Australian Institute of Criminology

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Number of women prisoners increases

Crime facts info no. 1

ISSN 1445-7288
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, June 2001

The number of women incarcerated in Australian prisons has almost doubled since 1991 from 607 to 1,124. An Australian Institute of Criminology paper "Women Prisoners and Correctional Programs" (details below), discusses some of the major trends in the incarceration of women including the disproportionate rate of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander women currently imprisoned. While the rate of incarceration for men per 100,000 has increased from 194 to 240.5 since 1991 (an increase of 24 per cent), the rate for women has increased from 9.2 to 15.3 (an increase of 66 per cent). Women were more likely to be incarcerated for property, drug and violent offences, and at the time of incarceration were often unemployed and had low education. The report also looks at the options available to women in prisons by way of treatment for illicit drug dependency, and education and employment programs.

Incarcerated women prison population 1991 - 1999

chart

Source

  • Cameron, M. 2001, "Women Prisoners and Correctional Programs", Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, no. 194, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.