Prisoner-on-prisoner homicides in Australia: 1980 to 2011

Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 517
5 December 2016

The number of prisoner-on prisoner homicides has dropped considerably since 1998 and remained consistently low over the last decade. Although not common, prisoner-on prisoner homicides generally receive considerable public attention.

This paper builds on previous AIC research, analysing the circumstances and nature of homicides that occurred in correctional facilities across Australia between 1980 and 2011. The findings show prisoner-on-prisoner homicides typically involve non-Indigenous male prisoners between the ages of 20 and 34, with violent offenders more likely to be victims than those sentenced for other offences.

The paper discusses effective strategies for managing violent offenders in prison. It also provides an overview of the preventive policies and procedures introduced by corrective services agencies that may have contributed to the decline in the number and rate of homicides.

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Matthew Lyneham, Andy Chan, Matthew Willis, Hayley McDonald, 2016, Prisoner-on-prisoner homicides in Australia: 1980 to 2011, Australian Institute of Criminology, viewed 19 January 2017, <http://apo.org.au/node/71696>.

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