Report on Government Services 2023
Part C, Section 8: released on 31 January 2023
8 Corrective services
This section reports on prison custody and a range of community corrections orders and programs for adult offenders which are delivered separately by the eight states and territories.
The Indicator results tab uses data from the data tables to provide information on the performance for each indicator in the Indicator framework. The same data in the data tables are also available in CSV format.
- 8 Corrective services data tables (XLSX - 128 Kb)
- 8 Corrective services dataset (CSV - 182 Kb)
See the corresponding table number in the data tables for detailed definitions, caveats, footnotes and data source(s).
- Indicator framework
- Indicator results
- Indigenous data
- Explanatory material
Objectives for corrective services
Corrective services aim to contribute to the protection and creation of safer communities through the effective management of offenders and prisoners, commensurate with their needs and the risks they pose to the community, by providing:
- a safe, secure and humane custodial environment
- appropriate management of community corrections orders
- programs and services that address the causes of offending, maximise the chances of successful reintegration into the community, and encourage offenders to adopt a law abiding way of life.
Governments aim for corrective services to meet these objectives in an equitable and efficient manner.
The operation of corrective services is significantly influenced by, and in turn influences, other components of the criminal justice system such as police services and courts. The management of prisoners and of offenders serving community corrections orders is the core business of all corrective services agencies. However, the legislative frameworks governing and impacting on corrective services, for example sentencing acts, vary widely. The scope of the responsibilities of these agencies also varies, for example, functions administered by corrective services in one jurisdiction may be administered by a different justice sector agency in another, such as the management of prisoners held in court cells.
This section reports on the performance of corrective services, which include prison custody and a range of community corrections orders and programs for adult offenders1 (for example, parole and community work orders). Both public and privately operated correctional facilities are included; however, the scope of this section generally does not extend to:
- youth justice (reported on in section 17, Youth justice services)
- prisoners or alleged offenders held in forensic mental health facilities to receive psychiatric care (who are usually the responsibility of health departments)
- prisoners held in police custody (reported on in section 6, Police services)
- people held in facilities such as immigration detention centres.
- Adult offenders in prison and community corrections are aged 18 years and over in all Australian states and territories.
Roles and responsibilities
Corrective services are the responsibility of State and Territory governments, which may deliver services directly, purchase them through contractual arrangements or operate a combination of both arrangements. All jurisdictions maintained government operated prison facilities during the reporting period while private prisons operated in five jurisdictions (NSW, Victoria, Queensland, WA and SA).
Community corrections is responsible for administering a range of non-custodial sanctions and also manages prisoners who are released into the community and continue to be subject to corrective services supervision. These services vary in the extent and nature of supervision, the conditions of the order (such as a community work component or a requirement to attend an offender program) and the level of restriction placed on the offender’s freedom of movement in the community (for example, home detention).
No single objective or set of characteristics is common to all jurisdictions’ community corrections services, other than that they generally provide a non-custodial sentencing alternative or a post-custodial mechanism for reintegrating prisoners into the community under continued supervision. In some jurisdictions, community corrections responsibility includes managing offenders on supervised bail orders. Table 8.1 shows the range of sanctions involving corrective services that operated in each jurisdiction during the reporting period.
|Community corrections||Supervised bail|
|Conditionally deferred or suspended conviction/sentence|
|Fine option/conversion order|
|Community service order|
|Probation, community based order, Supervised good behaviour bond|
|Supervised suspended sentenceb|
|Intensive corrections/intensive supervision order|
|Home detention orderc,d|
|Post-prison order e.g. parole, release on licence|
|Post-sentence supervision order|
|Prison custody||Remand (unconvicted or unsentenced)|
|Post-sentence detention order|
Sanction administered Sanction not administered
a This table relates to whether there are offenders or prisoners being managed by corrective services in accordance with the requirements of the particular sanction at 30 June of the reporting period. It may therefore show as applicable a sanction that is no longer in force as a sentencing option for the jurisdiction at that time because there are still offenders/prisoners within the corrective service population that have not yet completed an order handed down by the court before that type of sanction was removed as an option for courts to use. b NSW is no longer administering new supervised suspended sentences although there are still a number of offenders currently being supervised under this sanction. c Includes home detention as a condition of bail where supervised by corrective services. d In Tasmania, legislation allowing sentencing to Home Detention Orders was proclaimed in December 2018. The first such orders commenced in March 2019. e No jurisdiction operated periodic detention in 2021-22.
Source: State and Territory governments (unpublished).
Nationally in 2021-22, expenditure (net of revenues) on corrective services was just over $4.44 billion for prisons and $0.80 billion for community corrections2 (table 8A.1). Expenditure plus depreciation (matching expenditure reporting by other justice sector agencies) was $5.77 billion — a real increase of 3.7 per cent from 2020-21 (table 8A.2). Changes in expenditure need to be considered in the context of the growth in corrective services populations over time.
- This expenditure is net of operating revenues and excludes capital costs (depreciation, user cost of capital and debt service fees), payroll tax, and expenditure on transport/escort services and prisoner health. Some jurisdictions are unable to fully disaggregate transport costs and/or health expenditure from other prison operating costs. See table 8A.1 for detailed definitions, footnotes and caveats.
Size and scope
Corrective services operated 116 custodial facilities nationally at 30 June 2022, comprising 89 government operated prisons, 9 privately operated prisons, four transitional centres, and fourteen 24-hour court cell complexes (holding prisoners under the responsibility of corrective services in NSW) (table 8A.3).
On average, 41 176 people per day were held in Australian prisons during 2021-22, of which 83.8 per cent were held in secure facilities (table 8A.4). A daily average of 8061 prisoners (19.6 per cent of the prisoner population), were held in privately operated facilities during the year. Nationally, female prisoners represented 7.5 per cent of the daily average prison population, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners represented 31.0 per cent of the daily average population.
In 2021-22, the national imprisonment rate was 204.5 per 100 000 people in the relevant adult population (figure 8.1). While this represents an increase of 20.9 per cent since 2012-13 (figure 8.1) it is also the third consecutive annual decrease nationally in the 10 years of reported data. The rate for males (385.9 per 100 000 males) was almost 13 times the rate for females (30.0 per 100 000 females) (table 8A.5).
The national crude imprisonment rate per 100 000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population was 2335.1 in 2021-22 compared with a rate of 142.6 for the non-Indigenous population (table 8A.5). 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.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population has a younger age profile compared with the non-Indigenous population, which contributes to higher crude imprisonment rates. After adjusting for differences in population age structures, the national age-standardised imprisonment rate per 100 000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in 2021-22 was 1897.1, compared with a corresponding rate of 156.1 for the non-Indigenous population (figure 8.2). Therefore, after taking into account the effect of differences in the age profiles between the two populations, the national imprisonment rate for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is 12.2 times greater than for the non-Indigenous population. Rates that do not take age profile differences into account are 16.4 times greater.
While imprisonment rates for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, whether calculated on a crude or age-standardised basis, are higher than those for the non‑Indigenous population, the majority of daily prisoners are non‑Indigenous. Ten-year trends in daily average numbers and rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non‑Indigenous prisoners are reported in table 8A.6.
Nationally, on a daily average, there were 15.9 offenders for every one (full time equivalent) community corrections staff member in 2021‑22 (table 8A.7). Nationally, an average of 80 144 offenders per day were serving community corrections orders in 2021-22 (table 8A.8), with female offenders representing 19.2 per cent of the offender population (higher than the proportion in the prison population), and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders representing 23.3 per cent of the offender population (lower than the proportion in the prison population).
In 2021-22, the national crude community corrections rate was 398.1 per 100 000 relevant adult population. This is 29.6 per cent higher than the rate of 307.1 in 2012-13 (figure 8.3). The rate for female offenders was 150.0 compared with 655.6 for male offenders (table 8A.5).
The national crude rate for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population was 3414.1 offenders per 100 000 relevant adult population, compared with 303.0 offenders for the non-Indigenous population (table 8A.5). After adjusting for differences in population age structures, the age-standardised rate per 100 000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in 2021‑22 was 2746.9, compared with a rate of 314.2 for the non-Indigenous population (figure 8.4). Therefore, after taking into account the effect of differences in the age profiles between the two populations, the national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community corrections rate is 8.7 times greater than for the non-Indigenous population. Rates that do not take age profile differences into account are 11.3 times greater.
As with prisoners, comparisons should be made with care because small changes in offender numbers in jurisdictions with relatively small Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations can cause variations in rates that do not accurately represent either real trends over time or consistent differences from other jurisdictions. Ten-year trends are reported in table 8A.9.
The performance indicator framework provides information on equity, efficiency and effectiveness, and distinguishes the outputs and outcomes of corrective services.
The performance indicator framework shows which data are complete and comparable in this Report. For data that are not considered directly comparable, text includes relevant caveats and supporting commentary. Section 1 discusses data comparability and completeness from a Report-wide perspective. In addition to the contextual information for this service area (see Context tab), the Report’s statistical context (section 2) contains data that may assist in interpreting the performance indicators presented in this section.
Improvements to performance reporting for corrective services are ongoing and will include identifying indicators to fill gaps in reporting against key objectives, improving the comparability and completeness of data and reviewing proxy indicators to see if more direct measures can be developed.
Outputs are the actual services delivered (while outcomes are the impact of these services on the status of an individual or group) (see section 1). Output information is also critical for equitable, efficient and effective management of government services.
Outcomes are the impact of services on the status of an individual or group (see section 1).
Text version of indicator framework
Performance — linked to Objectives
- Equity — Access
- Prisoner employment by Indigenous status – most recent data for all measures are comparable and complete
- Effectiveness — Appropriateness
- Offence related programs – no data reported and/or no measures yet developed
- Education and training – most recent data for all measures are either not comparable and/or not complete
- Prisoner employment – most recent data for all measures are comparable and complete
- Time out-of-cells – most recent data for all measures are comparable and complete
- Community work – most recent data for all measures are comparable and complete
- Prison utilisation – most recent data for all measures are either not comparable and/or not complete
- Effectiveness — Quality
- Apparent unnatural deaths – most recent data for all measures are comparable and complete
- Assaults in custody – most recent data for all measures are either not comparable and/or not complete
- Efficiency — Inputs per output unit
- Cost per prisoner/offender – most recent data for all measures are either not comparable and/or not complete
- Completion of community orders – most recent data for all measures are comparable and complete
- Escapes – most recent data for all measures are comparable and complete
A description of the comparability and completeness is provided under the Indicator results tab for each measure.
An overview of the Corrective services performance indicator results are presented. Jurisdictional differences in service delivery settings, geographic dispersal and prisoner/offender population profiles have an impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of correctional service systems.
Information to assist the interpretation of these data can be found with the indicators below and all data (footnotes and data sources) are available for download above as an excel spreadsheet and as a CSV dataset. Data tables are identified by a ‘8A’ prefix (for example, table 8A.1).
Specific data used in figures can be downloaded by clicking in the figure area, navigating to the bottom of the visualisation to the grey toolbar, clicking on the 'Download' icon and selecting 'Data' from the menu. Selecting 'PDF' or 'Powerpoint' from the 'Download' menu will download a static view of the performance indicator results.
1. Prisoner employment by Indigenous status
‘Prisoner employment by Indigenous status’ is an indicator of governments’ objective to provide programs and services in an equitable manner.
‘Prisoner employment by Indigenous status’ is defined as the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners employed as a percentage of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners eligible to work, compared with the percentage of employed non-Indigenous prisoners.
Prisoners who are eligible to work excludes those unable to participate in work programs because of full time education and/or training, ill health, relatively short periods of imprisonment, prisoners whose protection status precludes their access to employment, fine defaulters who are in prison custody for only a few days, hospital patients or aged prisoners who are unable to work, prisoners at centres where the jurisdiction's policy is not to provide work or where work is not available (for example 24-hour court cells), and remandees who choose not to work.
Similar proportions of employment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous prisoners indicates equity of access to participate in work programs. These employment opportunities develop work skills and qualifications to assist in obtaining employment after release from custody.
This indicator should be interpreted with caution because of factors outside the control of corrective services, such as local economic conditions, which affect the capacity to attract commercially viable prison industries, particularly where prisons are remote from large population centres.
Nationally in 2021-22, 70.7 per cent of the eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoner population was employed, compared with 84.1 per cent of the eligible non-Indigenous prisoner population (figure 8.5).
2. Offence-related programs
‘Offence-related programs’ is an indicator of governments’ objective to provide programs and services that address the causes of offending, maximise the chances of successful reintegration into the community, and encourage offenders to adopt a law-abiding way of life.
‘Offence-related programs’ measures the delivery of programs to prisoners and offenders by corrective services that target specific factors related to their risk of reoffending.
Data are not yet available for reporting against this indicator.
3. Education and training
‘Education and training’ is an indicator of governments’ objective of providing programs and services that address the causes of offending, maximise the chances of successful reintegration into the community, and encourage offenders to adopt a law abiding way of life.
‘Education and training’ is defined as the number of prisoners participating in one or more accredited education and training courses, as a percentage of those eligible to participate. Classification of education courses is based on the Australian Qualifications Framework. The Vocational Education and Training category includes advanced diplomas, diplomas, and certificates I to IV. The secondary schools education category includes senior secondary and certificate of education. The higher education category includes doctoral and masters degrees, graduate diplomas, bachelor degrees, diplomas and advanced diplomas.
Prisoners who are eligible exclude those unable to participate for reasons of ill health, relatively short periods of imprisonment, hospital patients who are medically unable to participate, fine defaulters who are incarcerated for only a few days at a time, prisoners held at centres where education programs are not provided as a matter of policy (for example, 24-hour court cells), and remandees for whom access to education is not available. Education and training data do not include participation in non‑accredited education and training programs or a range of offence-related programs that are provided in prisons, such as drug and alcohol programs, psychological programs, psychological counselling and personal development courses which are not AQF accredited. Percentages are based on an average of the number of prisoners enrolled on the first day of the month. Any deviation from this is noted in data table footnotes.
High or increasing education and training participation rates of prisoners are desirable. The rates reported for this indicator should be interpreted with caution as the indicator does not assess participation relative to individual prisoner needs, or measure successful program completion.
Education rates can fluctuate between years due to various external factors, such as government funding for particular initiatives that may not continue into future years and corrective services responses to such changes, as well as for other reasons such as active targeting of particular types of courses, for example, completion of specific pre-certificate courses as a prerequisite for vocational training courses.
Nationally in 2021-22, 23.7 per cent of eligible prisoners participated in accredited education and training courses, the lowest proportion for the 10 years of reported data (figure 8.6) and reflecting the third consecutive drop in participation since 2018-19. Vocational education and training courses had the highest participation levels (16.6 per cent), followed by pre-certificate Level 1 courses (5.5 per cent), secondary school education (1.8 per cent) and higher education (1.6 per cent) (table 8A.11).
4. Prisoner employment
‘Prisoner employment’ is an indicator of governments’ objective of providing programs and services that address the causes of offending, maximise the chances of successful reintegration into the community, and encourage offenders to adopt a law-abiding way of life.
‘Prisoner employment’ is defined as the number of prisoners employed as a percentage of those eligible to work.
Prisoners who are eligible exclude those unable to work for reasons of ill health, relatively short periods of imprisonment, prisoners in full-time education or other full-time programs, prisoners whose protection status precludes their access to employment, fine defaulters in prison custody for only a few days, hospital patients or aged prisoners who are unable to work, prisoners at centres where the jurisdiction's policy is not to provide work or where work is not available (for example 24-hour court cells), and remandees who choose not to work.
High or increasing percentages of prisoners in employment are desirable, as addressing the limited vocational skills and poor employment history of some prisoners has been identified as a key contributor to decreasing the risk of reoffending.
This indicator should be interpreted with caution because of factors outside the control of corrective services, such as local economic conditions, which affect the capacity to attract commercially viable prison industries, particularly where prisons are remote from large population centres.
Nationally in 2021-22, 80.1 per cent of the eligible prisoner population was employed (figure 8.7).
5. Time out-of-cells
‘Time out‑of‑cells’ is an indicator of governments’ objective of providing a safe, secure and humane custodial environment.
‘Time out‑of‑cells’ is defined as the average number of hours in a 24‑hour period that prisoners are not confined to their cells or units. The periods during which prisoners are not confined to their cells or units provides them with the opportunity to participate in a range of activities that may include work, education and training, wellbeing, recreation and treatment programs, the opportunity to receive visits, and interacting with other prisoners and staff.
A relatively high or increasing average time out‑of‑cells per day is desirable. Prison systems with higher proportions of prisoners who need to be accommodated in more secure facilities because of the potentially greater risk that they pose to the community are more likely to report relatively lower time out‑of‑cells.
Nationally in 2021-22, the average number of hours of time out-of-cells per prisoner per day was 9.0. Average time out-of-cells was higher for prisoners in open custody (12.8 hours) than for those held in secure custody (8.3 hours) (figure 8.8a). Total time out-of-cells per prisoner per day is available by jurisdiction and year in figure 8.8b.
6. Community work
‘Community work’ is an indicator of governments’ objective to provide appropriate management of community corrections orders.
‘Community work’ is defined as the number of hours unpaid community work acquitted on eligible community corrections orders as a percentage of the total hours that were imposed on the orders, for orders that were discharged during the reference period.
Eligible orders are community corrections orders issued by a court with a condition that the offender perform a specified number of hours of unpaid community work. These data do not include hours on orders that that were not issued directly by a court, e.g. community work orders made in default of payment of a fine. A discharged order refers to an order which has been finalised by corrective services due to being:
- successfully completed (all requirements on the order were met)
- revoked or breached (either due to a new charge being laid or other reasons).
Hours of community work are generally acquitted by undertaking the unpaid work, but in some jurisdictions hours may also be acquitted through participation in other approved programs or activities.
The percentage of hours completed can be affected by the general levels of compliance across all offenders required to do unpaid community work as a condition of their order. Community work may only be one component of an order alongside other requirements and non-compliance with the other requirements can result in a breach of the whole order and therefore affect an offender’s capacity to successfully complete the community work hours in full.
A high or increasing percentage of ordered hours acquitted is desirable.
Nationally in 2021-22, for orders discharged during the financial year, the proportion of imposed hours of unpaid community work that was acquitted was 72.2 per cent, a decrease from 77.0 per cent in 2020-21 (figure 8.9).
7. Prison utilisation
‘Prison utilisation’ is an indicator of governments’ objective of providing a safe, secure and humane custodial environment.
‘Prison utilisation’ reflects the extent to which prison design capacity meets demand for prison accommodation. It is defined as the annual daily average prisoner population as a percentage of the number of single occupancy cells and designated beds in shared occupancy cells provided for in the design capacity of the prisons.
It is generally accepted that prisons require spare capacity to cater for the transfer of prisoners, special‑purpose accommodation such as protection units, separate facilities for males and females and different security levels, and to manage short‑term fluctuations in prisoner numbers. Therefore, percentages close to but not exceeding 100 per cent are desirable.
For all jurisdictions (with available data), prison utilisation as a proportion of design capacity was higher for secure facilities compared to open prisons (figure 8.10a). Total prison utilisation for all available jurisdictions is presented by year in figure 8.10b.
8. Apparent unnatural deaths
‘Apparent unnatural deaths’ is an indicator of governments’ objective of providing a safe, secure and humane custodial environment.
‘Apparent unnatural deaths’ is defined as the number of deaths, divided by the annual average prisoner population, multiplied by 100 (to give the rate per 100 prisoners), where the likely cause of death is suicide, drug overdose, accidental injury or homicide.
Zero, low or decreasing rates of apparent unnatural deaths are desirable.
The rates for this indicator should be interpreted with caution. A single incident in a jurisdiction with a relatively small prisoner population can significantly increase the rate in that jurisdiction but would have only a minor impact in jurisdictions with larger populations. A relatively high rate in a jurisdiction with a small prisoner population can represent only a very small number of deaths.
Nationally in 2021-22 the overall rate of deaths of prisoners from apparent unnatural causes was 0.04 per 100 prisoners (table 8.2a). The rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners was 0.04 and for non-Indigenous prisoners was 0.04. There were 17 deaths reported as being due to unnatural causes, 5 of whom were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (table 8.2b).
9. Assaults in custody
‘Assaults in custody’ is an indicator of governments’ objective of providing a safe, secure and humane custodial environment.
‘Assaults in custody’ is defined as the number of victims of acts of physical violence committed by a prisoner that resulted in physical injuries reported over the year, divided by the annual daily average prisoner population, multiplied by 100 (to give the rate per 100 prisoners). Rates are reported for two measures:
- assaults against another prisoner by seriousness of impact
- assaults against a member of staff by seriousness of impact.
‘Assaults’ refer to acts of physical violence resulting in a physical injury but not requiring overnight hospitalisation or ongoing medical treatment. ‘Serious assaults’ refer to acts of physical violence resulting in injuries that require treatment involving overnight hospitalisation in a medical facility or ongoing medical treatment, as well as all sexual assaults.
Data include assaults by a prisoner in corrective services legal custody, whether held in a prison or other facility under the supervision of corrective services staff, and includes those occurring during prisoner transport and escorts. Prior to 2014-15, assaults that occurred within a 24-hour court cell complex were excluded.
Zero, low or decreasing rates of assaults in custody are desirable. The rates reported for this indicator should be interpreted with caution. A single incident in a jurisdiction with a relatively small prisoner population can significantly increase the rate in that jurisdiction but would have only a minor impact in jurisdictions with larger prisoner populations. A relatively high rate in a jurisdiction with a small prisoner population may represent only a very small number of actual incidents.
There are different reporting practices and variation in service delivery arrangements for delivering prisoner health care, whereby not all jurisdictions have access to the medical information needed to accurately classify incidents into the assault categories used in this indicator.
Table 8.3 shows the rates of assault per 100 prisoners, committed against another prisoner or member of staff, by seriousness of impact. Australian averages have not been calculated due to different reporting practices and variation in service delivery arrangements for delivering prisoner health care across jurisdictions.
10. Cost per prisoner/offender
‘Cost per prisoner/offender’ is an indicator of governments’ objective to provide corrective services in an efficient manner.
‘Cost per prisoner/offender’ is defined as the average daily cost of providing corrective services per prisoner and per offender, reported separately for net operating expenditure and for capital costs per prisoner and offender and for secure and open custody for prisoners.
A low or decreasing cost is desirable in achieving efficient resource management. Efficiency indicators are difficult to interpret in isolation and should be considered in conjunction with effectiveness indicators. A low cost per prisoner, for example, can reflect less emphasis on providing prisoner programs to address the risk of reoffending.
Factors that can affect the results for this indicator include: the composition of the prisoner population requiring different accommodation and/or management; the size and dispersion of the geographic area across which services are delivered; the potential (or lack of) for economies of scale; and, the impact of the wider criminal justice system policies and practices.
Nationally in 2021-22, recurrent expenditure comprising net operating expenditure and capital costs was $405.18 per prisoner per day (figure 8.11a), or $28.65 per offender (table 8A.19).
Nationally in 2021-22, excluding capital costs, the real net operating expenditure was $294.90 per prisoner per day (figure 8.11b). This represents a 21.5 per cent increase in real net expenditure per prisoner per day since 2012-13.
Nationally in 2021-22, excluding capital costs, the real net operating expenditure was $27.44 per offender per day (figure 8.11c). This represents less than a two per cent increase since 2012-13.
11. Completion of community orders
‘Completion of community orders’ is an indicator of governments’ objective to contribute to the protection and creation of safer communities through the effective management of offenders.
‘Completion of community orders’ is defined as the percentage of community corrections orders completed during the year that were not breached for failure to meet the order requirements or because further offences were committed. Order requirements may involve restrictions on the offender’s liberty (as with home detention), a requirement to undertake community work or other specified activity (such as a drug or alcohol program), regularly attending a community corrections centre as part of supervision requirements, or other conditions.
High or increasing percentages of order completions are desirable. Completion rates should be interpreted with caution. The indicator is affected by differences in the overall risk profiles of offender populations, and risk assessment and breach procedure policies. High‑risk offenders subject to higher levels of supervision have a greater likelihood of being detected when conditions of orders are breached. High breach rates could therefore be interpreted as a positive outcome reflecting the effectiveness of more intensive offender management. Alternatively, a high completion rate can mean either high compliance or a failure to detect or act on breaches of compliance.
Nationally in 2021-22, 78.6 per cent of community corrections orders were completed (figure 8.12).
Completions by order type were highest for supervision orders (78.9 per cent), followed by reparation orders (77.6 per cent) and restricted movement orders (75.3 per cent) (table 8.4). Completion of community corrections orders were higher for non-Indigenous people compared to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and for females compared to males.
‘Escapes’ is an indicator of governments’ objective to contribute to the protection and creation of safer communities through the effective management of prisoners.
‘Escapes’ is defined as the number of escapes divided by the annual average prisoner population, multiplied by 100 (for a rate per 100 prisoners), and is reported separately for prisoners escaping from secure custody and from open custody.
Numbers and rates exclude ‘other escape’ incidents such as: prisoners failing to return from unescorted leave, work release or day leave or found at unlawful locations, prisoners in work parties or participating in activities outside the perimeter without direct one-to-one supervision, prisoners found outside the perimeter of the correctional centre but within the centre precinct, or ‘walk-offs’ from work camps or outstations linked to prisons.
Zero, low or decreasing rates are desirable. Escape rates should be interpreted with caution. A single incident in a jurisdiction with a relatively small prisoner population can significantly increase the rate in that jurisdiction but would have only a minor impact in jurisdictions with larger populations. A relatively high rate in a jurisdiction with a small prisoner population can represent only a very small number of actual incidents.
Nationally in 2021-22, the rate of escapes was 0.39 per 100 prisoners held in open custody and 0.02 per 100 prisoners held in secure custody (table 8.5a). The number of escapes in open and secure custody are shown in table 8.5b.
Performance indicator data for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in this section are available in the data tables listed below. Further supporting information can be found in the explanatory material tab and data tables.
|Table number||Table title|
|Table 8A.10||Prisoner employment by Indigenous status|
|Table 8A.17||Deaths from apparent unnatural causes by Indigenous status, number and rate per 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander/non-Indigenous prisoners|
|Table 8A.21||Completion of community corrections orders (per cent)|
24‑hour court cell
Cells located in a court and/or police complex that are administered by corrective services.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
People identifying themselves as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders if they are accepted as such by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community.
An act of physical violence committed by a prisoner that resulted in physical injuries. An assault is recorded where either:
The rate is based on a count of victims of assaults not incidents, that is, an assault by two prisoners on one other prisoner is counted as one assault, whereas a single incident in which one prisoner assaults two other prisoners is counted as two assaults.
Apparent unnatural death
The death of a person who is in corrective services custody (which includes deaths that occur within prisons, during transfer to or from prison, within a medical facility following transfer from prison, or in the custody of corrective services outside a custodial facility):
Combined depreciation costs, the user cost of capital (calculated as 8 per cent of the value of government land and other assets), and debt servicing fees – interest portion of the repayment of the finance lease repayment incurred by governments as part of contracts for privately owned prisons and prisons built under Public‑Private Partnership arrangements.
Community‑based management of court‑ordered sanctions, post‑prison orders and administrative arrangements and fine conversions for offenders, which principally involve one or more of the following requirements: supervision; program participation; or community work.
Community corrections offender rate
The annual average number of adults with community corrections orders per 100 000 population aged 18 years or over. For 2017-18 and earlier years, Queensland rates were calculated against adult population figures for people aged 17 years and over. Male/female and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander/non-Indigenous breakdowns are calculated against the relevant population, that is, per 100 000 male, female, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and non-indigenous adults respectively.
Community work (offenders)
Unpaid community work (hours) by offenders serving community corrections orders during the counting period.
Debt servicing fees
The interest portion of the repayment of the financial lease repayments incurred by governments as part of the contracts for privately owned prisons and prisons built under Public-Private Partnership arrangements, comparable to the user cost of capital for government owned facilities. This item is only applicable to NSW, Victoria, WA and the NT.
The escape of a prisoner under the direct supervision of corrective services officers or private providers under contract to corrective services, including escapes during transfer between prisons, during transfer to or from a medical facility, escapes that occurred from direct supervision by corrective services outside a prison, for example during escort to a funeral or medical appointment.
Expenditure on primary, secondary and tertiary health services for prisoners incurred either directly by corrective services or indirectly by other departments, agencies or service providers on behalf of Corrective Services. There are differences across jurisdictions in the extent to which the cost of health services to prisoners is incurred by corrective services or funded through health departments.
A corrective services program requiring offenders to be subject to supervision and monitoring by an authorised corrective services officer while confined to their place of residence or a place other than a prison.
The annual average number of prisoners per 100 000 population aged 18 years or over. For 2017-18 and earlier years, Queensland rates were calculated against adult population figures for people aged 17 years and over. Male/female and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander/non-Indigenous breakdowns are calculated against the relevant population, that is, per 100 000 male, female, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and non-indigenous adults respectively.
Net operating expenditure
Operating expenditure minus operating revenues.
Net operating expenditure per prisoner/offender
The daily cost of managing a prisoner/offender, based on operating expenditure net of operating revenues (see definitions below) divided by (i) the number of days spent in prison or detention by the daily average prisoner population and the daily average periodic detention population on a 2/7th basis or (ii) the number of days spent under community corrections supervision by the daily average community corrections population respectively.
An adult person subject to a non-custodial order administered by corrective services, which includes bail orders if those orders are subject to supervision by community corrections.
A custodial facility where the regime for managing prisoners does not require them to be confined by a secure perimeter physical barrier, irrespective of whether a physical barrier exists.
Expenditure of an ongoing nature incurred by government in the delivery of corrective services, including salaries and expenses in the nature of salary, other operating expenses incurred directly by corrective services, grants and subsidies to external organisations for the delivery of services, and expenses for corporate support functions allocated to corrective services by a broader central department or by a ‘shared services agency’, but excluding payroll tax and excluding prisoner health and transport/escort costs where able to be disaggregated by jurisdictions.
Revenue from ordinary activities undertaken by corrective services, such as prison industries.
Staff whose main responsibility involves the supervision or provision of support services directly to offenders in community corrections. These include:
An order requiring a person be detained in a legally proclaimed prison or periodic detention facility for two consecutive days per week. Periodic detention only applied in NSW and the ACT. As of 2017-18, periodic detention did not operate in any jurisdiction.
A legally proclaimed prison or remand centre for adult prisoners.
A person held in full time custody under the jurisdiction of an adult corrective services agency. This includes sentenced prisoners serving a term of imprisonment and unsentenced prisoners held on remand, in both public and privately operated prisons.
A government or privately owned prison (see prison) managed under contract by a private sector organisation.
The combined total of net operating expenditure (i.e. operating expenditure excluding operating revenues) and capital costs (see previous definitions).
A subcategory of community‑based corrections orders with a community service bond/order or fine option that requires them to undertake unpaid work.
A subcategory of community‑based corrections orders that limits the person’s liberty to their place of residence unless authorised by corrective services to be absent for a specific purpose, for example, Home Detention Orders.
A custodial facility where the regime for managing prisoners requires them to be confined by a secure perimeter physical barrier.
A subcategory of community‑based corrections orders that includes a range of conditions other than those categorised as restricted movement or reparation.
Transitional Centres are residential facilities administered by corrective services where prisoners are prepared for release towards the end of their sentences.
Transport and escort services
Services used to transport prisoners between prisons or to/from external locations (for example, court), whether by corrective services officers or external contractors involved in escorting prisoners as part of the transport arrangements.
User cost of capital
The cost of funds which are tied up in government capital used to deliver services and identifies the opportunity cost of this capital (the return forgone by using the funds to deliver services rather than investing them elsewhere or using them to retire debt). User cost of capital is calculated by applying a nominal rate of 8 per cent to the value of government assets.
Impact of COVID-19 on data for the Corrective services section
COVID-19 may affect data in this Report in a number of ways. This includes in respect of actual performance (that is, the impact of COVID-19 on service delivery from 2020 to 2022 which is reflected in the data results), and the collection and processing of data (that is, the ability of data providers to undertake data collection and process results for inclusion in the Report).
Government lockdowns implemented by State and Territory Governments during 2020 and 2021 in some jurisdictions impacted the number of people being received into and discharged from prison. These impacts may potentially flow through to indicators on prison utilisation and costs per prisoner/offender per day to various extents in jurisdictions depending on the length and scale of lockdowns experienced. COVID-19 may also have impacted on movement within facilities, time-out-of-cells, education and training, and community corrections.
Some specific footnoting identifies some additional technical matters in the data tables which may be applicable to individual jurisdictions.
A PDF of Part C Justice can be downloaded from the Part C sector overview page.