4517.0 - Prisoners in Australia, 2016 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/12/2016   
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This publication presents national statistics on all persons remanded or sentenced to adult custodial corrective services agencies in each state and territory in Australia on 30 June 2016. These statistics describe the characteristics of prisoners, their sentence length, the most serious offence/charge for which offenders are imprisoned, and provide a basis for measuring change over time.


Changes to publication tables

In tables 14 and 26, (PRISONERS, state/territory by selected characteristics, 2006-2016 and SENTENCED PRISONERS, state/territory by aggregate sentence length, 2006-2016) data for 'Australian Capital Territory Prisoners held in New South Wales prisons' presented in previous issues has been removed and the data is now included in the totals for Australian Capital Territory (and footnoted) where relevant. This change was made because there have been no Australian Capital Territory prisoners held in New South Wales prisons since 2008. Further information is available in Explanatory Note 106.

The table presenting data on periodic detainees (Table 35 in previous issues - PERIODIC DETAINEES, selected characteristics) has been removed from this issue and will not be included in future releases. Periodic detention is no longer a sentence option in any state or territory, having ceased in New South Wales in October 2010 and in the Australian Capital Territory on 1 July, 2016. There are very small numbers of prisoners remaining with this sentence type and this will continue to decrease overtime. In tables 10, 11, 25 and 27, data on periodic detainees are no longer separately presented, but are included in totals prisoner counts where relevant.


To minimise the risk of identifying individuals in aggregate statistics, a technique is used to randomly adjust cell values and summary variables. From the 2015 release, a technique called perturbation has been used. Perturbation involves small random adjustment of the statistics and is considered the most satisfactory technique for avoiding the release of identifiable statistics while maximising the range of information that can be released. These adjustments have a negligible impact on the underlying pattern of the statistics.

Perturbation has been applied to the data presented in this publication, including historical data from 2005 onwards. Previously, a different technique was used to confidentialise these data and therefore there may be small differences between historical data presented in this publication and those published in previous issues of this publication. Readers are advised to use the year on year comparisons in the Downloads tab of this publication, rather than directly comparing these data to previous editions.

Data on persons serving post-sentence detention orders have not been perturbed.

Further information is available in the Explanatory Notes, paragraphs 108–110.


A list of other ABS publications relating to crime and justice statistics can be found on the Related Information tab.


The ABS acknowledges the valuable contribution of the Board of Management and Advisory Group of the National Corrective Services Statistics Unit, and the staff of the various agencies that provide the statistics that are presented in this publication.


For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, or email client.services@abs.gov.au. The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.