4517.0 - Prisoners in Australia, 2019 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/12/2019   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoner characteristics

At 30 June 2019:

Key statistics

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoner numbers remained stable from 2018, increasing by less than one per cent (17 prisoners). (Table 2)

Prisoners, Indigenous status, 30 June 2009 to 30 June 2019

Prisoners, Indigenous status, 30 June 2009 to 30 June 2019
Commonwealth of Australia 2019
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners accounted for over a quarter (28%) of the total Australian prisoner population. (Table 1)
  • The most common offence/charge for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners was Acts intended to cause injury (34% or 4,009 prisoners) followed by Unlawful entry with intent (14% or 1,655 prisoners). (Table 1)

Proportion of prisoners, Indigenous status by selected most serious offence or charge(a), 30 June 2019

Proportion of prisoners, Indigenous status by selected most serious offence or charge(a), 30 June 2019
Footnote(s): (a) For a definition of most serious offence/charge, see Explanatory Notes, Most serious offence/charge. (b) Offences against justice procedures, government security and operations.

Commonwealth of Australia 2019
  • Three out of four Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners (78% or 9,230 prisoners) had been imprisoned under sentence previously. (Table 29)

Sex
  • Nine in ten (90% or 10,710 prisoners) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners were male. (Table 21)
  • The most common offences/charges for both male and female Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners were:
    • Acts intended to cause injury (34% or 3,644 prisoners and 32% or 367 prisoners, respectively); and
    • Unlawful entry with intent (14% or 1,483 prisoners and 15% or 175 prisoners, respectively). (Table 5)

Age
  • Overall, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners were younger than non-Indigenous prisoners, which follows the same profile from previous years.
  • The median age of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners was 32 years. (Table 1)

Sentenced prisoners
  • The median aggregate sentence length for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners was 2.0 years. (Table 11)
  • The median expected time to serve for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners was 1.3 years. (Table 12)
  • The median aggregate sentence length for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sentenced prisoners was longest in South Australia (3.2 years) and shortest in Northern Territory (1.5 years). (Table 26)

Unsentenced prisoners
  • One-third (34%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners were unsentenced (4,011 prisoners).
  • The most common charge for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander unsentenced prisoners was Acts intended to cause injury (44% or 1,777 prisoners), followed by Robbery/extortion (10% or 398 prisoners). (Table 9)
  • The median time spent on remand by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander unsentenced prisoners was 2.7 months. (Table 13)