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
March Quarter 2021
Released
3/06/2021
Future releases
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    Corrective Services, Australia, June Quarter 2021
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    Corrective Services, Australia, September Quarter 2021
  • Next Release 10/03/2022
    Corrective Services, Australia, December Quarter 2021
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Key statistics

  • 42,633 prisoners were in custody, up 2% (965) from last quarter but down 3% (1,526) from the March quarter 2020.
  • The imprisonment rate was 213 persons per 100,000 adult population, up from 208 last quarter.
  • 77,529 persons were serving community-based corrections (CBC) orders, down 7% (5,848) from the March 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 42,633 (average daily number) prisoners:

  • up from 41,668 in the December quarter 2020; and
  • down from 44,159 in the March quarter 2020.

Of the 42,633 prisoners, there were:

  • 13,118 in New South Wales, up 2% for the quarter;
  • 9,713 in Queensland, up 4%;
  • 7,174 in Victoria, up 1%;
  • 6,682 in Western Australia, up 1%;
  • 3,100 in South Australia, up 3%;
  • 1,822 in the Northern Territory, up 6%;
  • 622 in Tasmania, down 3%; and
  • 403 in the Australia Capital Territory, down 5%.
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(a) Based on average daily number

Imprisonment rates

The imprisonment rate was 213 persons per 100,000 adult population:

  • up from 208 persons in the December quarter 2020; and
  • down from 223 persons in the March quarter 2020.

The imprisonment rate per 100,000 adult population was:

  • 986 persons for the Northern Territory, up 6% for the quarter;
  • 325 for Western Australia, up 1%;
  • 243 for Queensland, up 4%;
  • 221 for South Australia, up 3%;
  • 206 for New South Wales, up 2%;
  • 145 for Tasmania, down 3%;
  • 137 for Victoria, up 1%; and
  • 120 for the Australian Capital Territory, down 5%.
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(a) Rate is the number of prisoners per 100,000 adult population. Based on average daily number.

Sex

Of all prisoners:

  • 92% (39,342) were male; and
  • 8% (3,291) were female.

Of all male prisoners, there were:

  • 31% (12,221) in New South Wales;
  • 22% (8,807) in Queensland; and
  • 17% (6,756) in Victoria.

Of all female prisoners, there were:

  • 28% (906) in Queensland;
  • 27% (896) in New South Wales; and
  • 20% (656) in Western Australia.

The imprisonment rate for male prisoners was 401 persons per 100,000 adult male population, up from 392 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:

  • 83% (35,386) in secure custody; and
  • 17% (7,247) in open custody.

Legal status

65% (27,709) of the 42,372 prisoners (first day of the month) were sentenced, down from:

  • 27,913 in the December quarter 2020; and
  • 28,659 in the March quarter 2020.

Of all sentenced prisoners, there were:

  • 31% (8,565) in New South Wales;
  • 24% (6,640) in Queensland; and
  • 17% (4,667) in Western Australia.

34% (14,559) of the 42,372 prisoners (first day of the month) were unsentenced:

  • up from 13,633 in the December quarter 2020; and
  • down from 15,238 in the March quarter 2020.

Of all unsentenced prisoners, there were:

  • 31% (4,473) in New South Wales;
  • 20% (2,914) in Victoria; and
  • 20% (2,910) in Queensland.
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(a) Based on average number on the first day of the month

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners

There were 12,886 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners:

  • up from 12,344 in the December quarter 2020; and
  • down from 12,902 in the March quarter 2020.

Of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners:

  • 27% (3,518) were in New South Wales, 26% (3,369) were in Queensland, and 21% (2,678) were in Western Australia;
  • 90% (11,652) were male; and
  • 64% (8,158) were sentenced.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rates

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate was 2,373 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population:

  • up from 2,333 in the December quarter 2020; and
  • down from 2,439 in the March quarter 2020.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate for male prisoners was 4,338 persons per 100,000 adult male Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, up from 4,271 persons last quarter.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate for female prisoners was 450 persons per 100,000 adult female Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, up from 442 persons last quarter.

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

  • 3,820 for Western Australia, down 1% for the quarter;
  • 2,892 for the Northern Territory, up 5%;
  • 2,643 for South Australia, up 4%;
  • 2,285 for Queensland, up 3%;
  • 1,983 for New South Wales, up 2%;
  • 1,894 for Victoria, down 1%;
  • 1,805 for the Australia Capital Territory, up 2%; and
  • 713 for Tasmania, down 5%.
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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 1,126 federal sentenced prisoners, up from:

  • 952 in the December quarter 2020, and
  • 743 in the March quarter 2020.

79% (885) of all federal sentenced prisoners were held in New South Wales and Victoria.

Community-based corrections

There were 77,529 persons serving CBC orders, down from:

  • 77,919 in the December quarter 2020; and
  • 83,377 in the March quarter 2020.

Of all persons serving CBC orders, there were:

  • 35,631 in New South Wales, stable for the quarter;
  • 18,178 in Queensland, up 1%;
  • 8,349 in Victoria, down 5%;
  • 5,890 in Western Australia, down 1%;
  • 5,202 in South Australia, down 1%;
  • 1,961 in Tasmania, down 1%;
  • 1,258 in the Northern Territory, stable; and
  • 1,059 in the Australian Capital Territory, up 1%.
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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 387 persons per 100,000 adult population, down from:

  • 389 persons in the December quarter 2020; and
  • 420 persons in the March quarter 2020.

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

  • 680 persons for the Northern Territory, stable for the quarter;
  • 558 for New South Wales, stable;
  • 458 for Tasmania, down 1%;
  • 455 for Queensland, stable;
  • 371 for South Australia, down 1%;
  • 316 for the Australian Capital Territory, up 1%;
  • 287 for Western Australia, down 1%; and
  • 159 for Victoria, down 4%.
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a) Rate per 100,000 persons for the state/territory of interest.

Sex

Of all persons serving CBC orders:

  • 81% (62,535) were male; and
  • 19% (14,954) were female.

The rate for male persons serving CBC orders was 637 persons per 100,000 adult male population, down from 640 persons last quarter.

The rate for female persons serving CBC orders was 147 persons per 100,000 adult female population, stable for the quarter.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons serving CBC orders

There were 17,459 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons serving CBC orders:

  • up from 17,324 in the December quarter 2020; and
  • down from 17,642 in the March quarter 2020.

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

  • 45% (7,807) in New South Wales;
  • 27% (4,693) in Queensland; and
  • 10% (1,732) in Western Australia.
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(a) Based on average number on the first day of the month.

Type of orders

There were 53,562 Sentenced probation orders, down from:

  • 53,973 in the December quarter 2020; and
  • 57,550 in the March quarter 2020.

There were 17,451 Parole orders, down from:

  • 17,641 in the December quarter 2020; and
  • 17,911 in the March quarter 2020.

There were 12,688 Community service orders, down from:

  • 12,900 in the December quarter 2020; and
  • 15,014 in the March quarter 2020.
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a) Based on average number on the first day of the month
* Data for this CBC order type are not available or not applicable for certain jurisdictions

Prisoner receptions

The total number of prisoner receptions was 16,481:

  • up from 16,309 in the December quarter 2020; and
  • down from 17,611 in the March quarter 2020.

Of all prisoner receptions, there were:

  • 4,885 in New South Wales, stable for the quarter;
  • 3,436 in Queensland, up 5%;
  • 3,114 in Victoria, up 3%;
  • 2,131 in Western Australia, stable;
  • 1,395 in South Australia, down 3%;
  • 976 in the Northern Territory, down 5%;
  • 368 in Tasmania, down 1%; and
  • 176 in the Australian Capital Territory, down 11%.

Of all prisoner receptions:

  • 88% (14,432) were male;
  • 12% (2,049) were female;
  • 21% (3,542) were sentenced; and
  • 79% (12,939) were unsentenced.
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(a) Total number of prisoner receptions.

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.