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Unconvicted prisoners in Australia

Published: 
04/1984

A study of the structure of remand populations in eight jurisdictions

This study examines the wide differences between Australian jurisdictions in the use of remand in custody, with the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia being shown to have remand rates which are consistently higher than the national average.

The results of the 1982 and 1983 national prison censuses are used to examine the characteristics of remandees and to analyse the structure of the remand populations in each jurisdiction in terms of the two relevant factors: intake and length of stay.

The results suggest that greater efforts are needed to reduce the average time spent in custody for remandees in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia, but the major problem seems to be high intake figures in South Australia and the Northern Territory. There may also be room to reduce the intake figures in New South Wales.

Queensland, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory, with their relatively low remand rates, do not seem to be in such urgent need of either legislative or administrative action as far as their use of remand in custody is concerned.

Cite article

Biles D. 1984. Unconvicted prisoners in Australia. Archive. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology. https://aic.gov.au/publications/archive/unconvicted-prisoners