Num­ber of pris­on­ers on rise again

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

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.

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