4517.0 - Prisoners in Australia, 2009 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/12/2009   
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At 30 June 2009 there were 29,317 prisoners (sentenced and unsentenced) in Australian prisons, an increase of 6% (1,702 prisoners) from 30 June 2008. This represented an imprisonment rate of 175 prisoners per 100,000 adult population. The median aggregate sentence length for all sentenced prisoners was 3 years.

Unsentenced prisoners comprised 22% (6,393) of the total prisoner population, an increase of 1% (53) from 30 June 2008. Over half (56%) of all prisoners had served a sentence in an adult prison prior to the current episode. The most serious offence/charge category of acts intended to cause injury accounted for the highest proportion of all prisoners (19% or 5,638).

Of the total prisoner population, 7% (2,125) were female and more than 8 in 10 (81% or 23,642) were born in Australia. The median age of all prisoners was 33.4 years, unchanged from 2008.

Indigenous prisoners comprised a quarter (25% or 7,386) of the total prisoner population. The age standardised imprisonment rate for Indigenous prisoners was 1,891 per 100,000 adult Indigenous population, indicating that the rate for Indigenous prisoners was 14 times higher than non-Indigenous prisoners at 30 June 2009.

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