4517.0 - Prisoners in Australia, 2009 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/12/2009   
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Contents >> Prisoner characteristics, Australia >> UNSENTENCED PRISONERS


Unsentenced prisoners (those on remand) include unconvicted prisoners awaiting a court hearing or trial, convicted prisoners awaiting sentencing and persons awaiting deportation where they are under the administration of adult corrective services. There was a total of 6,393 unsentenced prisoners at 30 June 2009, an increase of 1% from 30 June 2008 (6,340). Unsentenced prisoners accounted for 22% of the total prisoner population in Australian prisons at 30 June 2009, a decrease from the 23% at 30 June 2008.

Most serious charge

Of all unsentenced prisoners, 28% had a most serious charge of acts intended to cause injury, followed by illicit drug offences (14%) and robbery and extortion (10%).

Time on remand

Time on remand is influenced by a number of factors, particularly the time it takes for a case to come before a court. The median number of months spent on remand by unsentenced prisoners in custody at 30 June 2009 was 2.9 months, an increase from the 2.7 months at 30 June 2008. The longest amount of time spent on remand was by prisoners charged with homicide (median of 8.4 months), followed by illicit drug offences (median of 4.4 months). For information about interpreting median time on remand based on a census 'snapshot' see Explanatory Notes, paragraphs 71-73.

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