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Adelaide

Sample

During 2011–12, 984 detainees were interviewed at the Adelaide city police watchhouse. The average age of detainees was 32 years; 85 percent of detainees were male. On average, female detainees were two years older than male detainees (34 cf 32 years; see Table 15).

From 2011 to 2012, there was a small increase in the number of detainees interviewed (n=489 cf n=495). However, by comparison with earlier collection periods, there was a decrease in the number of detainees processed during 2011–12.

In both 2011 and 2012, the average age of Adelaide detainees was 32 years; this is consistent with the average age of detainees recorded in the 2009–10 period. In 2011 and 2012, the average age of female detainees was 35 and 32 years of age respectively. In both 2011 and 2012, the average age of male detainees was 32 years.

Offending

In 2011–12, Adelaide detainees were arrested and detained on a total of 1,745 charges. Consistent with previous years, the average number of charges per detainee was two. In 2011–12, charges for violent offences were most commonly recorded among the Adelaide sample, comprising 23 percent of total charges recorded. This was followed by charges for property offences (21%), breach offences (17%), disorder offences (15%), traffic offences (9%), drug offences (7%) and drink driving offences (1%). A further seven percent of charges were recorded as ‘other offences’ not otherwise falling into the categories listed above (see Table 16). From 2011 to 2012, the percentage of offences recorded in each category was relatively stable, with the exception of breach offences. From 2011 to 2012, there was a six percentage point rise in the number of breach offences recorded (14% cf 20%).

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, 29 percent of Adelaide detainees were classified as violent offenders (an increase of 4 percentage points from 2009–10), 20 percent were property offenders, 17 percent were disorder offenders, 16 percent were breach offenders, eight percent were traffic offenders, seven percent were drug offenders and one percent were drink driving offenders. A further two percent were recorded as ‘other offenders’ not otherwise falling into the categories listed above (see Table 16).

From 2011 to 2012, the most notable difference was a six percentage point increase in offenders categorised, by most serious charge, as breach offenders (13% cf 19%); this increase mirrors the aforementioned increase in the percentage of total charges that were for breach offences. In addition, from 2011 to 2012, there was a four percentage point decrease in traffic offenders (10% cf 6%). This is the lowest percentage of traffic offenders observed since collection began for Adelaide in 2002. In 2011–12, the percentage of property offenders interviewed was also a historical low (20%).

In 2011–12, different patterns of offending were observed between males and females. Male detainees were most likely to be categorised, by most serious offence, as a violent offender (31%), disorder offender (19%), property offender (17%) or breach offender (16%). Female detainees were most likely to be categorised as a property offender (36%), violent offender (18%), or breach offender (15%). From 2009–10 to 2011–12, there was a five percentage point rise in the females in custody on property offences (31% cf 36%). This finding is contrary to the overall downward trend in property crime at this site since collection began in 2002.

Prior criminal justice contact

In 2011–12, for almost half of all Adelaide detainees, the current episode of contact with police was not an isolated incident; 45 percent had been charged on at least one separate occasion in the previous 12 months (see Table 17). From 2011 to 2012, there was a five percentage point increase in recidivism among Adelaide detainees (43% cf 48%). However, in 2011–12, the proportion of detainees who reported a prior history of police contact was lower when compared with earlier years. Male detainees were slightly more likely than female detainees to have been charged on a separate occasion in the previous 12 months (46% cf 42%).

Approximately one in every 10 (12%) of Adelaide detainees reported having spent time in prison in the previous 12 months. This figure was notably lower than the first Adelaide collection period in 2002 (23%) but was consistent with the 2009–10 collection (12%). In 2011–12, male detainees were twice as likely as female detainees to report a recent prison history (13% cf 6%; see Table 17).

Education, housing and employment

In 2011–12, Year 10 was the highest level of education attained for 36 percent of Adelaide detainees (see Table 18). Although this figure is up by one percentage point since the 2009–10 collection, there has been a gradual decline in this category since 2002. From 2011 to 2012, there was a decrease in the percentage of detainees who had attempted or completed a post-secondary TAFE or university qualification (43% cf 38%). The 2011–12 collection period figure for post-secondary TAFE or university qualification was down slightly from 2009–10 (40% cf 42%). In 2011–12, males were more likely than females to have completed Year 11 or 12 (25% cf 20%).

Three in four Adelaide detainees (84%) reported residing in stable accommodation for most of the time in the 30 days prior to their arrest. A small percentage of detainees (9%) reported having no fixed address or living in emergency accommodation (see Table 18). From 2011 to 2012, the most notable difference was a decrease in the percentage of detainees who reported residing in accommodation that they owned or rented, from a private owner or social housing (47% cf 42%). However, compared with earlier years, there were no notable differences in the housing and accommodation status of Adelaide detainees.

Housing for male and female detainees differed considerably. A greater percentage of females reported living in stable accommodation that they owned or rented, either from a private owner or from social housing, than males (59% cf 43%), while males were more likely than females to report living in a residence owned or rented by someone else (41% cf 26%). While there was little difference between the percentage of males and females reporting no fixed address (7% cf 6%), females were slightly more likely than males to be living in emergency accommodation (4% cf 2%).

Twenty-four percent of Adelaide detainees reported being in full-time employment at the time of their arrest, while one in 10 detainees (10%) reported being in part-time employment (see Table 18). The remaining 651 detainees (66%) were not working at the time of their arrest and of these:

  • 22 percent were looking for work (n=215);
  • 18 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=181);
  • 17 percent were not looking for work (n=166);
  • six percent were retired or studying (n=60); and
  • three percent were full-time homemakers (n=29).

From 2011 to 2012, the pattern of employment among detainees remained relatively stable. The 2011–12 detainee employment pattern was also comparable with previous years.

Examining employment by gender, there were a number of differences. Males were almost twice as likely to be employed full-time or part-time (37%) when compared with females (17%). Females (45%) reported higher rates of unemployment than males (38%). Consistent with expectations, females were more likely to report employment as a full-time homemaker (13%) than males (1%). Caution should be taken when interpreting gender comparisons due to the overrepresentation of males in the sample.

From 2011 to 2012, there were some changes in the employment status of female detainees. The percentage of female detainees unemployed and not looking for work increased by eight percentage points (24% cf 32%) and the percentage working part-time increased by five percentage points (11% cf 16%). From 2011 to 2012, there was also a six percentage point decrease in female detainees unemployed and looking for work (20% cf 14%) and an 11 percentage point decrease in the number of female detainees not working because of their role as a full-time homemaker (18% cf 7%). Conversely, from 2011 to 2012, there were no substantial differences in employment status for male detainees. In 2011–12, there was a 10 percentage point decrease compared with 2009–10 in the number of female detainees defining their employment as a full-time homemaker (23% 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 than classified as either heroin or other opiates (including prescription opiates). Amphetamines were classified as methamphetamine, MDMA, or other amphetamines (including prescription amphetamines). In the 2011–12 collection period, the rate of urine collection was reduced compared with earlier collection periods; urine samples were collected for all four data collection quarters in 2011 and two out of the four data collection quarters in 2012.

Of the 451 detainees who provided a urine sample, two-thirds (66%) tested positive to at least one drug type. While this percentage is higher than in 2009–10 (60%), it remains substantially lower than the percentage that tested positive to any drug prior to 2009–10 (ranging from 69% in 2007 to 83% in 2004). This may be partly attributed to the decline in cannabis use by Adelaide detainees prior to 2009–10 (currently at 43%), dropping by 22 percentage points from its peak of use in 2004 (63%). Despite its decline in use, cannabis continues to be the drug most commonly detected among Adelaide detainees. In 2011–12, the next most commonly detected drug was benzodiazepines (25%), followed by amphetamines (23%; including 22% methamphetamine and 1% MDMA—detainees can test positive to more than one substance) and opiates (19%; including 7% heroin, 7% methadone, 9% buprenorphine—detainees can test positive to more than one substance; see Table 19). Since 2009–10, there haas been a three percent decrease in heroin use and a three percent increase in buprenorphine use.

In 2011–12, female detainees were more likely than males to test positive to amphetamines (28% cf 23%), opiates (41% cf 16%), and benzodiazepines (47% cf 22%), whereas male detainees were slightly more likely than females to test positive to cannabis (44% cf 40%).

Between 2011 and 2012, there was a seven percentage point decrease in positive heroin tests (10% cf 3%), a five percentage point decrease in buprenorphine positive tests (11% cf 6%) and a three percentage point increase in positive amphetamine tests (22% cf 25%). From 2011 to 2012, there were no substantial changes in the test positive results of benzodiazepine (25% for both years) or cannabis (43% cf 42%).

Self-reported alcohol use

Alcohol use among detainees cannot be reliably tested using urinalysis. Instead, the DUMA survey relies on a range of questions regarding recent and lifetime alcohol use, including whether the detainee had consumed alcohol in the 48 hours before their arrest. In 2011–12, 46 percent of Adelaide detainees reported drinking in the previous 48 hours (see Table 20); this represents a five percentage point decrease from 2009–10 (51%). Since 2002, the prevalence of alcohol consumption in the 48 hours prior to arrest has steadily increased within the Adelaide detainee sample (39% in 2002). In 2011–12, male detainees were notably more likely than females to have been drinking in the 48 hours prior to their arrest (48% cf 38%).

Alcohol consumption patterns

In 2011–12, 70 percent of detainees reported consuming at least one alcoholic drink in the 30 days prior to their arrest (see Table 20). On the last occasion of drinking, 30 percent of these detainees had consumed beer only, 16 percent had consumed wine only, 31 percent had consumed spirits only and the remaining 23 percent had consumed at least two types of alcohol (referred to in the discussion below as mixed drinks) on the last occasion.

By quantity, the average number of standard drinks consumed on the last occasion of drinking was 21, a notable increase in the reported average number of drinks since 2009–10 (14 standard drinks). Beer-only drinkers consumed on average eight standard drinks, while wine-only drinkers consumed on average 21 standard drinks and spirit-only drinkers consumed on average nine standard drinks on the last occasion of drinking. Those who mixed drinks tended to have the highest consumption rate at, on average, 35 standard drinks (up from an average of 26 standard drinks in 2009–10). 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.

In 2011–12, differences between genders were seen in the type of alcohol consumed most recently. Females were more likely than males to have consumed spirits only (44% cf 29%) or wine only (33% cf 14%) on the last occasion. Male detainees were more likely than females to have consumed beer only (33% cf 11%) and mixed drinks (25% cf 12%). Between 2011 and 2012, the percentage of female detainees drinking wine decreased by 18 percentage points (42% down to 24%), while the percentage of female detainees consuming mixed drinks increased by 10 percentage points (7% up to 17%). The quantity of alcohol consumed on the last occasion was, on average, higher among male detainees than females across all alcohol types except for mixed drinks (see Table 20).

Drug and alcohol treatment and mental health

In 2011–12, 93 Adelaide detainees reported that they were in drug or alcohol treatment at the time of their arrest. This figure represents approximately 16 percent of detainees who reported using alcohol or drugs in the previous 12 months and is consistent with 2009–10 data. Treatment options included support groups, counselling and pharmacotherapy. A further 157 detainees (27%) had previously been in a treatment program but were no longer in treatment at the time of their arrest. Of detainees currently in treatment, 15 percent (n=14) had been referred by the courts or as a result of a legal order. The remaining 85 percent (n=79) were either self-referred or referred by a health practitioner (see Table 21). From 2011 to 2012, treatment access was consistent and it was not notably different when compared with previous years.

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, almost half (46%) of Adelaide detainees reported having been diagnosed with a mental health-related issue (see Table 22); this represents a three percentage point decrease since 2009–10. Female detainees were more likely than males to report a mental health diagnosis (62% cf 44%). Between 2011 and 2012, there was a rise in the percentage of female detainees reporting a mental health diagnosis (59% cf 65%); there was no notable change in the mental health status of male detainees across this period.

Linking drugs and crime

The link between drugs and crime is measured in the DUMA study using a range of indicators, including the extent to which drug use varies between offenders of different offence types and the extent to which an offender reports that drugs or alcohol were a contributing factor in their most recent offending.

Of the 451 detainees who provided a urine sample, two-thirds (66%) tested positive to at least one drug type (see Table 23). From 2011 to 2012, the test positive rate remained unchanged. In 2011–12, the prevalence of recent drug use varied by most serious offence type, with drug offenders most likely to test positive to at least one drug type (91%; n=31). Test positive rates by most serious offence classification are:

  • 79 percent for traffic offenders (n=30);
  • 76 percent for property offenders (n=73);
  • 73 percent for breach offenders (n=45);
  • 56 percent for violent offenders (n=74); and
  • 51 percent for disorder offenders (n=40).

Caution should be exercised when making comparisons between offending categories and across collection periods due to the presence of small cell sizes. In addition, in 2012, substantial changes were made to the DUMA methodology with regards to urine collection, limiting comparability of findings with previous collection periods.

DUMA detainees are asked specific questions to identify the relationship between substance use and the commission of the offence(s) for which they are held in custody at the time of interview. In 2011–12, 41 percent of Adelaide detainees reported that substance use contributed to their current offending. By most serious offence, drug/alcohol attribution rates were:

  • 60 percent for disorder offenders (n=102);
  • 59 percent for drug offenders (n=38);
  • 44 percent for violent offenders (n=125);
  • 33 percent for property offenders (n=65);
  • 29 percent for breach offenders (n=46); and
  • 17 percent for traffic offenders (n=13).

Alcohol was more likely than drug use to be identified by detainees as a contributing factor for violent, drink driving, disorder and breach offences, while drug use was more likely than alcohol to be identified as a contributing factor by drug and property offenders (see Table 23).

Table 15 Adelaide DUMA sample, by age and gender, 2011–12
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Age (yrs)
18–20 117 14 16 11 133 14
21–25 169 20 23 16 192 20
26–30 167 20 18 13 185 19
31–35 106 13 26 18 132 13
36+ 282 34 60 42 342 35
Total 841 143 984
Min/max age 18/79 18/65 18/79
Mean age (median) 32(30) 34(33) 32(30)

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 16 Adelaide 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 365 24 259 31 29 12 26 18 394 23 285 29
Property 261 17 145 17 100 41 51 36 361 21 196 20
Drug 113 8 50 6 17 7 14 10 130 7 64 7
Drink driving 15 1 8 1 3 1 1 1 18 1 9 1
Traffic 139 9 63 8 23 9 15 10 162 9 78 8
Disorder 236 16 160 19 21 9 11 8 257 15 171 17
Breach 262 17 136 16 38 16 21 15 300 17 157 16
Other 110 7 16 2 13 5 4 3 123 7 20 2
Total 1,501 837 244 143 1,745 980

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 17 Adelaide DUMA sample, by criminal history and gender, 2011–12a
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Prior charge history (past 12 months)
Yes 310 46 49 42 359 45
No 362 54 69 58 431 55
Prior prison history (past 12 months)
Yes 89 13 7 6 96 12
No 607 87 116 94 723 88

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

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 18 Adelaide DUMA sample, by education, housing, employment and gender, 2011–12a
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Education
Year 10 or less 304 36 49 35 353 36
Year 11 or 12 207 25 29 20 236 24
TAFE/university not completed 129 15 24 17 153 16
Completed TAFE 154 18 28 20 182 19
Completed university 47 6 12 8 59 6
Total 841 142 983
Housing
Owned or rented by self 358 43 84 59 442 45
Someone else’s place 343 41 37 26 380 39
Shelter or emergency 15 2 6 4 21 2
Incarceration facility/halfway house 15 2 0 0 15 2
Treatment facility 9 1 3 2 12 1
No fixed residence 59 7 8 6 67 7
Other 42 5 5 3 47 5
Total 841 143 984
Employment
Full-time 228 27 6 4 234 24
Part-time 80 10 19 13 99 10
Have job but out due to illness/leave/strike/disability/seasonal work 151 18 30 21 181 18
Looking for work 190 23 25 17 215 22
Not looking for work 126 15 40 28 166 17
Full-time homemakers 11 1 18 13 29 3
Retired or studying 55 7 5 3 60 6
Total 841 143 984

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 19 Adelaide DUMA sample, by urinalysis test results and gender, 2011–12
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Provided urinea
Yes 393 63 58 55 451 62
No 235 37 47 45 282 38
Test results
Cannabis 171 44 23 40 194 43
Cocaine 5 1 0 0 5 1
Amphetaminesb 89 23 16 28 105 23
Methamphetamine 85 22 16 28 101 22
MDMA 6 2 0 0 6 1
Other amphetamines 1 0 0 0 1 0
Opiatesc 62 16 24 41 86 19
Heroin 27 7 6 10 33 7
Methadone 22 6 10 17 32 7
Buprenorphine 25 6 16 28 41 9
Other opiates 8 2 5 9 13 3
Benzodiazepines 85 22 27 47 112 25
Any drug 251 64 46 79 297 66
Any drug other than cannabis 172 44 41 71 213 47
Multiple drugs 111 28 34 59 145 32

a: Percentages have been calculated for the quarters in which urine samples were requested, which in 2011 was all 4 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]

Table 20 Adelaide DUMA sample, by self-reported alcohol use and gender, 2011–12
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Alcohol use
Past 48 hoursa 400 48 54 38 454 46
Past 30 days 598 72 86 62 684 70
Alcohol type consumed on last drinking occasion
Beer only 196 33 10 11 206 30
Wine only 82 14 29 33 111 16
Spirits only 176 29 39 44 215 31
Mixed drinksb 149 25 11 12 160 23
Male Female Total
n mean (median) n mean (median) n mean (median)
Quantities consumed on last drinking occasion (standard drinks)
Beer only 191 8(5) 10 5(5) 201 8(5)
Wine only 82 21(15) 29 20(15) 111 21(15)
Spirits only 173 9(5) 39 7(3) 212 9(5)
Mixed drinksb 149 35(27) 11 38(30) 160 35(27)

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 21 Adelaide DUMA sample, by drug and alcohol treatment and gender, 2011–12a,b
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Treatment
Never been in treatment 284 59 37 41 321 56
Been in, but not currently in treatment 129 27 28 31 157 27
Currently in treatment 68 14 25 28 93 16
Treatment referral of those currently in treatment
Drug court requirement 4 6 0 0 4 4
Court diversion scheme 3 4 0 0 3 3
Police diversion scheme 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other legal order 6 9 1 4 7 8
Otherc 55 81 24 96 79 85

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 22 Adelaide 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 302 44 76 62 378 46
No 388 56 47 38 435 54

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 23 Adelaide 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 49 37 47 49 14 41 1 20 19 50 32 41 31 50 1 17 194 43
Cocaine 0 0 1 1 1 3 0 0 0 0 3 4 0 0 0 0 5 1
Amphetaminesb 23 18 27 28 20 59 1 20 13 34 10 13 10 16 1 17 105 23
Opiatesc 17 13 35 36 9 26 0 0 8 21 3 4 12 19 2 33 86 19
Benzodiazepines 33 25 37 39 6 18 0 0 7 18 9 11 17 27 3 50 112 25
(Any drug) 74 56 73 76 31 91 1 20 30 79 40 51 45 73 3 50 297 66
(Any drug other than cannabis) 53 40 59 61 25 74 1 20 21 55 21 27 30 48 3 50 213 47
(Multiple drugs) 36 27 49 51 12 35 1 20 13 34 13 16 19 31 2 33 145 32
(Total urine samples) 131 96 34 5 38 79 62 6 451  
Self-reported drug–crime attributiond
Alcohol 94 33 23 12 0 0 7 78 6 8 96 56 28 18 8 40 262 27
Other drugs 39 14 44 22 38 59 1 11 7 9 16 9 18 11 0 0 163 17
Any attribution 125 44 65 33 38 59 8 89 13 17 102 60 46 29 8 40 405 41
(Total detainees interviewed) 285 196 64 9 78 171 157 20 980

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]

Figure 6 Test positive trends, males by drug type, Adelaide 2002–12 (%)

Figure 6 Test positive trends, males by drug type, Adelaide 2002–12 (%)

Note: Data was not collected at this site during quarters 2 and 4, 2012

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Figure 7 Test positive trends, females by drug type, Adelaide 2002–12 (%)

Figure 7 Test positive trends, females by drug type, Adelaide 2002–12 (%)

Note: Data was not collected at this site during quarters 2 and 4, 2012

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]