This publication presents information from the National Prisoner Census about persons held in Australian prisons on the night of 30 June 2009. The National Prisoner Census covers all prisoners in the legal custody of adult corrective services in adult prisons, including periodic detainees in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. It excludes persons held in juvenile institutions, psychiatric custody and police custody. It is based on data extracted from administrative records held by the corrective services agencies in each Australian state and territory. These statistics provide a profile of the legal status and sentence details as well as demographic characteristics of Australian adult prisoners.
Users of this publication should note that it provides a picture of the persons in prison at a point in time (30 June 2009), and does not represent the flow of prisoners during the year. The majority of prisoners in the annual Prisoner Census were serving long-term sentences for serious offences, whereas the flow of offenders in and out of prisons consists primarily of persons serving short sentences for lesser offences. Complementary information to this publication about Australian prisoners is available in the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) quarterly publication, Corrective Services, Australia (cat. no. 4512.0).
The Explanatory Notes provide detailed information on the data sources, definitions, counting rules and other technical matters associated with this publication.
For ease of reading, 'most serious offence/charge' may be referred to as 'offence/charge' throughout this publication. The term 'related offences' has also been omitted for ease of reading for the following offences/charges: homicide and related offences; sexual assault and related offences; robbery, extortion and related offences; and theft and related offences.