aged 17 years and over were also referred to as 'adult'. For more information, see Explanatory Note 12 in ABS Prisoners in Australia, 2014 (cat. no. 4517.0).

Source(s): ABS Prisoners in Australia, 2014 (cat. no. 4517.0); ABS data available on request, National Prisoner Census.




Most serious offence
‘Most serious offence’ refers to the offence for which a prisoner received the largest sentence in the current episode for a single count of the offence.

Males
Of the most serious offence for which males are sentenced, the proportion of ‘acts intended to cause injury’ increased markedly from 11.9% in 2001 to 17.7% in 2014. It is now the leading ‘most serious offence’ for which males are sentenced.

‘Offences against justice’** also increased proportionally over the same period from 8.3% to 11.7%.

In contrast, between 2001 and 2014 ‘acts of theft and related offences’ and acts of ‘fraud, deception and related offences’ declined (from 6.4% to 3.6%, and from 2.8% to 1.9% respectively). ‘Sexual assault and related offences’ has also declined in recent years (from 14.7% in 2011 to 12.8% in 2014).



Graph Image for Selected 'Most Serious' Offences for Males (a)(b), 2001 to 2014

Footnote(s): (a) For the definition of most serious offence, see Explanatory Notes, 78–89 in ABS Prisoners in Australia, 2014 (cat. no. 4517.0); (b) Offence data from 2001–2008 are based on Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC) 1997. Offence data for 2009 are based on ASOC 2008, with the exception of data for Qld and WA which are based on ASOC 1997. Data for 2010 are based on ASOC 2008 for all states and territories and data for 2011 onwards are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification (ANZSOC), 2011 (cat. no. 1234.0).

Source(s): ABS Prisoners in Australia, 2014 (cat. no. 4517.0)





Females
Of the most serious offence for which females are sentenced, the proportion of ‘Illicit drug offences’ and ‘acts intended to cause injury’ increased between 2001 and 2014 (from 10.6% to 17.8% and 10.6% to 16.5%). These two offences are also the most common of all most serious offences for females.

More recently (between 2012 and 2014), females committing ‘offences against justice’ also increased from 9% to 13%.

In contrast, ‘theft and related offences’ has declined (albeit unevenly) since its high point of 11.9% in 2004 to 7.5% in 2014. ‘Fraud, deception and other related offences’ also declined between 2012 (12.3%) and 2014 (8.7%).



Graph Image for Selected 'Most Serious' Offences for Females (a)(b), 2001 to 2014

Footnote(s): (a) For the definition of most serious offence, see Explanatory Notes, 78–89 in ABS Prisoners in Australia, 2014 (cat. no. 4517.0); (b) Offence data from 2001–2008 are based on Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC) 1997. Offence data for 2009 are based on ASOC 2008, with the exception of data for Qld and WA which are based on ASOC 1997. Data for 2010 are based on ASOC 2008 for all states and territories and data for 2011 onwards are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification (ANZSOC), 2011 (cat. no. 1234.0).

Source(s): ABS Prisoners in Australia, 2014 (cat. no. 4517.0)




* Sentenced prisoners are those persons who have received a term of imprisonment from a court. This includes offenders who have been given an indeterminate sentence or custodial order, for example persons detained under the 'Governor's/ HM's Pleasure' and 'Forensic Patients', or those who have received a life sentence. Also included are periodic detainees in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.


** Offences against justice refers to an act or omission that is deemed to be prejudicial to the effective carrying out of justice procedures or any government operations (including security).



DATA VISUALISATION

A visual representation of the Imprisonment rate from the Safety and Justice domain is shown below. Simply go to the graph and click on the 'Play' button to see changes in the data over time.

Details of the data used to create the graphs, and the original data sources, can be found in the relevant Data Cubes on the Downloads tab.



Graph Image for Imprisonment rate, by sex and by age