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Corrective Services, Australia

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

Reference period
June Quarter 2020

Key statistics

The June quarter 2020 results are the first quarter of national data available about persons in corrective services since COVID-19 restrictions.

Persons in custody

Nationally, the average daily number of prisoners in the June quarter 2020 decreased by 5% (2,375) for the quarter down to 41,784, compared with:

  • 44,159 in the March quarter 2020; and
  • 43,306 in the June quarter 2019.


New South Wales was the main contributor to the national decrease, decreasing by 8% (1,178) since the March quarter 2020 down to 12,813. There were also quarterly decreases for:

  • Victoria (by 8% or 654) down to 7,509;
  • Queensland (by 3% or 296) down to 8,801;
  • Western Australia (by 3% or 181) down to 6,930; and
  • the Northern Territory (6% or 110) down to 1,675. (Table 1)
     
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(a) Based on average daily number
 

Imprisonment rates

The average daily imprisonment rate was 210 persons per 100,000 adult population, down from 223 persons in the March quarter 2020.

The Northern Territory continued to have the highest imprisonment rate of all states and territories at 914 persons per 100,000 adult population. The Northern Territory also had greatest imprisonment rate decrease of all states and territories, decreasing by 58 persons per 100,000 adult population for the quarter. (Table 3)
 

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

Sex

Of all persons in custody:

  • Male prisoners represented 92% (38,534); and
  • Female prisoners represented 8% (3,250).


Of all male prisoners, 70% were held in:

  • New South Wales (31% or 11,964);
  • Queensland (21% or 7,993); or
  • Victoria (18% or 7,073).


Of all female prisoners, 74% were held in:

  • New South Wales (26% or 849);
  • Queensland (25% or 808); or
  • Western Australia (23% or 737). (Table 1)


The imprisonment rate for male prisoners was 395 persons per 100,000 adult male population, down from 417 persons in the March quarter 2020.

The imprisonment rate for female prisoners was 32 persons per 100,000 adult female population, down from 36 persons in the March quarter 2020. (Table 5)
 

Type of custody

Of all persons in custody:

  • 82% (34,134) were in secure custody; compared with
  • 18% (7,650) in open custody. (Table 6)
     

Legal status

The average number of prisoners on the first day of the month was 42,309.

There were 13,835 unsentenced prisoners, a decrease of 9% (1,403) for the quarter, compared with:

  • 15,238 in the March quarter 2020; and
  • 14,635 in the June quarter 2019.


New South Wales was the main contributor to the national decrease in unsentenced prisoners, decreasing by 15% (733) for the quarter down to 4,189.

Sentenced prisoners represented 67% (28,367) of the prisoner population in the June quarter 2020. (Table 8)
 

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

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners

The average daily number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners in the June quarter 2020 decreased by 5% (601) for the quarter down to 12,301, compared with:

  • 12,902 in the March quarter 2020; and
  • 12,176 in the June quarter 2019.


Of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners:

  • Three quarters were in New South Wales (3,361), Queensland (3,102) or Western Australia (2,713);
  • 90% (11,112) were male; and
  • 66% (8,183) were sentenced.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners who were unsentenced decreased by 9% (423) for the quarter down to 4,215. (Tables 11 and 13)
 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rates

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rates prior to the June quarter 2020 have been revised using the updated projections from Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006 to 2031. For more information please refer to the Explanatory Notes.

The national average daily Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate was 2,325 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, down from 2,439 persons last quarter.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate for:

  • male prisoners was 4,252 persons per 100,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult male population, down from 4,435 persons last quarter; and
  • female prisoners was 444 persons per 100,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult female population, down from 490 persons last quarter.


Western Australia continued to have the highest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate of all states and territories at 3,976 persons per 100,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult population.

Victoria had the greatest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate decrease, decreasing by 264 persons per 100,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult population for the quarter down to 1,978. (Table 12)
 

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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

The average first day of the month number of federal sentenced prisoners was 752, up from 743 last quarter.

Three states accounted for the majority (88%) of federal sentenced prisoners:

  • New South Wales (48% or 362);
  • Victoria (29% or 219); and
  • Western Australia (11% or 79). (Table 10)
     

Community-based corrections

Reported averages for number of persons serving community-based corrections (CBC) orders and for the number of CBC orders are based on first day of the month figures. For the community-based corrections order types, persons may be counted more than once if they have two or more different types of orders operating simultaneously.
 

Persons in community-based corrections

The average first day of the month number of persons serving CBC orders decreased by 4% (2,966) for the quarter down to 80,411, compared with:

  • 83,377 in the March quarter 2020; and
  • 79,151 in the June quarter 2019.


There were quarterly decreases in all states and territories, the greatest of which were in:

  • Queensland (by 6% or 1,133) down to 19,156;
  • Victoria (by 7% or 882) down to 11,463; and
  • New South Wales (by 2% or 830) down to 34,431. (Table 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 national rate of persons serving CBC orders was 405 persons per 100,000 adult population, compared with:

  • 420 persons in the March quarter 2020; and
  • 403 persons in the June quarter 2019. (Table 16)
     
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a) Rate per 100,000 persons for the state/territory of interest.
 

Sex

Of all persons serving CBC orders:

  • Male persons represented 81% (64,755); and
  • Female persons represented 19% (15,629).


Of all male persons serving CBC orders, 81% were held in:

  • New South Wales (44% or 28,303);
  • Queensland (23% or 14,579); or
  • Victoria (15% or 9,630).


Of all female persons serving CBC orders, 88% were held in:

  • New South Wales (39% or 6,103);
  • Queensland (29% or 4,577);
  • Victoria (12% or 1,830); or
  • Western Australia (8% or 1,271). (Table 1)


The rate for persons serving CBC orders for:

  • male persons was 664 persons per 100,000 adult male population, down from 687 persons last quarter; and
  • female persons was 154 persons per 100,000 adult female population, down from 163 persons last quarter. (Table 16)
     

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons

There were 17,229 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons serving CBC orders in the June quarter 2020, compared with:

  • 17,642 in the March quarter 2020; and
  • 16,765 in the June quarter 2019.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons made up over one-fifth (21%) of all persons serving CBC orders.

Three states accounted for 81% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons serving CBC orders:

  • New South Wales (43% or 7,493);
  • Queensland (27% or 4,714); or
  • Western Australia (10% or 1,742). (Table 18)
     
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(a) Based on average number on the first day of the month.
 

Type of orders

Reported averages for number of persons serving community-based corrections (CBC) orders and for the number of CBC orders are based on first day of the month figures. For the community-based corrections order types, persons may be counted more than once if they have two or more different types of orders operating simultaneously.

Of all CBC order types, the greatest quarterly decreases in the average first day of the month number of orders were for:

  • Sentenced probation (by 4% or 2,397) down to 55,153;
  • Community service (by 6% or 878) down to 14,136; and
  • Fine option (by 20% or 285) down to 1,174.


Sentenced probation continued to be the most common order type, accounting for 60% of CBC orders in the June quarter. (Table 17)
 

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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 decreased by 17% (2,987) down to 14,624 in the June quarter 2020, compared with:

  • 17,611 for the March quarter 2020; and
  • 16,999 for the June quarter 2019.


Of all prisoner receptions:

  • 87% (12,788) were male;
  • 13% (1,836) were female;
  • 21% (3,123) were sentenced; and
  • 79% (11,501) were unsentenced.


Unsentenced prisoner receptions decreased by 16% (2,177) for the quarter down to 11,501, compared with:

  • 13,678 for the March quarter 2020; and
  • 12,977 for the June quarter 2019.


There were quarterly decreases in unsentenced prisoner receptions in all states and territories, the greatest of which were in:

  • New South Wales (by 16% or 708) down to 3,625;
  • Victoria (by 20% or 568) down to 2,300; and
  • Queensland (by 23% or 396) down to 1,322.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoner receptions decreased by 19% (1,170) for the quarter down to 4,888 in the June quarter 2020. (Table 20 and 21)
 

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(a) Total number of prisoner receptions.
 

For information about corrective service data items and counting units, please refer to the Methodology.
 

Data downloads

Guide to finding data in the Corrective Services, Australia publication tables

Corrective Services, Australia - June quarter 2020

Flow data

Age Standardised Community-based Corrections

All data downloads

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 4512.0.