4500.0 - Crime and Justice News, Apr 2002  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/05/2002   
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Corrective Services, Australia

The December 2001 quarter issue of Corrective Services, Australia was released on 28 March 2002. The most notable change between the 2000 and 2001 calendar years has been in the number of sentenced receptions which has decreased by 18%. This large national decrease is being driven by changes to sentencing practices in Queensland where there has been a 98% decrease in sentenced receptions for fine default only prisoners and a 26% decrease in other sentenced receptions.

PERSONS IN PRISON CUSTODY, Average daily number-Australia

Copies of Corrective Services, Australia (ABS Cat. no. 4512.0) can be ordered by contacting the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

Prisoners in Australia

Prisoners in Australia, 2001 was released on 26 March 2002, 11 weeks earlier than last year's release. The publication contains a range of national and State/Territory data on prisoner counts and rates by personal characteristics (age, sex, Indigenous status, country of birth), whether sentenced or unsentenced, offence, sentence length, as well as information about periodic detainees and federal prisoners. A 10 year time series for a range of variables is also included.

Enhancements made to this issue include imprisonment rates by birthplace, an expanded range of categories for sentence length data, and an appendix with experimental data on the educational attainment levels of prisoners (with some comparison with the attainment levels of the general adult population). The intent is to provide a wider range of personal characteristic data in future issues to enable a better understanding of possible correlations between socio-demographic variables and imprisonment.

One of the most notable changes between 2000 to 2001 has been the strong growth in the number of people on remand, an increase of 15% compared with an overall increase of 3% for total prisoners.

Copies of Prisoners in Australia, 2001 (ABS Cat. no. 4517.0) can be ordered by contacting the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

Recorded Crime, Australia

On 30 May 2002, the ABS will release Recorded Crime, Australia 2001. This will be the ninth issue of this publication. The 2001 issue will contain a revised summary of findings based around a national focus on the themes of change in levels of victimisation, the personal characteristics of victims, and characteristics associated with the offence such as location, outcome of investigation, and weapon use. Data is being included for the first time on the use of knives and syringes as weapons in the commission of an offence. More detailed State and Territory data will be available separately as Companion Tables.

Copies of Recorded Crime, Australia 2001 (ABS Cat. no. 4510.0) will be available from the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 from 30 May 2002.

Higher Criminal Courts

The ABS publication Higher Criminal Courts, Australia 2000-01 will be released on 4 June 2002. The publication will present financial year statistics on the criminal workload of the Supreme and Intermediate Courts in Australia.

This issue will also include a range of new tables on offence and one on penalty. The new tables will be included as experimental data for the forthcoming issue due to existing data quality concerns associated with the level of unknown/not stated for some States/Territories. The ABS will continue its work with the data providers to minimise this current problem with a view to incorporating this data into the main suite of tables in future issues.

Despite the current experimental nature of the offence and penalty data, it is considered that they will offer a valuable insight into Court activity and outcomes.

Copies of Higher Criminal Courts, Australia 2000-2001 (ABS Cat. no. 4513.0) will be available from the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 from 4 June 2002.