This is not the latest release View the latest release

Corrective Services, Australia

National information on persons in adult custody and community based corrections

Reference period
September Quarter 2019
Released
28/11/2019

Key statistics

Persons in custody

Nationally the average daily number of prisoners decreased to 42,987, compared with:

  • 43,306 in the June quarter 2019; and
  • 43,018 in the September quarter 2018.
     

Since the June quarter 2019:

  • All other states and territories, except New South Wales, decreased; and
  • Queensland had largest change with a decrease of 1% (114).
     

Since the September quarter 2018:

  • Victoria had the largest change with an increase of 3% (256); and
  • Queensland decreased by 1% (132) and South Australia decreased by 4% (119). (Table 1)
     
Download
  1. Based on average daily number


The largest contributors to the national prisoner population were:

  • New South Wales (32% or 13,613);
  • Queensland (20% or 8,773); and
  • Victoria (19% or 8,083). (Table 1)
     

The average daily imprisonment rate was 218 persons per 100,000 adult population, the lowest rate since the December quarter 2017. (Table 3 and historical data)

The imprisonment rate for males was 408 persons per 100,000 adult population, more than eleven times the rate for females (35 persons per 100,000 adult female population). (Table 5)

Of all state and territory imprisonment rates:

  • The Northern Territory continued to have the highest imprisonment rate at 930 persons per 100,000 adult population;
  • With Western Australia the second highest at 341; and
  • The Australian Capital Territory with the lowest at 138. (Table 3)

 

Download
  1. Rate is the number of prisoners per 100,000 adult population. Based on average daily number.

Sex

Of all persons in custody:

  • Males represented 92% (39,482); and
  • Females represented 8% (3,505). (Table 1)
     

Type of custody

Of all persons in custody:

  • 81% (34,875) were in secure custody; compared with
  • 19% (8,112) in open custody. (Table 6)
     

Legal status

The average number of prisoners on the first day of the month was 43,083.

On the first day of the month the average number of prisoners was:

  • 67% (28,739) were sentenced; and
  • 33% (14,257) were unsentenced. (Table 8)
     
Download
  1. 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 was 12,232, compared with:

  • 12,176 in the June quarter 2019; and
  • 11,842 in the September quarter 2018.
     

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners represent 28% of the total adult prisoner population.

Since the September quarter 2018, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners who were:

  • Male increased by 4% (452) to 11,030;
  • Female decreased by 5% (63) to 1,201;
  • Sentenced increased by 2% (139) to 8,089; and
  • Unsentenced increased by 6% (228) to 4,134. (Tables 11 and 13)
     

Of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners:

  • 90% (11,030) were male;
  • 10% (1,201) were female;
  • 66% (8,089) were sentenced;
  • 34% (4,134) were unsentenced; and
  • Nearly 75% were in New South Wales (3,512), Queensland (2,904) or Western Australia (2,656). (Tables 11 and 13)
     

The national average daily Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate was 2,518 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, a 2% (38) increase since the September quarter 2018.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate for males was 4,578 persons per 100,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult population, more than nine times the rate for females (491 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander female population).

Of all state and territory Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rates:

  • Western Australia had the highest at 4,058 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population; and
  • Tasmania had the lowest at 759 persons. (Table 12)
     
Download
  1. Rate is the number of prisoners per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. Based on average daily number.

​​​​​​​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.

Number of persons in community-based corrections

The average first day of the month number of persons serving CBC orders was 82,050, compared with:

  • 79,134 in the June quarter 2019; and
  • 69,760 in the September quarter 2018.
     

Persons serving CBC orders increased by:

  • 4% (2,916) since the June quarter 2019; and
  • 18% (12,290) since the September quarter 2018.
     
Download
  1. Based on average number on the first day of the month

Three states accounted for over three-quarters of persons serving CBC orders:

  • New South Wales (39% or 32,262);
  • Queensland (26% or 21,214); and
  • Victoria (16% or 12,978). (Table 1)
     

The New South Wales increase is related to the NSW Sentencing Reform. Refer to Methodology page, Comparability and Significant Events, New South Wales for more information.

The national rate of persons serving CBC orders was 417 persons per 100,000 adult population, an increase of:

  • 3% (14) since the June quarter 2019; and
  • 16% (57) since the September quarter 2018. (Table 16)
     
Download
  1. Rate per 100,000 persons for the state/territory of interest.

Sex

Of all persons serving CBC orders:

  • Males represented 80% (65,866); and
  • Females represented 20% (16,159).
     

Since the September quarter 2018, persons serving CBC orders who were:

  • Male increased by 17% (9,714); and
  • Female increased by 19% (2,567). (Table 1)
     

The rate for persons serving CBC orders for male persons was 681 persons per 100,000 adult population, more than four times the rate for female persons (161 persons per 100,000 adult female population). (Table 16)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons in community-based corrections

There were 17,287 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons serving CBC orders, an increase of 17% (2,516) since the September quarter 2018.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons made up over one fifth (21%) of all persons serving CBC orders, of which 80% were located within:

  • New South Wales (41% or 7,087);
  • Queensland (29% or 5,017); or
  • Western Australia (10% or 1,763). (Table 18)
     
Download
  1. 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.

There were 91,889 CBC orders, representing increases of:

  • 6% (5,601) since the June quarter 2019; and
  • 20% (15,299) since the September quarter 2018.
     

Sentenced probation continued to be the most common order type, accounting for 60% (55,420) of CBC orders.

Of all CBC order types, the largest increases were for:

  • Sentenced probation, which increased by 6% (3,223) since the June quarter 2019 and by 30% (12,680) since the September quarter 2018; and
  • Community service, which increased by 21% (2,264) since the June quarter 2019 and by 19% (2,053) since the September quarter 2018.
     

The increases for Sentenced probation and Community service can be linked to the introduction of two new sentence types in New South Wales. Refer to Methodology page, Comparability and Significant Events, New South Wales for more information.

Fine option was the only CBC order type to decrease, by:

  • 8% (170) since the June quarter 2019; and
  • 29% (860) since the September quarter 2018.
     

The decreases for Fine option are in part due to changes in Victoria resulting from the Victoria Fines Reform Act 2014. Refer to Methodology page, Comparability and Significant Events, Victoria for more information. (Table 17)

Download
  1. Based on average number on the first day of the month
     

* Data for the following community-based corrections orders are not available or not applicable for certain jurisdictions

Prisoner receptions

There was a total of 17,168 prisoner receptions, compared with:

  • 16,999 for the June quarter 2019; and
  • 16,781 for the September quarter 2018.
     

Of all prisoner receptions:

  • 86% (14,778) were male;
  • 14% (2,387) were female;
  • 24% (4,042) were sentenced prisoners;
  • 76% (13,126) were unsentenced prisoners; and
  • 33% (5,614) were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners. (Tables 20, 21, 22)
     
Download
  1. Total number of prisoner receptions

Data downloads

Guide to finding data in the corrective services, Australia publication tables

Corrective services, Australia - September quarter 2019

Flow data

History of changes

Show all

06/12/2019 - Updates have been made to the Key statistics page to improve the readability of the Persons in community-based corrections(a), Sep 2014 to Sep 2019 graph and to the left hand navigator to correct the spelling of Quality Declaration.