According to the Report on Government Services 2000, the total government expenditure on justice in 1998-99 was approximately $6 billion. Since 1994-95, government expenditure on justice has increased at a real average annual growth rate of 5.4%.
The largest component of the justice system was police services, which accounted for approximately 66% of the total justice-related expenditure covered by the report. Corrective services accounted for a further 20%, and court administration accounted for the remaining 14% (see Figure 60).
Policing activities are predominantly the responsibility of the police agencies of State and Territory governments, with the Australian Federal Police providing a community policing service in the ACT on behalf of the ACT Government. Funding for these services comes almost exclusively from State and Territory government budgets, with some specific-purpose grants being provided by the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth Government operates the Australian Federal Police. The figures discussed below exclude resource data for the AFP.
The total recurrent expenditure on police services across Australia was $4.1 billion. This amounts to $217 for every person in Australia. Recurrent expenditure on staff salaries accounted for 76% of this total expenditure.
|Total recurrent expenditure||4 121 419|
|Total capital expenditure||257 483|
|Total expenditure||4 378 902|
|Average police staff salaries||66 174|
|Average non-police staff salaries||42 335|
Source: Reference 9.
Most people involved directly in the delivery of police services are sworn police officers (employees recognised under each jurisdiction's Police Act). Sworn police officers exercise police powers such as the powers to arrest, summons, caution, detain, fingerprint and search.
In recent years there has been a trend towards 'civilianisation' of police services, with some non-core activities undertaken by non-sworn officers or contracted to external providers.
- The total police services staffing in Australia in 1999 was 55 200, an increase of 4% on the number recorded in 1998. This averages out at 291 per 100 000 persons (227 sworn police officers and 64 civilian employees).
- There were 43 048 sworn police officers and 12 152 civilian employees making up Australian police services in 1999.
- New South Wales had the largest police service across Australia, while the Australian Capital Territory had the smallest.
- Western Australia employed the highest proportion of civilian staff (28%), and the Australian Capital Territory employed the lowest (9%).
- Since June 1995 there has been a 1% increase in the number of sworn police officers and a 24% increase in the number of civilian employees in the police services of Australia.
- Generally there is little difference across jurisdictions in the number of sworn police officers per 100 000 population, with the exception of the Northern Territory which is well above the national average.
- The Northern Territory had the largest number of police officers per 100 000 population (454.2), while Victoria had the smallest (207.5). However, Victoria had 43 police officers per 1 000 km2, while the Northern Territory had only one.
Court administration agencies throughout Australia provide a range of services integral to the effective performance of the judicial system. These agencies work with the judiciary and the community to provide a court system that allows the prompt resolution of disputes and appropriate access to justice for the community.
- The total recurrent expenditure by State, Territory and Commonwealth court authorities was approximately $816 million in 1998-99, an annual increase of 4% (in real terms) since 1994-95.
- Expenditure for criminal court administration was slightly above $382 million for 1998-99.
- The magistrates' courts incurred 63% of total criminal court expenditure, followed by the intermediate courts (25%) and then the Supreme Courts (12%).
Figure 63 shows the average expenditure per case lodgment in the criminal courts. The higher the level of court, the more expensive each criminal case lodgment becomes. This is because the more complex and lengthy cases are tried in the higher courts.
*Includes payroll tax to facilitate comparisons with earlier years.
- Average expenditure per criminal case lodgment ranged from $130 in the magistrates' courts, to $9 449 in the Supreme Courts.
Source: Reference 9.
Resources allocated for corrective services in Australia are divided into two broad categories: prisons and community corrections.
Total recurrent expenditure on corrective services in Australia was approximately $1 179 million in 1998-99: $1 049 million (89%) for prisons and $130 million (11%) for community corrections. This corresponds to a figure of about $81 for every adult in Australia.
- Recurrent expenditure on corrective services per head of adult population in 1998-99 ranged from $42.96 in Victoria to $294.04 in the Northern Territory.
- Expenditure per prisoner per day was $140.86 in 1998-99, ranging from $105.65 in Queensland to $192.27 in the ACT. The national figure was 22 times more than that spent on offenders in community correction programs each day.
- Expenditure per offender sentenced to community correction programs per day was only $6.45 in 1998-99.
- Overall in 1998-99, approximately $51 414 was spent on each prisoner and $2 354 on each offender sentenced to community correction programs.