By 2031, reduce the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults held in incarceration by at least 15 per cent
Nationally at 30 June 2020, the age-standardised rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners was 2081.0 per 100 000 adult population (figure CtG10.1).
This is an increase from 2077.4 per 100 000 adult population in 2019 (the baseline year).
Nationally, based on the most recent year of data, this target is not on track to be met.
Target data specifications
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are not overrepresented in the criminal justice system.
By 2031, reduce the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults held in incarceration by at least 15 per cent.
Age-standardised imprisonment rate.
The measure is defined as:
Numerator — number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 18 years and over in the legal custody of adult corrective services at 30 June
Denominator — number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 18 years and over at 30 June
and is presented as an age-standardised rate per 100 000 people.
National Agreement on Closing the Gap July 2020
Latest dashboard update:
23 June 2021
Interpretation of change:
A low or decreasing rate is desirable. A decrease from the baseline year is an improvement.
Name (numerator): Prisoners in Australia
Name (denominator): Estimates and Projections for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population
Frequency: Annual (data revised five-yearly)
Documentation (links): https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/crime-and-justice/prisoners-australia;
Provider name: Australian Bureau of Statistics
Provider area: Justice
2019 (data revised in 2020)
State and territory and Australia, by Indigenous status.
Numerator divided by Denominator multiplied by 100 000 and age standardised
From 2019, in all states and territories, persons remanded or sentenced to adult custody are aged 18 years and over. In Queensland, prior to 2018, 'adult' referred to persons aged 17 years and over.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rate: rates are calculated based on estimates of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population based on Series B projections for 30 June of the relevant calendar year.
Non-Indigenous rate: rates are calculated based on estimates of the non-Indigenous population derived as the difference between the estimated resident population as at 31 March and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population projections as at 30 June for the relevant calendar year.
Age-standardised rate: rates are calculated using the direct method of age standardisation. This is a standard methodology and consists of:
Data quality considerations:
It is not possible to reproduce the exact age-standardised rates as published in the ABS releases on Prisoners in Australia as the rates calculated using the method described above are based on unperturbed data, whereas the published data by age range is perturbed to protect the confidentiality of individuals.
Comparisons of imprisonment rates should be made with care, especially for states and territories with relatively small Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations. Small changes in prisoner numbers can cause variations in rates that do not accurately represent either real trends over time or consistent differences from other jurisdictions.
Additional disaggregations required for future reporting:
By offence and type of sentence
Most serious and other offences
Sentenced vs unsentenced and by sentence length
Number of unique episodes of incarceration
Newly sentenced to prison
By cause of death
Material for download
- Adults are not overrepresented in the criminal justice system data tables (XLSX - 16 Kb)
- Adults are not overrepresented in the criminal justice system dataset (CSV - 14 Kb)
To assist with interpretation of the data provided (Excel data tables and CSV dataset) please refer to the target data specification above.