Latest release

Corrective Services, Australia

National and state information about adult prisoners and community based corrections, including legal status, custody type, Indigenous status, sex.

Reference period
December Quarter 2021
Released
10/03/2022
  • Next Release 9/06/2022
    Corrective Services, Australia, March Quarter 2022
  • Next Release 15/09/2022
    Corrective Services, Australia, June Quarter 2022
  • View all releases

Key statistics

  • Persons in custody were 40,862, reaching its lowest level since March quarter 2017
  • Unsentenced prisoners decreased by 7% (998) since the September quarter 2021, down to 14,250
  • There were 18,233 Parole orders, compared to 17,861 last quarter and 17,641 in the previous December quarter 2020

There have been various government restrictions in place across the states and territories due to COVID-19 since March 2020. The restrictions may have had an impact on criminal activity and the justice system.

Persons in custody

There were 40,862 (average daily number) prisoners:

  • down from 42,506 in the September quarter 2021
  • down from 41,668 in the December quarter 2020

Of the 40,862 prisoners, there were:

  • 12,188 in New South Wales, down 4% for the quarter
  • 9,766 in Queensland, down 4%
  • 6,628 in Victoria, down 7%
  • 6,388 in Western Australia, down 3%
  • 3,025 in South Australia, down 3%
  • 1,835 in the Northern Territory, up 1%
  • 640 in Tasmania, down 1%
  • 392 in the Australia Capital Territory, down 3%

(a) Based on average daily number

Imprisonment rates

The imprisonment rate was 204 persons per 100,000 adult population, down from:

  • 212 persons in the September quarter 2021
  • 208 persons in the December quarter 2020

The imprisonment rate per 100,000 adult population was:

  • 994 persons for the Northern Territory, up 1% for the quarter
  • 309 for Western Australia, down 4%
  • 243 for Queensland, down 4%
  • 216 for South Australia, down 3%
  • 191 for New South Wales, down 4%
  • 149 for Tasmania, down 1%
  • 127 for Victoria, down 7%
  • 117 for the Australian Capital Territory, down 3%

(a) Rate is the number of prisoners per 100,000 adult population. Based on average daily number.

Sex

Of all prisoners:

  • 93% (37,798) were male
  • 7% (3,064) were female

Of all male prisoners:

  • 30% (11,393) were in New South Wales
  • 23% (8,856) were in Queensland
  • 17% (6,274) in Victoria

Of all female prisoners:

  • 30% (910) were in Queensland
  • 26% (795) were in New South Wales
  • 20% (600) were in Western Australia

The imprisonment rate for male prisoners was 384 persons per 100,000 adult male population, down from 400 persons last quarter.

The imprisonment rate for female prisoners was 30 persons per 100,000 adult female population, down from 32 persons last quarter.

Type of custody

Of all prisoners:

  • 84% (34,161) were in secure custody
  • 16% (6,701) were in open custody

Legal status

35% (14,250) of the 41,211 prisoners (first day of the month) were unsentenced:

  • down from 15,248 in the September quarter 2021
  • up from 13,633 in the December quarter 2020

Of all unsentenced prisoners:

  • 30% (4,275) were in New South Wales
  • 21% (2,996) were in Queensland
  • 19% (2,709) were in Victoria

65% (26,865) of the 41,211 prisoners (first day of the month) were sentenced, down from:

  • 27,603 in the September quarter 2021
  • 27,913 in the December quarter 2020

Of all sentenced prisoners:

  • 30% (7,947) were in New South Wales
  • 26% (6,854) were in Queensland
  • 17% (4,481) were in Western Australia

(a) Based on average number on the first day of the month

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners

There were 12,624 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners:

  • down from 12,996 in the September quarter 2021
  • up from 12,344 in the December quarter 2020

Of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners:

  • 28% (3,484) were in Queensland, 27% (3,363) were in New South Wales, and 20% (2,557) were in Western Australia
  • 91% (11,488) were male
  • 64% (8,152) were sentenced

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rates

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate was 2,325 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population down from:

  • 2,394 in the September quarter 2021
  • 2,333 in the December quarter 2020

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population was:

  • 3,647 for Western Australia, down 3% for the quarter
  • 2,914 for the Northern Territory, up 1%
  • 2,379 for South Australia, down 5%
  • 2,363 for Queensland, down 3%
  • 1,896 for New South Wales, down 4%
  • 1,811 for the Australia Capital Territory, up 1%
  • 1,754 for Victoria, down 5%
  • 806 for Tasmania, stable

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate for male prisoners was 4,277 persons per 100,000 adult male Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, down from 4,380 persons last quarter.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate for female prisoners was 414 persons per 100,000 adult female Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, down from 449 persons last quarter.

a) Rate is the number of prisoners per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. Based on average daily number.

Federal sentenced prisoners

There were 1,128 federal sentenced prisoners was:

  • down from 1,147 in the September quarter 2021
  • up from 952 in the December quarter 2020

77% (864) of all federal sentenced prisoners were held in New South Wales or Victoria.

Prisoner receptions

The total number of prisoner receptions was 15,094, down from:

  • 15,161 in the September quarter 2021
  • 16,309 in the December quarter 2020

Of all prisoner receptions:

  • 30% (4,485) were in New South Wales, 22% (3,344) were in Queensland, and 17% (2,529) were in Victoria
  • 87% (13,182) were male
  • 79% (11,850) were unsentenced

(a) Total number of prisoner receptions.

Prisoner releases

The total number of prisoner releases was 16,648, up from:

  • 16,323 in the September quarter 2021
  • 15,972 in the December quarter 2020

Of all prisoner releases:

  • 27% (4,552) were in New South Wales, 25% (4,119) were in Queensland, and 17% (2,802) were in Victoria
  • 88% (14,591) were male
  • 60% (9,937) were sentenced

(a) Total number of prisoner releases.

Community-based corrections

Persons in community-based corrections

There were 79,869 persons serving CBC orders, up from:

  • 79,211 in the September quarter 2021
  • 77,919 in the December quarter 2020

Of all persons serving CBC orders, there were:

  • 35,323 in New South Wales, down 1% for the quarter
  • 19,824 in Queensland, up 2%
  • 9,272 in Victoria, up 7%
  • 5,866 in Western Australia, up 1%
  • 5,305 in South Australia, up 1%
  • 2,119 in Tasmania, up 1%
  • 1,230 in the Northern Territory, up 8%
  • 929 in the Australian Capital Territory, down 5%

a) Based on average number on the first day of the month

Rates for persons in community-based corrections

The rate of persons serving CBC orders was 398 persons per 100,000 adult population, up from:

  • 395 persons in the September quarter 2021
  • 389 persons in the December quarter 2020

The rate of persons serving CBC orders per 100,000 adult population was:

  • 666 persons for the Northern Territory, up 8% for the quarter
  • 552 for New South Wales, down 2%
  • 494 for Tasmania, up 2%
  • 493 for Queensland, up 2%
  • 378 for South Australia, up 1%
  • 284 for Western Australia, up 1%
  • 277 for the Australian Capital Territory, down 5%
  • 177 for Victoria, up 7%

a) Rate per 100,000 persons for the state/territory of interest.

Sex

Of all persons serving CBC orders:

  • 81% (64,336) were male
  • 19% (15,496) were female

The rate for male persons serving CBC orders was 654 persons per 100,000 adult male population, up from 649 persons last quarter.

The rate for female persons serving CBC orders was 152 persons per 100,000 adult female population, up from 151 persons last quarter.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons serving community-based corrections orders

There were 18,600 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons serving CBC orders, up from:

  • 18,198 in the September quarter 2021
  • 17,324 in the December quarter 2020

Of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons serving CBC orders:

  • 43% (8,088) were in New South Wales
  • 29% (5,437) were in Queensland
  • 9% (1,697) were in Western Australia

(a) Based on average number on the first day of the month.

Type of community-based corrections orders

There were 55,255 Sentenced probation orders, up from:

  • 55,084 in the September quarter 2021
  • 53,973 in the December quarter 2020

a) Based on average number on the first day of the month

There were 18,233 Parole orders, up from:

  • 17,861 in the September quarter 2021
  • 17,641 in the December quarter 2020

a) Based on average number on the first day of the month

There were 12,835 Community service orders, down from:

  • 13,020 in the September quarter 2021
  • 12,900 in the December quarter 2020

a) Based on average number on the first day of the month

For information about corrective services data, please refer to the Methodology.

Data downloads

Corrective Services datacubes

Data files

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 4512.0.