4517.0 - Prisoners in Australia, 2018 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/12/2018   
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At 30 June 2018:
  • There were 39,343 male prisoners in Australian prisons, an increase of 4% (1,438 prisoners) from 30 June 2017. The number of female prisoners increased by 10% (326 prisoners) from 3,299 to 3,625 prisoners. (Table 2)

Graph Image for MALE PRISONERS, 30 June 2008 to 30 June 2018

Source(s): Prisoners in Australia


Graph Image for FEMALE PRISONERS, 30 June 2008 to 30 June 2018

Source(s): Prisoners in Australia


  • Since 30 June 2017, the national male imprisonment rate increased by 2% from 404 to 413 prisoners per 100,000 male adult population; while the female imprisonment rate increased by 8% from 34 to 37 prisoners per 100,000 female adult population.
  • The Northern Territory had the highest imprisonment rate for both males (1,721 prisoners per 100,000 male adult population) and females (130 prisoners per 100,000 female adult population). The Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania both had the lowest imprisonment rate for males (287 prisoners per 100,000 male adult population), whilst Tasmania had the lowest imprisonment rate for females (17 prisoners per 100,000 female adult population). (Table 15)

Graph Image for MALE IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), States and territories, 30 June 2008 to 30 June 2018

Footnote(s): (a) Rate per 100,000 male adult population. See Explanatory Notes, paragraphs 53-62.

Source(s): Prisoners in Australia


Graph Image for FEMALE IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), States and territories, 30 June 2008 to 30 June 2018

Footnote(s): a) Rate per 100,000 female adult population. See Explanatory Notes, paragraphs 53-62.

Source(s): Prisoners in Australia


  • The most common offences/charges for male prisoners were:
    • Acts intended to cause injury (23%);
    • Illicit drug offences (15%); and
    • Sexual assault and related offences (13%).
  • The most common offences/charges for female prisoners were:
    • Illicit drug offences (22%);
    • Acts intended to cause injury (19%); and
    • Unlawful entry with intent (10%). (Table 1)