4500.0 - Crime and Justice News, 2008  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/08/2008   
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People sentenced to serve time in Australian prisons

At 30 June 2007, there were 27,224 prisoners (sentenced and unsentenced) in Australian prisons, an increase of 6% (1,434 prisoners) since 30 June 2006. This represented an imprisonment rate of 169 prisoners per 100,000 adult population. The median aggregate sentence length for all prisoners was three years. Unsentenced prisoners comprised 22% (6,096) of the total prisoner population, an increase of 9% (515 prisoners) from 30 June 2006. Over half (57%) of all prisoners had recorded that they served a sentence in an adult prison prior to the current episode. The most serious offence/charge of acts intended to cause injury accounted for the highest proportion (19% or 5,038) of all prisoners.

The following chart provides an overview of the change in prisoner counts for a selected range of characteristics between 30 June 2006 and 30 June 2007.

Change in prisoner numbers, between 30 June 2006 and 30 June 2007
Graph: Change in prisoner numbers, between 30 June 2006 and 30 June 2007

For more information see Prisoners in Australia, 2007 (cat. no. 4517.0). This publication presents a national snapshot of all prisoners under the legal custody of adult corrective services in adult prisons, including periodic detainees on the night of 30 June 2007. The publication provides a demographic profile of prisoners as well as their legal status, offence and sentence details. The collection is based on data extracted from administrative records held by corrective services agencies in each Australian State and Territory. The 2008 publication is expected to be released 11 December 2008.

People serving CBC orders

The ABS also conducts a quarterly collection of persons in custody and community-based corrections. Details are provided for each state and territory on: prisoner numbers and imprisonment rates by type of custody; legal status for all prisoners and for Indigenous prisoners; the number of sentenced receptions into custody; the number of federal prisoners; and the numbers and rates of persons serving community-based corrections orders. The March quarter 2008 issue of Corrective Services, Australia (cat. no. 4512.0) was released on 19 June 2008. The next issue is due to be released 18 September, 2008.

In the March quarter 2008, there were 54,185 persons in community-based corrections, an increase of less than 1% (362 persons) from the December quarter 2007 and an increase of 5% (2,498 persons) from the March quarter 2007. These are non-custodial orders served under the authority of adult corrective services agencies and include restricted movement, fine option, community service, parole, bail and sentenced probation.