4517.0 - Prisoners in Australia, 2010 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/12/2010   
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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 6,367 unsentenced prisoners at 30 June 2010, a slight decrease (0.4%) from 30 June 2009 (6,393). Unsentenced prisoners accounted for 21% of the total prisoner population in Australian prisons at 30 June 2010, a decrease from 22% at 30 June 2009. (Table 2.1 and 2.2)

Most serious charge

Of all unsentenced prisoners, 29% had a most serious charge of acts intended to cause injury, followed by illicit drug offences (13%) and unlawful entry with intent (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 time spent on remand by unsentenced prisoners in custody at 30 June 2010 was 3.1 months, an increase from 2.9 months at 30 June 2009. The longest amount of time spent on remand was by prisoners charged with homicide (median of 8.6 months), followed by sexual assault and illicit drug offences (both with a median of 4.5 months) (Table 2.9). For information about interpreting median time on remand based on a census 'snapshot' see Explanatory Notes, paragraphs 78-80.

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