4517.0 - Prisoners in Australia, 2017 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/12/2017   
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KEY FINDINGS

Australian adult prisoner numbers continue to rise.
  • The number of prisoners in adult corrective services custody increased by 6% from 38,845 prisoners at 30 June 2016 to 41,202 at 30 June 2017.
  • Between 2016 and 2017 the national imprisonment rate increased by 4% from 208 to 216 prisoners per 100,000 adult population.

Unsentenced prisoners and sentenced prisoners
  • The number of unsentenced prisoners in adult corrective services custody increased by 7%, from 12,111 at 30 June 2016 to 12,911 at 30 June 2017. This was a smaller increase than the previous two years where increases of more than 20% were recorded.
  • Sentenced prisoners increased by 6% from 26,649 to 28,199 prisoners.

Graph Image for PRISONERS, Legal status, 30 June 2007 to 30 June 2017

Source(s): Prisoners in Australia



Graph Image for PROPORTION OF SENTENCED AND UNSENTENCED PRISONERS, 30 June 2007 to 30 June 2017

Source(s): Prisoners in Australia


  • The increase in unsentenced prisoners was accompanied by an increase in the median time spent on remand awaiting trial and/or sentence, which increased 14% from 2.9 to 3.3 months. The Northern Territory was the only state or territory to record a decrease.

Graph Image for UNSENTENCED PRISONERS, Median time on remand(a), States and territories, 30 June 2015, 30 June 2016 and 30 June 2017

Footnote(s): For information on time spent on remand see Explanatory Notes paragraph 51.

Source(s): Prisoners in Australia



Most common offences for prisoners in Australia
  • The most prevalent offences were Acts intended to cause injury (9,344 or 23%) and Illicit drug offences (6,155 prisoners or 15%).
  • Since 2016, these two offences had the largest increases in number of prisoners and accounted for the majority (81%) of the national increase in the prison population (6% or 2,357 prisoners).