4512.0 - Corrective Services, Australia, March quarter 2017 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/06/2017   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

PERSONS IN CORRECTIVE SERVICES

The Corrective Services, Australia publication presents data for two different populations; persons in full-time custody and persons in community-based corrections. These populations cannot be compared directly, however they are presented together to provide an overview of persons in corrective services. For the community-based corrections population, offenders may be counted more than once if they have two or more different types of community-based corrections orders operating simultaneously.



Mar Qtr 17
Dec Qtr 16 to Mar Qtr 17

% change

Mar Qtr 16 to Mar Qtr 17

% change


Persons in full-time custody
40,577
2.6%
6.8%
Persons in community-based corrections
67,296
0.0%
6.8%



PERSONS IN CUSTODY

In the March quarter 2017, the average daily number of full-time prisoners in Australia was 40,577. This was an increase of:
3% (1,009 persons) from the December quarter 2016; and
7% (2,581 persons) from the March quarter 2016. (Table 1)

Graph Image for PERSONS IN FULL-TIME CUSTODY(a), Mar 2012 to Mar 2017

Footnote(s): (a) Based on average daily number

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



In the last five years (from March quarter 2012 to March quarter 2017), the number of persons in custody has increased 38% or 11,274 persons. (Historical data)

From the December quarter 2016, there were increases in prisoner numbers across all states and territories except for Tasmania, which decreased 1%.

In the March quarter 2017, the largest contributors to the national prisoner population were:
New South Wales (32% or 13,055 persons);
Queensland (20% or 8,291 persons);
Victoria (17% or 6,921 persons); and
Western Australia (16% or 6,565 persons). (Table 1)

Sex

The average daily number of females and males in custody both increased since the March quarter 2016, with females increasing at a higher rate (13% or 389 persons) than males (6% or 2,192 persons). (Table 1)

For the March quarter 2017, the average daily imprisonment rate for males was 401 persons per 100,000 adult male population, which was approximately 11 times the rate for females (35 female persons per 100,000 adult female population). (Table 5)

Type of full-time custody

Prisoners can be housed in either:
Secure custody, where they are held in medium or maximum security custodial facilities requiring them to be confined by a secure physical barrier; or
Open custody, where they are housed in minimum security custodial facilities that do not require them to be confined by a secure parameter or physical barrier, irrespective of whether a physical barrier exists.

During the March quarter 2017, 79% of prisoners in full-time custody were held in secure custody and the remaining 21% in open custody, representing an average daily number of 32,156 and 8,421 persons, respectively.

Both the secure and open custody populations increased over the year since the March quarter 2016, up 8% (2,297 persons) and 3% (284 persons) respectively. (Table 6)

Legal status

Legal status refers to where a person may be either sentenced or unsentenced depending on the warrant(s) or court order(s) that provide the legal basis for the administration of the person through the criminal justice system.

In the March quarter 2017, the average number of full-time prisoners on the first day of the month was 40,303, of which:
67% (27,043) were sentenced; and
33% (13,182) were unsentenced. (Table 8)

Nationally, unsentenced prisoners increased 6% over the quarter (712 persons), and 14% (1,650 persons) over the year. (Table 8)

Between the March quarter 2012 and the March quarter 2017, unsentenced prisoners increased 87% or 6,125 persons. (Historical data)

Graph Image for UNSENTENCED PRISONERS(a), Mar 2012 to Mar 2017

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

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



Sentenced prisoner receptions

Sentenced prisoner receptions refer to:
persons entering into corrective services custody from the community, having received a sentence of imprisonment as an outcome of a court proceeding;
persons who are sentenced to custody while in custody on remand (i.e. changed legal status from an unsentenced to a sentenced prisoner); and
persons entering custody as a result of defaulting on the payment of a fine.

Sentenced prisoners in custody who receive a further sentence of imprisonment are not counted as sentenced receptions.

In the March quarter 2017, there were 10,440 sentenced prisoner receptions into full-time prison custody in Australia, representing a decrease of 3% (274 persons) from the December quarter 2016 and an increase of 10% (980 persons) for the year. (Table 10)

Federal prisoners

Federal prisoners are persons charged and sentenced under a Commonwealth statute or transferred from another country to serve their sentence in Australia.

During the March quarter 2017, the average daily number of federal sentenced prisoners in Australia was 978 - a decrease of 1% (13 persons) from the March quarter 2016. (Table 11)

Rates per 100,000 adult population

Nationally, the average daily imprisonment rate in the March quarter 2017 was 215 persons per 100,000 adult population. The Northern Territory continued to have the highest imprisonment rate of all states and territories with 921 persons per 100,000 adult population, followed by Western Australia, with 324 persons per 100,000 adult population.

Tasmania had the lowest average daily imprisonment rate (140 persons per 100,000 adult population). (Table 3)

Graph Image for AVERAGE DAILY IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), By states and territories, Mar 2016 and Mar 2017

Footnote(s): (a) Rate is the number of prisoners per 100,000 adult population

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners

The average daily number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners during the March quarter 2017 was 11,288 persons. This represented an increase of 5% (500 persons) over the quarter and an increase of 7% (730 persons) over the year. (Table 1)

Based on first day of the month figures, there were 11,182 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners in the March quarter 2017, of which 67% (7,537 persons) were sentenced and 32% 3,610 were unsentenced. The number of unsentenced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners increased by 12% (399 persons) from the March quarter 2016, in line with the 14% annual increase seen in the total unsentenced prisoner population. (Table 8 and 14)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners represented 28% of the total full-time adult prisoner population (during the quarter), whilst accounting for approximately 2% of the total Australian population aged 18 years and over (based on Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0) and Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2001 to 2026 (cat. no. 3238.0)). (Table 1)

Three states continued to account for nearly three-quarters of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoner population: New South Wales (28% or 3,184 persons); Queensland (24% or 2,691 persons); and Western Australia (22% or 2,482 persons). (Table 1)

Graph Image for AVERAGE DAILY ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), Mar 2015 to Mar 2017

Footnote(s): (a) Rate is the number of prisoners per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



The national average daily Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate was 2,430 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. The highest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rates were recorded in:

Western Australia (4,011);
Northern Territory (2,893); and
South Australia (2,782). (Table 13)

Graph Image for ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), By states and territories, Mar 2016, Dec 2016 and Mar 2017

Footnote(s): (a) Rate is the number of prisoners per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



Since the March quarter 2016, only the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory had a decrease in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate, decreasing by 133 and 407 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, respectively. (Table 13)

PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS

All reported daily averages for number of persons serving community-based corrections orders are based on first day of the month figures. For more information, please refer to the Explanatory Notes, paragraphs 2 and 12.

Community-based corrections orders are non-custodial orders served under the authority of adult corrective services agencies and include restricted movement, reparations (fine options and community service), supervision orders (parole, bail, sentenced probation) and post-sentence supervision orders.

Number of persons in community-based corrections

The average daily number of persons serving community-based corrections orders in the March quarter 2017 was 67,296 persons, representing:
a decrease of less than 1% (33 persons) from the December quarter 2016; and
an increase of 7% (4,261 persons) from the March quarter 2016. (Table 1)

Graph Image for PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS(a), Mar 2012 to Mar 2017

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

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



This was the first decrease since the March quarter 2015 and was driven by declines in Victoria (1%), Queensland (1%) and Tasmania (2%) from the previous quarter. (Table 1)

Three states accounted for over three-quarters of the national number of persons in community-based corrections:
Queensland (29% or 19,762 persons);
New South Wales (28% or 18,716 persons); and
Victoria (21% or 13,942 persons). (Table 1)

Between the March quarter 2012 and the March quarter 2017, persons serving community-based corrections orders increased 25% or 13,533 persons. (Historical data)

Sex

In the March quarter 2017, males accounted for 81% (54,341 persons) of the total persons serving community-based correction orders and females the remaining 19% (12,938).

Type of orders

In the March quarter 2017, the three most prevalent order types in Australia were:
Sentenced probation (56% or 40,734 persons);
Parole (20% or 14,661 persons); and
Community service orders (15% or 10,735 persons). (Table 18)

Since the December quarter 2016, there were decreases across all order types except for bail orders, sentenced probation and post-sentence supervision. The highest decrease was in Community service orders, down 2% or 258 persons.

However, since the March quarter 2016, the number of persons serving all order types has increased. Persons serving sentenced probation orders increased 7% (2,654 persons) over the year, accounting for 59% of the total annual increase in community-based correction orders.

The average daily number of persons on parole was 14,661, up 8% (1,088 persons) from the March quarter 2016. Over half the national increase was attributable to New South Wales where parole orders went by up 12% (599 persons). (Table 18)

Graph Image for PROPORTION OF PERSONS SERVING SELECTED COMMUNITY-BASED ORDERS(a), By states and territories, Mar 2016, Dec 2016 and Mar 2017

Footnote(s): (a) From the June quarter 2015, post-sentence supervision orders are excluded from sentenced probation orders (see Explantory Notes paragraph 38)

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



Rates per 100,000 adult population

In the March quarter 2017, the daily average national rate of persons in community-based corrections was 357 persons per 100,000 adult population, representing a decrease of less than 1% from the December quarter 2016 and an increase of 5% or 18 persons for the year. (Table 17)

Graph Image for COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS RATE(a), By states and territories, Mar 2016, Dec 2016 and Mar 2017

Footnote(s): (a) Rate is the number of persons serving community-based corrections orders, based on average number on the first day of the month, per 100,000 adult population

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons in community-based corrections

Nationally, the average daily number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons in community-based corrections for the March quarter 2017 was 13,455, representing a decrease of 1% (109 persons) from the previous quarter and an increase of 9% (1,105 persons) over the year.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons make up one fifth (20%) of the total community-based corrections population, of which three-quarters were located in three states: Queensland (33% or 4,482 persons), New South Wales (31% or 4,217 persons) and Western Australia (11% or 1,541 persons). (Table 19)

Graph Image for ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS(a), Mar 2015 to Mar 2017

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

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia