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National DUMA summary 2011–12

Sample and demographics

Between January 2011 and December 2012, 7,721 detainees participated in DUMA interviews, 7,591 of which were adult detainees, aged 18 years or over, and 130 were juveniles. Of the adult detainees, 85 percent were male and on average, detainees were 32 years of age at the time of interview (see Table 2). The age distributions for male and female detainees were similar across the sites (see Table 2a).The sample size, age and gender composition was comparable with previous collection periods.

Juveniles are only interviewed, subject to their consent and the consent of their primary caregiver, in DUMA’s three New South Wales sites—Parramatta, Bankstown and Kings Cross. Juvenile detainee data are presented separately; see Juvenile Detainees.

Total number of urine samples collected in the two year period was lower than previous collection periods, due to a change in DUMA methodology that resulted in biannual urine collection. Of those detainees requested to provide a urine sample, 76 percent complied. This compliance rate is consistent with previous collection periods.

Offending

The total number of charges recorded across the two years was 17,936, with two charges being recorded, on average, against each detainee. For each detainee interviewed, a maximum of 10 charges can be recorded as part of the DUMA interview schedule. All charges recorded must relate to the detainee’s current period of police custody.

Aggregated across all sites, presented in order of prevalence, the charges related to breaches of a justice order (21%), followed by property charges (20%), violent offence charges (19%), drug charges—including drug possession, supply and trafficking (11%), traffic (8%), disorder (7%) and drink driving (2%). Finally, a further 11 percent of charges were recorded as ‘other charges’, not otherwise classified into the categories listed above (see Table 3).

Prevalence of charge categories varied between DUMA data collection sites (see Table 3a). For example, violent offence charges were more prevalent among detainees interviewed at Bankstown (28%), Adelaide (23%), Darwin (22%) and Parramatta (21%) compared with those interviewed at Southport (11%), Footscray (16%) and Kings Cross (14%). Property-related charges were more prevalent at Footscray (40%) and Brisbane (26%) compared with the remaining sites, for which property charges comprised between nine and 21 percent of charges recorded.

Most serious offence categorisation

To facilitate comparison between detainees, each detainee is categorised by the most serious offence for which they are being held under charge at the time of interview.

In 2011–12, 28 percent of detainees were categorised (by most serious offence) as violent offenders, 25 percent as breach offenders, 19 percent as property offenders, nine percent as drug offenders, seven percent as disorder offenders and five percent as traffic or drink driving offenders. A further three percent were recorded as ‘other offenders’ not classified into the categories listed above (see Table 3).

Male detainees were most commonly categorised (by most serious offence) as violent offenders (29%), followed by breach (25%), property (17%) and drug or disorder offenders (both 8%). Female detainees were most commonly categorised (by most serious offence) as property offenders (30%), followed by breach offenders (23%), violent offenders (20%) and drug offenders (10%; see Table 3).

In the 2011–12 collection period, there was a notable decline in the percentage of property charges, consistent with a longer term change in DUMA data that is also noted by other sources (see Table 3a; Sweeney & Payne 2012). However, from 2009–10 to 2011–12, there was no decline in the percentage of property charges recorded for data aggregated across Australia (20%). From 2009–10 to 2011–12, there was a downward trend in the percentage of property charges recorded for Darwin (down 3 percentage points), Bankstown (down 5 percentage points) and Parramatta (down 11 percentage points). There was a slight increase in the percentage of property charges recorded for Adelaide, Brisbane and Southport (1 percentage point increase) and East Perth (2 percentage point increase). There was no change recorded across this period for Footscray and Kings Cross.

The percentage of violent offence charges by total number of charges has been increasing in the DUMA data over the long term, a trend that is also reflected in other sources (Sweeney & Payne 2012). From 2009–10 to 2011–12, there was no change in the percentage of violent offence charges recorded for data aggregated across Australia (19%; see Table 3a). However, from 2009–10 to 2011–12, a rise in the percentage of violent offence charges recorded was observed for Adelaide (up 1 percentage point), Bankstown (up 3 percentage points), Darwin (up 1 percentage points), East Perth (up 2 percentage points), Footscray (up 3 percentage points) and Kings Cross (up 1 percentage point). These rises were countered by a fall in the percentage of violent offence charges recorded for Brisbane (down 3 percentage points) and Parramatta (down 3 percentage points), with no change recorded for Southport.

Prior criminal justice contact

The 2011–12 collection period recorded the lowest level of recidivism in the detainee sample since the inception of the DUMA project in 1999. In 2011–12, only 44 percent of detainees interviewed reported having been charged with at least one offence in the previous 12 months (see Table 4). This represents a seven percentage point reduction in recidivism from the 2009–10 DUMA sample. Males (45%) were more likely than females (40%) to report having been charged on a separate occasion in the previous 12 months. The reduction in recidivist offenders within the sample cannot be attributed to incarceration in the previous 12 months, as incarceration rates were consistent between 2009–10 and 2011–12 (17% cf 17%).

Education, housing and employment

Education

Nationally, there was an improvement in education levels among detainees, with a four percentage point increase in completed TAFE program qualifications and a five percentage point decrease in detainees with minimum education levels (Year 10 as the highest level of education). However, this improvement did not bear out when education levels of detainees were examined individually for each collection site. Therefore, there appears to be a small cumulative increase in educational standards of detainees across Australia. Education levels were comparable between male and female detainees.

Housing

Consistent with previous years, nearly all detainees (87%) reported residing in stable accommodation in the 30 days prior to their arrest, which was owned or rented, either from a private owner or social housing, by themselves (44%) or someone else (43%). A small number of detainees (7%) reported having no fixed address or living in emergency accommodation (see Table 5). Accommodation of detainees did not differ substantially from previous collection periods. By gender, females were more likely than males to be residing in their own house or apartment (52% cf 43%). Males were more likely than females to report residing in someone else’s home (44% cf 37%). There were no notable gender differences in homelessness.

Employment

Consistent with previous years, just over a quarter of detainees (27%) reported being in full-time employment at the time of their arrest; a further 10 percent reported undertaking part-time employment (see Table 5). The remaining 63 percent were not working at the time of their arrest and of these:

  • 28 percent were looking for work (n=2,125);
  • 16 percent were not looking for work (n=1,172);
  • 13 percent were not working, either because they were on leave from work or due to illness, disability or the seasonal nature of their employment (n=992);
  • three percent were full-time homemakers (n=254); and
  • three percent were retired or studying (n=245).

Comparing employment status by gender, males were more likely than females to be employed on a full-time basis (29% cf 10%). Female detainees were more likely than males to report being employed on a part-time basis (12% cf 10%), unemployed and not looking for work (22% cf 14%) or working as a full-time homemaker (15% cf 1%).

From 2011 to 2012, the employment status of male and female detainees remained consistent at Brisbane, East Perth and Southport sites. Where changes in employment status were observed, they most commonly occurred for female detainees. Increases in the percentage of female detainees engaged in part-time employment were reported for Adelaide, Darwin, Kings Cross and Parramatta. Increases in the percentage of female detainees engaged in full-time employment were reported for Darwin, Kings Cross and Parramatta. In addition, Bankstown and Footscray results showed a substantial increase in the percentage of female detainees unemployed and not looking for work (22 percentage points and 21 percentage points respectively). There were few changes in the employment status of male detainees, with the exception of Footscray, where there was a six percentage point increase in male detainees who reported being unemployed and looking for work (26% cf 32%) and a nine percentage point decrease in male detainees who were not working due to disability (22% cf 13%).

Drug use

Urinalysis screening was conducted for five drug classes—amphetamines, benzodiazepine, cannabis, cocaine and opiates—and secondary screening tests were conducted for the opiate pharmacotherapy substances methadone and buprenorphine. In addition, confirmatory analysis was conducted for samples testing positive to amphetamines and opiates (not including pharmacotherapies). Opiates were then classified as either heroin or other opiates (including codeine and morphine). Amphetamines were classified as methamphetamine, MDMA, or other amphetamines (including prescription amphetamines). In 2011–12, the collection of urine was reduced in comparison with earlier collection periods, with samples being collected in all four quarters in 2011 and two out of four quarters in 2012.

Of the 4,273 detainees who provided a urine sample (76% of those who were interviewed and asked for a sample), 69 percent tested positive to at least one drug type. The 2011 collection marked the first increase in prevalence of positive drug tests among detainees since 2004. Of concern, this positive trend continued into 2012 (71%), suggesting that drug use among Australian detainees may be on the rise.

The drug most commonly detected was cannabis (47%), followed by amphetamines (24%), benzodiazepines (22%) and opiates (21%). Only one percent (n=59) of detainees tested positive to cocaine (see Table 6). Of those who tested positive to amphetamines (24%), the majority were confirmed to have used methamphetamine (94%). Only one percent (n=29) of detainees had used MDMA and one percent (n=44) of detainees tested positive to another amphetamine-type substance. Of those who tested positive to an opiate-based substance (21%), 49 percent tested positive to heroin, 43 percent to buprenorphine, 26 percent to methadone and 24 percent to other opiate-based substances (detainees can test positive to multiple substances). Between 2011 and 2012, there was a four percentage point increase in positive amphetamine tests (23% cf 27%), a three percentage point decrease in positive opiates tests (22% cf 19%), a two percentage point decrease in positive benzodiazepines tests (23% cf 21%) and a one percentage point increase in cannabis tests (47% cf 48%).

Female detainees were more likely than males to test positive to amphetamines (32% cf 23%), opiates (33% cf 19%) and benzodiazepines (32% cf 21%). From 2009–10 to 2011–12, the percentage of females who tested positive to amphetamines increased by 11 percentage points (21% cf 32%). Male detainees were more likely than females to test positive to cannabis (48% cf 42%).

Cannabis

In 2011–12, cannabis use continued to decline (47%) by comparison with previous collection periods, from the peak of use recorded in 1999 (61%; see Table 6a). Detainees aged between 18 and 20 years were the most likely to test positive to cannabis (58%), followed by those aged 21 to 25 years (54%), 31 to 35 years (45%), 26 to 30 years (44%) and 36 years or more (40%). Calculations based on each detainee’s most serious charge showed a degree of consistency in prevalence of cannabis use across the offence spectrum
(drug offenders, 55%; breach offenders, 50%; disorder offenders, 48%; property offenders, 47%; violent offenders, 46%; traffic offenders, 41%;
and drink driving offenders, 30%).

From 2011 to 2012, there was a substantial rise of 17 percentage points in detainees held on drink driving charges who tested positive to cannabis (25% cf 42%). Of note is that this rise was noted only among drink driving offenders, with rates of positive cannabis use remaining fairly stable for other offending types across this period, with the exception of drug offenders who experienced a five percent decline in cannabis use (down to 51% in 2012).

Amphetamine

The 2011–12 period saw the first rise in prevalence of amphetamine use recorded among the DUMA detainee population since 2005. The level of amphetamine use recorded (24%) remained under the peak use recorded in 2004 (34%) but represents an eight percentage point rise from the previous collection period. The rise in use was first recorded in 2011 (22%) and continued in 2012 (27%) and is consistent with the findings of Macgregor and Payne (2011).

Female detainees (32%) were more likely than male detainees (23%) to test positive to amphetamines (see Table 6b). From 2011 to 2012, the rate of amphetamines use among female detainees increased by six percentage points (30% cf 36%) alongside a four percentage point increase among male detainees (22% cf 26%).

By age, detainees aged 26 to 30 years were most likely to test positive to amphetamines (29%), followed by those aged 31 to 35 years (28%), 21 to 25 years (24%), 36 or older (24%), with younger detainees aged 18 to 20 years (16%) being the least likely to test positive (see Table 6b). Between the 2009–10 and 2011–12 collection periods, the increase in amphetamines use was evident across all age groups. Between 2011 and 2012, there was a six percentage point increase in amphetamine use among detainees aged 18 to 20 years (14% cf 20%), 26 to 30 years (27% cf 33%) and 31 to 35 years (26% cf 32%).

Across most serious offence types, drug offenders were most likely to test positive to amphetamines (40%), followed by property offenders (31%), breach offenders (25%), traffic offenders (24%), violent offenders (20%), drink driving offenders (16%) and disorderly conduct offenders (11%). Of note, from 2011 to 2012, there was a substantial increase in the test positive rate for amphetamines for drink driving offenders (12% cf 24%). This mirrors the five percentage point rise observed in the 2009–10 to 2011–12 collection period.

Heroin

In 2011–12, 10 percent of detainees tested positive to heroin, a three percentage point decrease since the 2009–10 collection (13%). Aggregated across Australia, rates of heroin use have remained relatively stable since the unprecedented fall in heroin use in 2001.

Female detainees (15%) were more likely than male detainees (10%) to have tested positive to heroin (see Table 6c).

Heroin use was more prevalent among those aged 31 to 35 years (18%) than those aged 26 to 30 years (12%), 36 plus years (12%), 21 to 25 years (5%) and 18 to 20 years (3%). The test positive rate for detainees aged 31 to 35 years in 2012 decreased by four percentage points compared with 2011 (19% cf 15%) and also decreased by five percentage points among those aged 36 and over (14% cf 9%).

By most serious offence type, those detained on drug charges were most likely to test positive to heroin (22%), followed closely by property offenders (19%) and breach offenders (9%; see Table 6c). Heroin test positive rates in each offence type were similar to previous years.

Cocaine

In 2011–12, one percent of detainees tested positive to cocaine. This figure is consistent with previous years. Given the small sample size, caution should be exercised in interpreting the findings, but there were no notable differences in detection of cocaine use among genders, age groups and most serious offence categories (see Table 6d).

Benzodiazepines

In 2011–12, 22 percent of detainees tested positive to benzodiazepines. This was consistent with rates recorded in previous years. Positive tests to benzodiazepine may, in some cases, represent benzodiazepine use under medical supervision. Female detainees (32%) were more likely than male detainees (21%) to test positive to benzodiazepines.

By age, detainees aged 31 to 35 years had the highest test positive rate for benzodiazepines (31%), followed by those aged 36 or over (27%), 26 to 30 years (21%), 21 to 25 years (16%) and 18 to 20 years (12%). From 2011 to 2012, the test positive rate for detainees aged 18 to 20 years increased by four percentage points (11% cf 15%), while test positive rates for detainees aged 21 to 25 years decreased by four percentage points (18% cf 14%).

Property offenders were most likely to test positive to benzodiazepines (31%), followed by drug offenders (26%), breach offenders (23%), violent offenders (21%), disorder offenders (14%), traffic offenders (11%) and drink driving offenders (10%; see Table 6e).

Self-reported alcohol use

Alcohol use among detainees cannot be reliably tested using urinalysis. The DUMA survey assesses alcohol consumption through a range of self-report questions regarding recent and lifetime alcohol use, including whether the detainee had consumed alcohol in the 48 hours before their arrest. In 2011–12, 47 percent of detainees reported drinking alcohol in the 48 hours before their arrest (see Table 7). This prevalence rate is consistent with that observed in 2009–10 (47%). Male detainees were more likely to report alcohol consumption in the 48 hours prior to arrest than female detainees (49% cf 37%).

Alcohol consumption patterns

Seventy-four percent of detainees reported consuming at least one alcoholic drink in the 30 days prior to their arrest. On the last occasion of drinking, 32 percent of these detainees had consumed beer only, 12 percent had consumed wine only, 34 percent had consumed spirits only and 21 percent reported having consumed at least two types of alcohol.

In 2011–12, the average number of standard drinks consumed on the last occasion was 22. This is a notable increase since 2009–10, where the average number of standard drinks consumed on the last occasion was 15. The average number of standard drinks consumed on the last occasion varied by the alcoholic beverage consumed. Beer-only drinkers consumed an average of nine standard drinks, while wine-only drinkers consumed an average of 23 standard drinks and spirit-only drinkers consumed an average of 11 standard drinks on the last occasion of drinking. Those who mixed drinks reported the highest consumption rate at 35 standard drinks, on average, a substantial increase since 2009–10 (24 standard drinks). Although these figures are high, it is important to note that the length of time spent drinking on the last occasion would have varied from person to person and in some cases would have involved drinking sessions that lasted more than one day. For further details of associations between alcohol consumption and offending, see Sweeney and Payne 2011.

Female detainees were more likely than males to have most recently consumed spirits or wine, while males were more likely than females to have most recently consumed beer. Almost half of all female detainees who had consumed alcohol in the previous 30 days had consumed only spirits on the last occasion (49% cf 32% for males), whereas more than one-third of all male detainees had consumed only beer (35% cf 13% for females). The quantity of alcohol consumed on the last occasion was, on average, higher among males than females across all alcohol types (see Table 7).

Drug and alcohol treatment and mental health

For those detainees who reported using alcohol or drugs in the 12 months prior to their current police detention, 12 percent reported that they were in drug or alcohol treatment at the time of their arrest (see Table 8). Avenues of treatment included support groups, counselling and pharmacotherapy. A further 35 percent reported previously being in a treatment program but were no longer in treatment at the time of their arrest. From 2009–10 to 2011–12, there were no notable differences in access to treatment. Of detainees currently in treatment, 23 percent (n=145) had been referred by the courts or police or were in treatment as a result of a legal order. The remaining 77 percent (n=477) were either self-referred or referred by a health practitioner.

Detainees were asked whether they had ever been diagnosed with depression, anxiety or any other mental health-related issue (ie not just in the previous 12 months). In 2011–12, over a third of detainees (34%) reported having a mental illness diagnosis (see Table 9). From 2009–10 to 2011–12, the percentage of detainees reporting a mental illness diagnosis declined slightly (38% cf 34%). In 2011–12, the most commonly diagnosed mental illness reported were mood disorders (21%), followed by anxiety disorders (14%), schizophrenia and other psychosis (7%) and ADHD and behavioural disorders (6%). Female detainees were more likely than males to report a mood disorder diagnosis (35% cf 18%) and an anxiety disorder diagnosis (25% cf 12%). Male detainees were more likely than females to report having been diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychosis (7% cf 6%) and ADHD and behavioural disorders (7% cf 3%). From 2011 to 2012, the prevalence of mental illness and specific disorders within the detainee samples was similar.

Linking drugs and crime

The link between drug use and crime is examined in the DUMA study through two approaches:

  • a comparison of the extent to which drug use varies among detainees charged with different offence types; and
  • an examination of the extent to which detainees report that alcohol or illicit drugs were a contributing factor in their current detention by police

Most serious offence categorisations are utilised to facilitate this analysis; that is, detainees are categorised based on the most serious offence for which they are being held under charge at the time of interview.

DUMA detainees are asked specific questions that seek to identify the relationship between substance use and the offences for which they are currently in custody. In 2011–12, nearly half of all detainees (47%) stated that substance use was a contributing factor in their current police detention. By most serious offence type, those detained on a drink driving offence had the highest level of attribution of drugs or alcohol as a cause of their current detention by police (78%; n=265). This was followed by:

  • 62 percent for drug offenders (n=399);
  • 52 percent for disorder offenders (n=273);
  • 48 percent for violent offenders (n=989);
  • 45 percent for breach offenders (n=811);
  • 42 percent for property offenders (n=602); and
  • 22 percent for traffic offenders (n=85).

Alcohol was more likely than other substances to be identified as a contributing factor by violent, traffic, disorder and breach offenders, whereas other drugs were more likely than alcohol to be identified as contributing factors by property and drug offenders (see Table 10). Of 339 drink driving offenders, 76 percent reported that their alcohol use had been a contributing factor. This suggests a reasonable level of self-awareness of the role of substance use in offending among detainees or at least those being held for drink driving offences.

Table 2 National DUMA sample, by age and gender, 2011–12a
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Age (yrs)
18–20 877 14 145 13 1,022 13
21–25 1,346 21 235 21 1,581 21
26–30 1,253 19 200 17 1,453 19
31–35 984 15 185 16 1,169 15
36+ 1,983 31 378 33 2,361 31
Total 6,443 1,143 7,586
Min/max age 18/81 18/72 18/81
Mean age (median) 32(29) 32(30) 32(30)

a: Excludes cases where gender was unknown

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 2a National DUMA sample, by location, age and gender, 2011–12 (%)
Adelaide Bankstown Brisbane Darwin East Perth Footscray Kings Cross Parramatta Southport All sites
Males (age in yrs)
18–20 14 16 11 10 16 12 13 12 16 14
21–25 20 18 21 19 25 13 19 15 22 21
26–30 20 18 19 20 19 20 19 23 20 19
31–35 13 15 17 17 13 20 16 14 15 15
36+ 34 33 31 33 27 35 32 36 28 31
Min/max age 18/79 18/73 18/80 18/81 18/78 18/73 18/67 18/59 18/74 18/81
Mean age (median) 32(30) 32(30) 32(30) 32(31) 30(28) 33(31) 32(30) 33(31) 31(29) 32(29)
Females (age in yrs)
18–20 11 15 10 10 14 14 8 21 15 13
21–25 16 16 19 31 23 19 23 15 20 21
26–30 13 23 23 5 17 15 15 17 25 17
31–35 18 19 21 11 16 13 15 8 15 16
36+ 42 28 27 44 30 40 39 40 26 33
Min/max age 18/65 18/61 18/56 18/53 18/61 18/72 18/56 18/55 18/55 18/72
Mean age (median) 34(33) 31(30) 31(30) 33(32) 31(30) 33(32) 32(32) 31(30) 30(28) 32(30)

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 3 National DUMA sample, by offence and gender, 2011–12a
Male Female Total
Charges Detainees most serious offence Charges Detainees most serious offence Charges Detainees most serious offence
Charges recorded n % n % n % n % n % n %
Violent 3,074 20 1,853 29 303 11 219 20 3,377 19 2,072 28
Property 2,826 19 1,086 17 804 30 338 30 3,630 20 1,424 19
Drug 1,624 11 528 8 298 11 114 10 1,922 11 642 9
Drink driving 376 2 293 5 54 2 45 4 430 2 338 5
Traffic 1,259 8 321 5 209 8 72 6 1,468 8 393 5
Disorder 1,212 8 482 8 114 4 40 4 1,326 7 522 7
Breach 3,243 21 1,560 25 542 20 256 23 3,785 21 1,816 25
Other 1,639 11 169 3 359 13 35 3 1,998 11 204 3
Total 15,253 6,292 2,683 1,119 17,936 7,411

a: Sample size may vary, as cases may have been excluded due to missing data

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 3a National DUMA sample, by location and offence, 2011–12 (%)
Charges recorded Adelaide Bankstown Brisbane Darwin East Perth Footscray Kings Cross Parramatta Southport All sites
Violent 23 28 19 22 20 16 14 21 11 19
Property 21 16 26 9 19 40 17 16 19 20
Drug 7 10 14 6 5 20 28 9 14 11
Drink driving 1 3 1 7 1 2 7 1 3 2
Traffic 9 10 6 12 7 4 3 8 11 8
Disorder 15 8 5 8 8 6 8 9 5 7
Breach 17 11 18 21 34 8 9 14 19 21
Other 7 15 12 15 5 5 13 21 17 11

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 4 National DUMA sample, by criminal history and gender, 2011–12a
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Prior charge history (past 12 months)
Yes 2,576 45 406 40 2,982 44
No 3,204 55 601 60 3,805 56
Prior prison history (past 12 months)
Yes 1,046 18 127 12 1,173 17
No 4,852 82 906 88 5,758 83

a: Sample size may vary, as cases may have been excluded due to missing data

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 5 National DUMA sample, by education, housing, employment and gender, 2011–12a
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Education
Year 10 or less 2,659 41 465 41 3,124 41
Year 11 or 12 1,197 19 198 17 1,395 18
TAFE/university not completed 868 13 157 14 1,025 14
Completed TAFE 1,384 22 241 21 1,625 21
Completed university 329 5 81 7 410 5
Total 6,437 1,142 7,579
Housing
Owned or rented by self 2,730 43 588 52 3,318 44
Someone else’s place 2,816 44 417 37 3,233 43
Shelter or emergency 73 1 16 1 89 1
Incarceration facility/halfway house 90 1 6 1 96 1
Treatment facility 62 1 11 1 73 1
No fixed residence 372 6 60 5 432 6
Other 237 4 33 3 270 4
Total 6,380 1,131 7,511
Employment
Full-time 1,892 29 116 10 2,008 26
Part-time 655 10 133 12 788 10
Have job but out due to illness/leave/strike/disability/seasonal work 832 13 160 14 992 13
Looking for work 1,849 29 276 24 2,125 28
Not looking for work 919 14 253 22 1,172 15
Full-time homemakers 85 1 169 15 254 3
Retired or studying 209 3 36 3 245 3
Total 6,441 1,143 7,584

a: Sample size may vary, as cases may have been excluded due to missing data

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 6 National DUMA sample, by urinalysis test results and gender, 2011–12a
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Provided urineb
Yes 3,665 76 608 72 4,273 76
No 1,140 24 238 28 1,378 24
Test results
Cannabis 1,750 48 253 42 2,003 47
Cocaine 51 1 8 1 59 1
Amphetaminesc 841 23 194 32 1,035 24
Methamphetamine 795 22 182 30 977 23
MDMA 26 1 3 0 29 1
Other amphetamines 35 1 9 1 44 1
Opiatesd 707 19 199 33 906 21
Heroin 355 10 90 15 445 10
Methadone 169 5 67 11 236 6
Buprenorphine 302 8 91 15 393 9
Other opiates 167 5 46 8 213 5
Benzodiazepines 752 21 197 32 949 22
Any drug 2,505 68 445 73 2,950 69
Any drug other than cannabis 1,620 44 362 60 1,982 46
Multiple drugs 1,132 31 262 43 1,394 33

a: Sample size may vary, as cases may have been excluded due to missing data

b: Percentages have been calculated for the quarters in which urine samples were requested, which in 2011 was all four quarters and in 2012 was two out of four quarters

c: Includes methamphetamine, MDMA and other amphetamines

d: Includes heroin, methadone, buprenorphine and other opiates

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 6a Characteristics of detainees who tested positive to cannabis, 2011–12
Positive Not positive
n % n %
Gender
Male 1,750 48 1,912 52
Female 253 42 354 58
Age (yrs)
18–20 348 58 253 42
21–25 476 54 410 46
26–30 363 44 455 56
31–35 298 45 361 55
36+ 518 40 788 60
Most serious charge
Violent 540 46 636 54
Property 378 47 427 53
Drug 181 55 151 45
Drink driving 54 30 126 70
Traffic 92 41 132 59
Disorder 144 48 156 52
Breach 534 50 530 50
Other 51 47 58 53

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Figure 1 Trends for adult detainees who tested positive to cannabis, by year (%)

Figure 1 Trends for adult detainees who tested positive to cannabis, by year (%)

Note: Only includes the 4 original DUMA sites—Southport, East Perth, Bankstown and Parramatta

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 6b Characteristics of detainees who tested positive to amphetamines, 2011–12
Positive Not positive
n % n %
Gender
Male 841 23 2,822 77
Female 194 32 413 68
Age (yrs)
18–20 94 16 507 84
21–25 210 24 676 76
26–30 237 29 582 71
31–35 183 28 476 72
36+ 311 24 995 76
Most serious charge
Violent 240 20 936 80
Property 248 31 557 69
Drug 133 40 199 60
Drink driving 28 16 152 84
Traffic 53 24 171 76
Disorder 33 11 267 89
Breach 270 25 795 75
Other 20 18 89 82

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Figure 2 Trends for adult detainees who tested positive to amphetamines, by year (%)

Figure 2 Trends for adult detainees who tested positive to amphetamines, by year (%)

Note: Only includes the 4 original DUMA sites—Southport, East Perth, Bankstown and Parramatta

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Figure 3 Trends for adult detainees who tested positive to heroin, by year (%)

Figure 3 Trends for adult detainees who tested positive to heroin, by year (%)

Note: Only includes the 4 original DUMA sites—Southport, East Perth, Bankstown and Parramatta

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 6c Characteristics of detainees who tested positive to heroin, 2011–12
Positive Not positive
n % n %
Gender
Male 355 10 3,308 90
Female 90 15 516 85
Age (yrs)
18–20 19 3 582 97
21–25 46 5 840 95
26–30 102 12 717 88
31–35 117 18 542 82
36+ 161 12 1,144 88
Most serious charge
Violent 69 6 1,107 94
Property 155 19 649 81
Drug 73 22 259 78
Drink driving 5 3 175 97
Traffic 18 8 206 92
Disorder 11 4 289 96
Breach 94 9 971 91
Other 14 13 95 87

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 6d Characteristics of detainees who tested positive to cocaine, 2011–12
Positive Not positive
n % n %
Gender
Male 51 1 3,612 99
Female 8 1 599 99
Age (yrs)
18–20 5 1 596 99
21–25 13 1 873 99
26–30 16 2 803 98
31–35 11 2 648 98
36+ 14 1 1,292 99
Most serious charge
Violent 11 1 1,165 99
Property 9 1 796 99
Drug 15 5 317 95
Drink driving 2 1 178 99
Traffic 2 1 222 99
Disorder 3 1 297 99
Breach 11 1 1,054 99
Other 2 2 107 98

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Figure 4 Trends for adult detainees who tested positive to cocaine, by year (%)

Figure 4 Trends for adult detainees who tested positive to cocaine, by year (%)

Note: Only includes the 4 original DUMA sites—Southport, East Perth, Bankstown and Parramatta

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 6e Characteristics of detainees who tested positive to benzodiazepines, 2011–12
Positive Not positive
n % n %
Gender
Male 752 21 2,908 79
Female 197 32 410 68
Age (yrs)
18–20 73 12 528 88
21–25 145 16 741 84
26–30 174 21 645 79
31–35 204 31 454 69
36+ 353 27 951 73
Most serious charge
Violent 245 21 930 79
Property 247 31 558 69
Drug 86 26 246 74
Drink driving 18 10 162 90
Traffic 25 11 199 89
Disorder 43 14 257 86
Breach 248 23 815 77
Other 29 27 80 73

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Figure 5 Trends for adult detainees who tested positive to benzodiazepines, by year (%)

Figure 5 Trends for adult detainees who tested positive to benzodiazepines, by year (%)

Note: Only includes the 4 original DUMA sites—Southport, East Perth, Bankstown and Parramatta

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 7 National DUMA sample, by self-reported alcohol use and gender, 2011–12
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Alcohol use
Past 48 hoursa 3,010 49 415 37 3,425 47
Past 30 days 4,726 76 710 61 5,436 74
Alcohol type consumed on last drinking occasion
Beer only 1,669 35 96 13 1,765 32
Wine only 506 11 171 24 677 12
Spirits only 1,509 32 351 49 1,860 34
Mixed drinksb 1,055 22 101 14 1,156 21
Male Female Total
n mean (median) n mean (median) n mean (median)
Quantities consumed on last drinking occasion (standard drinks)
Beer only 1,658 10(6) 95 8(6) 1,753 9(6)
Wine only 506 24(15) 171 20(15) 677 23(15)
Spirits only 1,497 11(8) 345 10(6) 1,842 11(7)
Mixed drinksb 1,055 35(30) 101 30(26) 1,156 35(29)

a: Only if consumed alcohol in the past 30 days

b: ‘Mixed drinks’ refers to consuming more than one type of alcohol

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 8 National DUMA sample, by drug and alcohol treatment and gender, 2011–12a,b
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Treatment
Never been in treatment 2,293 54 378 49 2,671 53
Been in, but not currently in treatment 1,498 35 249 32 1,747 35
Currently in treatment 486 11 143 19 629 12
Treatment referral of those currently in treatment
Drug court requirement 60 12 9 6 69 11
Court diversion scheme 16 3 3 2 19 3
Police diversion scheme 5 1 0 0 5 1
Other legal order 44 9 8 6 52 8
Otherc 356 74 121 86 477 77

a: Treatment options include detoxification, rehabilitation program/therapeutic community, outpatient/counselling services, support groups (Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous etc), methadone maintenance, naltrexone, buprenorphine and general practitioners

b: Only of those who had used drugs or alcohol in the past 12 months

c: Other refers to ‘referral from general practitioner or health professional’ and ‘self-referral’

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 9 National DUMA sample, by mental health and gender, 2011–12a
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Ever been diagnosed or received treatment for depression, anxiety or any other mental health-related issueb.
Yes 1,898 32 488 47 2,386 34
No 3,991 68 547 53 4,538 66
Diagnosed mental health issue
Mood disorder 1,084 18 362 35 1,446 21
Anxiety disorder 722 12 262 25 984 14
Schizophrenia and other psychosis 413 7 66 6 479 7
Learning disorder 104 2 11 1 115 2
ADHD & behavioural disorders 384 7 36 3 420 6
Substance related disorder 184 3 49 5 233 3
Sleep disorder 171 3 53 5 224 3
Personality disorder 112 2 52 5 164 2
Other mental health issueb 53 1 20 2 73 1

a: Sample sizes may vary, as cases may have been excluded due to missing data

b: Includes developmental, somatoform, dissociative, sexual or gender identity, paraphilia, eating or adjustment disorders

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 10 National DUMA sample, by urinalysis test results and drug–crime attributions by most serious offending, 2011–12a
Violent Property Drug Drink driving Traffic Disorder Breach Other Total
n % n % n % n % n % n % n % n % n %
Urinalysis results
Cannabis 540 46 378 47 181 55 54 30 92 41 144 48 534 50 51 47 1,974 47
Cocaine 11 1 9 1 15 5 2 1 2 1 3 1 11 1 2 2 55 1
Amphetaminesb 240 20 248 31 133 40 28 16 53 24 33 11 270 25 20 18 1,025 24
Opiatesc 190 16 268 33 111 33 12 7 35 16 30 10 225 21 25 23 896 21
Benzodiazepines 245 21 247 31 86 26 18 10 25 11 43 14 248 23 29 27 941 22
(Any drug) 747 64 624 78 289 87 83 46 138 62 182 61 778 73 71 65 2,912 69
(Any drug other than cannabis) 469 40 486 60 216 65 51 28 90 40 89 30 510 48 50 46 1,961 47
(Multiple drugs) 336 29 353 44 156 47 25 14 55 25 56 19 359 34 38 35 1,378 33
(Total urine samples) 1,176 805 332 180 224 300 1,065 109 4,191
Self-reported drug–crime attributiond
Alcohol 716 35 223 16 76 12 258 76 55 14 250 48 483 27 51 25 2,112 28
Other drugs 393 19 445 31 359 56 16 5 33 8 50 10 416 23 26 13 1,738 23
Any attribution 989 48 602 42 399 62 265 78 85 22 273 52 811 45 73 36 3,497 47
(Total detainees interviewed) 2,073 1,424 642 339 393 522 1,817 204 7,414

a: Sample sizes may vary, as cases may have been excluded due to missing data

b: Includes methamphetamine, MDMA and other amphetamines

c: Includes heroin, methadone, buprenorphine and other opiates

d: Missing data excluded from analysis

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Juvenile detainees

In 2011–12 juvenile detainees (detainees under 18 years of age) were interviewed only at the New South Wales sites of Bankstown, Parramatta and Kings Cross. It is important to note that the juvenile data does not reflect the total number of juveniles processed by the police at each station: police are often able to attend to juveniles away from the police station; primary caregivers can refuse access to the young person; and, as with adults, young people can refuse to participate, despite their primary caregiver(s) agreeing to the interview. Due to specific police protocols, different procedures exist for accessing juveniles aged 15 years or younger at each site. These factors may lead to a biased sample. Caution should be exercised when interpreting juvenile detainee findings.

Sample

In the two years between January 2011 and December 2012, a total of 130 juvenile detainees were interviewed at the three Sydney sites–61 juvenile detainees were interviewed at Bankstown, 61 juveniles at Parramatta and eight juveniles at Kings Cross. The majority of juvenile detainees across the three sites were male (76%).

Juvenile detainees were, on average, 16 years of age, with the majority being 16 or 17 years of age (25% cf 38%; see Table 11).

From 2011 to 2012, the number of juvenile detainees surveyed decreased by 27 percent (n=75 cf n=55), this also represented a decline compared with previous collection periods. By gender, there was a 29 percent decrease in the number of male juvenile detainees surveyed (n=58 cf n=41) and an 18 percent decrease in the number of female detainees surveyed (n=17 cf n=14).

Offending

A total of 211 charges were recorded against the 130 juvenile detainees interviewed. The average number of charges per juvenile was two, which is consistent with previous years. Charges for property offences were most frequently recorded, comprising 37 percent of all charges. This was followed by violent offences (24%), breach of justice orders (18%), drug offences (9%) and disorder offences (7%). In 2011–12, no juvenile detainees were charged with drink driving or traffic offences. A further five percent of charges were recorded as ‘other charges’, not otherwise falling into the categories listed above (see Table 12).

As with adult detainees, juvenile detainees were categorised by the most serious offence for which they were being held under charge at the time of interview. In 2011–12, 34 percent of juvenile detainees were categorised as violent offenders, 31 percent as property offenders, 18 percent were breach offenders, 11 percent were drug offenders, five percent were disorder offenders and one percent were recorded as ‘other offenders’ not otherwise falling into the categories listed above (see Table 12a). A spike in the percentage of juvenile detainees interviewed, who were categorised as violent offenders, by most serious offence, was observed in 2011. In 2011, 38 percent of juvenile detainees interviewed were categorised as violent offenders. This figure is 10 percentage points higher than that observed in 2012 (28%) and nine percentage points higher than that observed in the in 2009–2010 data collection period (29%).

Between 2011 and 2012, there was a 19 percentage point rise in juveniles categorised as property offenders (24% cf 43%). This represented a 17 percentage point rise from the 2009–10 collection period (26%).

It is unclear whether the 2011 rise in juvenile detainees being categorised as violent offenders and the 2012 rise in property offenders reflects bias in the juvenile detainee sampling methodology, police practices targeting juvenile offending, or whether it reflects a rise in juvenile offending within these categorises.

Prior criminal justice contact

There is a high degree of recidivism among juvenile offenders, with 62 percent reporting that they had been charged with at least one additional offence in the previous 12 months (see Table 13). This is consistent with recidivism rates reported in previous years. Across 2011–12, male juvenile detainees were more likely than female detainees to report having been arrested in the previous 12 months (65% cf 55%).

Drug use

Urinalysis screening was conducted for five drug classes—amphetamines, benzodiazepine, cannabis, cocaine and opiates—and secondary screening tests were conducted for the opiate pharmacotherapy substances methadone and buprenorphine. In addition, confirmatory analysis was conducted for samples positive to amphetamines and opiates (not including pharmacotherapies). Opiates were then classified as either heroin or other opiates (including prescription opiates). Amphetamines were classified as methamphetamine, MDMA, or other amphetamines (including prescription amphetamines). In 2011–12, the collection of urine was reduced in comparison with earlier collection periods, with samples being collected in all four quarters in 2011 and two out of four quarters in 2012.

In 2011–12, of the 73 juvenile detainees who provided a urine sample, 55 percent (n=40) tested positive to at least one drug type, an increase of 10 percentage points since 2009–10. However, this difference should be interpreted with caution as the result is drawn from a small sample size.

Comparisons cannot be made between 2012 and 2011 urinalysis results. From 2011 to 2012, changes to DUMA urine collection methodology resulted in a substantial reduction in juvenile detainee urine samples (57 cf 16).

In 2011–12, 57 percent (n=33) of male juvenile detainees tested positive for cannabis, seven percent (n=4) for amphetamine and three percent (n=2) for benzodiazepines. Forty percent (n=6) of female juvenile detainees tested positive for cannabis and seven percent for amphetamines. No juvenile detainee tested positive for cocaine or opiates. Gender comparisons cannot be made, as urine samples were provided by 58 male and only 15 female juvenile detainees (see Table 14).

Table 11 Juveniles DUMA sample, by age in years and gender, 2011–12
Age (in yrs) Male Female Total
n % n % n %
11 1 1 0 0 1 2
12 0 0 0 0 0 0
13 6 6 3 10 9 7
14 9 9 5 16 14 11
15 18 18 6 19 24 18
16 22 22 10 32 32 25
17 43 43 7 23 50 38
Total 99 31 130

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 12 Juveniles DUMA sample, by total charges and gender, 2011–12a

Total charges

Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Charges recorded
Violent 41 30 9 12 50 24
Property 33 24 46 61 79 37
Drug 18 13 0 0 18 9
Drink driving 0 0 0 0 0 0
Traffic 1 1 0 0 1 0
Disorder 10 7 5 7 15 7
Breach 30 22 8 11 38 18
Other 3 2 7 9 10 5
Total 136 75 211

a: Sample size may vary, as cases may have been excluded due to missing data

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 12a Juveniles DUMA sample, by most serious offence and gender, 2011–12
Most serious offence Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Charges recorded
Violent 32 36 8 29 40 34
Property 22 24 15 54 37 31
Drug 13 14 0 0 13 11
Drink driving 0 0 0 0 0 0
Traffic 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disorder 4 4 2 7 6 5
Breach 18 20 3 11 21 18
Other 1 1 0 0 1 1
Total 90 28 118

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 13 Juveniles DUMA sample, by criminal history and gender, 2011–12a
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Arrested in the past 12 months
Yes 52 65 16 55 68 62
No 28 35 13 45 41 38

a: Sample size may vary, as cases may have been excluded due to missing data

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 14 Juveniles DUMA sample, by urinalysis test results and gender, 2011–12
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Provided urinea
Yes 58 69 15 60 73 67
No 26 31 10 40 36 33
Test results
Cannabis 33 57 6 40 39 53
Cocaine 0 0 0 0 0 0
Amphetaminesb 4 7 1 7 5 7
Methamphetamine 4 7 1 7 5 7
MDMA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other amphetamines 0 0 0 0 0 0
Opiatesc 0 0 0 0 0 0
Heroin 0 0 0 0 0 0
Methadone 0 0 0 0 0 0
Buprenorphine 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other opiates 0 0 0 0 0 0
Benzodiazepines 2 3 0 0 2 3
Any drug 34 59 6 40 40 55
Any drug other than cannabis 6 10 1 7 7 10
Multiple drugs 5 9 1 7 6 8

a: Percentages have been calculated for the quarters in which urine samples were requested, which in 2011 was all four quarters and in 2012 was 2 out of 4 quarters

b: Includes methamphetamine, MDMA and other amphetamines

c: Includes heroin, methadone, buprenorphine and other opiates

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]