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
September Quarter 2021

Key statistics

  • 15,248 prisoners were unsentenced
  • The proportion of prisoners that were unsentenced remained stable at 64% for the quarter compared to 68% of prisoners in the September quarter 2020
  • There were 15,161 prisoner receptions, compared to 16,139 last quarter and 15,919 in the previous September quarter 2020

There have been 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 42,506 (average daily number) prisoners:

  • down from 43,073 in the June quarter 2021
  • up from 41,002 in the September quarter 2020

Of the 42,506 prisoners, there were:

  • 12,655 in New South Wales, down 4% for the quarter
  • 10,136 in Queensland, up 2%
  • 7,118 in Victoria, down 2%
  • 6,608 in Western Australia, down 2%
  • 3,116 in South Australia, stable
  • 1,825 in the Northern Territory, up 1%
  • 645 in Tasmania, stable
  • 403 in the Australia Capital Territory, up 7%

(a) Based on average daily number

Imprisonment rates

The imprisonment rate was 212 persons per 100,000 adult population:

  • down from 215 persons in the June quarter 2021
  • up from 205 persons in the September quarter 2020

The imprisonment rate per 100,000 adult population was:

  • 985 persons for the Northern Territory, up 1% for the quarter
  • 321 for Western Australia, down 2%
  • 253 for Queensland, up 2%
  • 222 for South Australia, stable
  • 198 for New South Wales, down 4%
  • 150 for Tasmania, stable
  • 136 for Victoria, down 2%
  • 120 for the Australian Capital Territory, up 7%

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

Sex

Of all prisoners:

  • 92% (39,279) were male
  • 8% (3,227) were female

Of all male prisoners, there were:

  • 30% (11,820) in New South Wales
  • 23% (9,203) in Queensland
  • 17% (6,717) in Victoria

Of all female prisoners, there were:

  • 29% (934) in Queensland
  • 26% (836) in New South Wales
  • 19% (615) in Western Australia

The imprisonment rate for male prisoners was 400 persons per 100,000 adult male population, down from 405 persons last quarter.

The imprisonment rate for female prisoners was 32 persons per 100,000 adult female population, stable for the quarter.

Type of custody

Of all prisoners, there were:

  • 84% (35,600) in secure custody
  • 16% (6,905) in open custody

Legal status

36% (15,248) of the 42,950 prisoners (first day of the month) were unsentenced, up from:

  • 15,219 in the June quarter 2021
  • 13,081 in the September quarter 2020

Of all unsentenced prisoners, there were:

  • 30% (4,648) in New South Wales
  • 21% (3,154) in Victoria
  • 20% (3,036) in Queensland

64% (27,603) of the 42,950 prisoners (first day of the month) were sentenced, down from:

  • 27,793 in the June quarter 2021
  • 27,789 in the September quarter 2020

Of all sentenced prisoners, there were:

  • 30% (8,401) in New South Wales;
  • 25% (6,990) in Queensland
  • 17% (4,594) in Western Australia

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

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners

There were 12,996 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners:

  • down from 13,062 in the June quarter 2021
  • up from 12,073 in the September quarter 2020

Of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners:

  • 27% (3,490) were in New South Wales, 28% (3,577) were in Queensland, and 20% (2,644) were in Western Australia
  • 91% (11,765) were male
  • 63% (8,285) were sentenced

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rates

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate was 2,394 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population:

  • down from 2,406 in the June quarter 2021
  • up from 2,282 in the September quarter 2020

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

  • 3,771 for Western Australia, down 2% for the quarter
  • 2,898 for the Northern Territory, up 2%
  • 2,515 for South Australia, down 4%
  • 2,426 for Queensland, up 3%
  • 1,967 for New South Wales, down 2%
  • 1,841 for Victoria, down 5%
  • 1,801 for the Australia Capital Territory, up 2%
  • 807 for Tasmania, up 2%

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate for male prisoners was 4,380 persons per 100,000 adult male Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, down from 4,395 persons last quarter.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate for female prisoners was 449 persons per 100,000 adult female Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, down from 458 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 1,147 federal sentenced prisoners, up from:

  • 1,151 in the June quarter 2021
  • 813 in the September quarter 2020

77% (887) of all federal sentenced prisoners were held in New South Wales and Victoria.

Prisoner receptions

The total number of prisoner receptions was 15,161, down from:

  • 16,139 in the June quarter 2021
  • 15,919 in the September quarter 2020

Of all prisoner receptions:

  • 26% (3,975) were in New South Wales, 24% (3,629) were in Queensland, and 17% (2,589) were in Victoria
  • 87% (13,197) were male
  • 77% (11,721) were unsentenced

(a) Total number of prisoner receptions.

Prisoner releases

The total number of prisoner releases was 16,323, up from:

  • 16,196 in the June quarter 2021
  • 15,562 in the September quarter 2020

Of all prisoner releases:

  • 29% (4,798) were in New South Wales, 21% (3,441) were in Queensland, and 18% (2,981) were in Victoria
  • 87% (14,199) were male
  • 56% (9,090) were sentenced

(a) Total number of prisoner releases.

Community-based corrections

Persons in community-based corrections

There were 79,211 persons serving CBC orders, up from:

  • 78,785 in the June quarter 2021
  • 78,401 in the September quarter 2020

Of all persons serving CBC orders, there were:

  • 36,858 in New South Wales, down 2% for the quarter
  • 19,433 in Queensland, up 4%
  • 8,656 in Victoria, up 6%
  • 5,808 in Western Australia, stable
  • 5,250 in South Australia, up 1%
  • 2,088 in Tasmania, up 7%
  • 1,138 in the Northern Territory, down 11%
  • 980 in the Australian Capital Territory, down 3%

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 395 persons per 100,000 adult population, up from:

  • 393 persons in the June quarter 2021
  • 392 persons in the September quarter 2020

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

  • 614 persons for the Northern Territory, down 11% for the quarter
  • 562 for New South Wales, down 2%
  • 484 for Queensland, up 3%
  • 486 for Tasmania, up 7%
  • 374 for South Australia, up 1%
  • 293 for the Australian Capital Territory, down 3%
  • 282 for Western Australia, down 1%
  • 166 for Victoria, up 6%

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

Sex

Of all persons serving CBC orders:

  • 81% (63,777) were male
  • 19% (15,390) were female

The rate for male persons serving CBC orders was 649 persons per 100,000 adult male population, up from 646 persons last quarter.

The rate for female persons serving CBC orders was 151 persons per 100,000 adult female population, up from 149 persons for the quarter.

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

There were 18,198 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons serving CBC orders, up from:

  • 17,844 in the June quarter 2021
  • 16,923 in the September quarter 2020

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

  • 44% (8,035) in New South Wales
  • 29% (5,272) in Queensland
  • 9% (1,673) in Western Australia

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

Type of community-based corrections orders

There were 55,084 Sentenced probation orders, up from:

  • 54,862 in the June quarter 2021
  • 53,775 in the September quarter 2020

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

There were 17,861 Parole orders, up from:

  • 17,615 in the June quarter 2021
  • 17,629 in the September quarter 2020

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

There were 13,020 Community service orders, down from:

  • 13,054 in the June quarter 2021
  • 13,275 in the September 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.