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Key facts:

In 2016–17, an average of 40,059 people per day were held in Australian prisons of which 8.1 per cent were female and 27.6 per cent were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners. Nationally, 18.4 per cent were held in privately operated prisons.

Nationally, corrective services agencies operated 114 custodial facilities at 30 June 2017. Community corrections is responsible for 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. In some jurisdictions, community corrections responsibility includes managing offenders on supervised bail orders.

In 2016–17, an average of 68,110 offenders per day were serving community corrections orders, of which 19.1 per cent were female and 20.1 per cent were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders.

Nationally in 2016–17, net operating expenditure on corrective services including depreciation was $4.1 billion, a real increase of 7.2 per cent from the previous year. Changes in expenditure need to be considered in the context of the growth in corrective services populations over time.

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.

Publication Details
License type:
Access Rights Type:
Report on Government Services 2018
Chapter or part:
Part C (Justice)