Unsentenced prisoners now make up more than a quarter of the total Australian prisoner population. The highest proportion since 2005. The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous prisoners has also increased by 7%, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners accounting for 27 per cent of the total Australian prisoner population.
William Milne from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said the overall Australian adult prisoner population had increased by 7% (2,345 prisoners) since 30 June 2014, to 36,134 inmates.
Mr Milne said a large proportion of this increase is attributed to the number of unsentenced prisoners in custody, which grew by 21% (or 1,685 prisoners) for this period.
“Unsentenced prisoners are those confined to custody on remand while awaiting the outcome of their trial or awaiting deportation.” said Mr Milne.
“The most common charges for unsentenced prisoners were acts intended to cause injury and illicit drug offences, accounting for nearly half (46%) of all unsentenced prisoners.”
Other key findings from the 2015 Prisoner Census:
- Just under three in five prisoners (58%) had served a sentence in an adult prison prior to the current episode.
- Overseas born prisoners accounted for 18 % of all inmates.
- The most common offences for both male and female prisoners were acts intended to cause injury (21 per cent and 19 per cent respectively) and illicit drug offences (13 per cent and 18 per cent respectively).