This report on Victoria’s prison population investigates statistical trends in adults held in Victorian corrective services custody between 2005 and 2016. As with the Council’s previous reports on this topic (released in 2007 and 2013), this report highlights a prison population growing at unprecedented rates, significantly outpacing general population growth. Between 30 June 2006 and 30 June 2016, Victoria’s prison population increased by 67%, from 3,908 to 6,520 prisoners.
This report examines a number of aspects of the expanding prison population. First, the broad demographics of the prison population are presented in order to analyse whether overall growth is being driven by particular groups within the prison population. Second, offending in Victoria is investigated in order to determine whether changing offending patterns are influencing prison population growth. Third, the report presents sentencing data in order to explore whether increases in the prison population are a result of changing sentencing practices. Finally, the offences, charges, sentences, and time served on remand of current prisoners are examined in order to measure changes in the composition of the prison population.