Number of prisoners on rise again
NEW information shows the number of people in Australian prisons has increased for the seventh consecutive year.
Australian Bureau of Statistics show as of the night of June 30 there were 42,974 prisoners in custody. This was a 4 per cent increase from the same time last year and represents a 40 per cent increase over the past five years.
ABS National Centre of Crime and Justice Statistics director William Milne said the majority of the increase in the prison population in 2018 was because of a rise in the number of offenders imprisoned for illicit drugs and sexual assault and related offences.
“Since 30 June 2017, there has been a 10 per cent increase in the number of people imprisoned for illicit drug offences and sexual assault and related offences,” he said.
“The number of people in prison for these offences has increased over the past five years, particularly for illicit drug offenders where there’s been an increase of over 3000 prisoners ( 87 per cent) since 2013.”
Mr Milne said acts intended to cause injury remained the most common offence or charge for prisoners.
The ABS data shows since 2017, the number of female prisoners has increased by 10 per cent and the number of male prisoners by 4 per cent.