Number of Aussies in jail up nearly 30%

Almost 42,000 people per day were held in Australian prisons during 2017-18, a report says.
Almost 42,000 people per day were held in Australian prisons during 2017-18, a report says.

The rate of Australians locked up in prison has climbed by almost 30 per cent in the past 10 years, according to the latest statistics by the Productivity Commission.

An annual report on government services released on Thursday has revealed almost 217 in every 100,000 Australians were behind bars in the past financial year.

The figure represents a 29.9 per cent increase since 2008-09.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were between 12 and 16 times more likely to be imprisoned than the non-indigenous population, depending on how the figure was calculated.

However, the majority of prisoners behind bars across Australia's 118 custodial facilities were non-indigenous.

On average, there were almost 42,000 people per day held in Australian prisons during 2017-18.

Women represented 8.3 per cent of the daily average prison population, while Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners represented 27.8 per cent.

Governments spent $4.4 billion on prisons in 2017-18, an increase of 7.8 per cent compared to the previous year.

Another $600 million was spent on community corrections.

The productivity commission also found governments spent $11.6 billion on policing efforts during the past year, a cost covered almost exclusively by the states and territories.

Australian, state and territory courts cost governments almost $1.9 billion.

Australian Associated Press