This publication presents information from the National Prisoner Census about persons held in Australian prisons on the night of 30 June 2015. The National Prisoner Census covers all prisoners in the legal custody of adult corrective services in adult prisons, including periodic detainees in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. It excludes persons held in juvenile justice institutions, psychiatric custody and police custody. It is based on data extracted from administrative records held by the corrective services agencies in each Australian state and territory. These statistics provide a profile of the legal status, sentence details and demographic characteristics of Australian prisoners in the legal custody of adult prisons.
It should be noted that the information provided in the Prisoner Census relates to persons in prison at a point in time (30 June 2015), and does not represent the flow of prisoners during the year. The majority of prisoners in the Prisoner Census were serving long-term sentences for serious offences, whereas the flow of offenders in and out of prisons consists primarily of persons serving short sentences for lesser offences. Complementary information about Australian prisoners is available in the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) quarterly publication, Corrective Services, Australia (cat. no. 4512.0).
The Explanatory Notes provide detailed information on the data sources, definitions, counting rules and other technical matters associated with this publication.
The 'most serious offence/charge', based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification, 2011 (ANZSOC) (cat. no. 1234.0) , may be referred to as 'offence/charge' throughout this publication for ease of reading. The term 'related offences' has also been omitted for ease of reading for the following offences/charges: homicide and related offences; sexual assault and related offences; robbery, extortion and related offences; and theft and related offences. Refer to Explanatory Notes, paragraphs 77–82 for more information about ANZSOC.
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