4512.0 - Corrective Services, Australia, December quarter 2017 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/03/2018   
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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.


Dec Qtr 17
Sep Qtr 17 to Dec Qtr 17

% change

Dec Qtr 16 to Dec Qtr 17

% change


Persons in full-time custody
41,270
0.0%
4.3%
Persons in community-based corrections
69,155
0.4%
2.7%

PERSONS IN CUSTODY

In the December quarter 2017, the average daily number of full-time prisoners in Australia was 41,270. This was an increase of:

    • Less than 1% (8 persons) from the September quarter 2017; and
    • 4% (1,702 persons) from the December quarter 2016.

Since the September quarter 2017, there were increases in the prisoner numbers for Victoria (less than 1%), Queensland (1%), South Australia (1%), Tasmania (2%) and the Australian Capital Territory (less than 1%). New South Wales and Western Australia both showed decreases in prisoner numbers of 1% and there was no change for the Northern Territory. (Table 1)

In the last five years (from December quarter 2012 to December quarter 2017), the number of persons in custody has increased by 38% or 11,449 persons. (Table 1 and historical data)

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

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

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



In the December quarter 2017, the largest contributors to the national prisoner population were:
    • New South Wales (32% or 13,133 persons);
    • Queensland (21% or 8,559 persons);
    • Victoria (17% or 7,167 persons); and
    • Western Australia (16% or 6,652 persons). (Table 1)

Sex

The average daily number of females and males in custody both increased since the December quarter 2016, by 5% (153 persons) and 4% (1,549 persons) respectively. (Table 1)

Over the past five years, the number of females in custody increased by 52% (1,145 persons) and the number of males in custody increased by 37% (10,304 persons). (Table 1 and historical data)

For the December quarter 2017, the average daily imprisonment rate for males was 403 persons per 100,000 adult male population, which was approximately 12 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 December 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 32,753 and 8,517 persons, respectively.

Both the secure and open custody prisoner populations increased over the year since the December quarter 2016, up 5% (1,536 persons) and 2% (166 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 December quarter 2017, the average number of full-time prisoners on the first day of the month was 41,368, of which:
    • 68% (28,181) were sentenced; and
    • 32% (13,113) were unsentenced. (Table 8)

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

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

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



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 December quarter 2017, the average daily number of federal sentenced prisoners in Australia was 1,019, an increase of 2% (24 persons) from the December quarter 2016. (Table 10)

Rates per 100,000 adult population

Nationally, the average daily imprisonment rate for the December quarter 2017 was 216 per 100,000 adult population, which remained steady from the September quarter 2017. The Northern Territory continued to have the highest imprisonment rate of all states and territories with 886 persons per 100,000 adult population, followed by Western Australia with 335 persons per 100,000 adult population.

Victoria had the lowest average daily imprisonment rate (145 persons per 100,000 adult population). (Table 3)

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

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

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners

The average daily number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners during the December quarter 2017 was 11,338 persons. This represented an increase of less than 1% (13 persons) over the quarter and an increase of 5% (550 persons) over the year. (Table 1)

Based on first day of the month figures, there were 11,328 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners in the December quarter 2017, of which 67% (7,607 persons) were sentenced and 33% (3,694 persons) were unsentenced. The number of unsentenced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners increased by 15% (489 persons) from the December quarter 2016, which was higher than the 5% annual increase seen in the total unsentenced prisoner population. (Table 8 and 13)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners represented 27% of the total full-time adult prisoner population (during the December quarter 2017), 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 continue to account for nearly three-quarters of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoner population: New South Wales (28% or 3,205 persons); Queensland (24% or 2,730 persons); and Western Australia (22% or 2,516 persons). (Table 1)

The national average daily Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate was 2,440 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 (4,066 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population);
    • Northern Territory (2,748 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population); and
    • South Australia (2,660 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population). (Table 12)

Graph Image for ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER IMPRISONMENT RATE(a), By states and territories, Dec 2016, Sep 2017 and Dec 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 December quarter 2016, only South Australia and the Northern Territory had a decrease in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate, South Australia by 1% (or 27 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population) and the Northern Territory by 3% (or 83 persons per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population). (Table 12)

PERSONS IN COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS

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 December quarter 2017 was 69,155 persons, representing:
    • an increase of less than 1% (277 persons) from the September quarter 2017; and
    • an increase of 3% (1,826 persons) from the December quarter 2016. (Table 1)

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

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

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



Three states accounted for over three-quarters of the national number of persons in community-based corrections:
    • Queensland (29% or 20,082 persons);
    • New South Wales (28% or 19,087 persons); and
    • Victoria (22% or 15,043 persons). (Table 1)
Over the past five years (since the December quarter 2012), persons serving community-based corrections orders increased 28% or 15,052 persons. (Table 1 and historical data)

Sex

In the December quarter 2017, males accounted for 80% (55,540 persons) of the total persons serving community-based correction orders and females the remaining 20% (13,594). (Table 15)

Over the past five years (since December quarter 2012) females serving community-based correction orders have increased at a higher rate than males, increasing by 41% (or 3,923 persons) and males by 25% (or 11,144). (Table 15 and historical data)

Type of orders

In the December quarter 2017, the three most prevalent order types in Australia were:
    • Sentenced probation (56% or 41,236 persons);
    • Parole (21% or 15,787 persons); and
    • Community service orders (15% or 11,095 persons). (Table 17)

Since the September quarter 2017, the number of persons serving all order types increased except for Sentenced probation, Fine option and Bail.

The average daily number of persons on parole was 15,787, up 4% (616 persons) from the September quarter 2017. (Table 17)

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

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia



Rates per 100,000 adult population

In the December quarter 2017, the daily average national rate of persons in community-based corrections was 361 persons per 100,000 adult population, representing an increase of less than 1% from the September quarter 2017 and an increase of 1% or 2 persons per 100,000 adult population for the year. (Table 16)

Graph Image for COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS RATE(a), By states and territories, Dec 2016, Sep 2017 and Dec 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 December quarter 2017 was 14,438, representing an increase of 1% (199 persons) from the previous quarter and an increase of 6% (874 persons) over the year.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons make up just over one fifth (21%) of the total community-based corrections population, of which three-quarters were located in three states: Queensland (33% or 4,716 persons), New South Wales (31% or 4,513 persons) and Western Australia (12% or 1,737 persons). (Table 18)

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

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

Source(s): Corrective Services, Australia