Full report, (pdf)
Release date: 13 June 2012, 10.30am
The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research today released its 2011 Criminal Courts Statistics Report. The report shows that between 2010 and 2011 there was:
- A 4.5% decrease in the number of persons/organisations with a matter finalised in the Local Court (down from 120,662 in 2010 to 115,206 in 2011)
- A 10.7% decrease in the number of offenders receiving a sentence of imprisonment (down from 7,630 in 2010 to 6,809 in 2011)
- A 3.9% decrease in the number of Indigenous people found guilty (down from 14,232 in 2010 to 13,672 in 2011). However, Indigenous people continued to account for 13% of Local Court appearances (13.4% in 2010 and 13.6% in 2011)
- A 6.7% increase in the median delay from first appearance to determination for people in custody who had a defended hearing and had all charges dismissed, up from 75 days in 2010 to 80 days in 2011.
- No change in the number of persons with a matter finalised (8,630 in 2010 and 8,633 in 2011)
- No change in the number of Indigenous children charged (3,237 in 2010 and 3,293 in 2011). However, Indigenous children continue to account for 38% of Children's Court appearances (37.5% in 2010 and 38.1% in 2011)
- A 7.6% increase in the number of children on remand (that is, bail refused) at finalisation (987 in 2010 and 1062 in 2011)
- A 8.9% decrease in the number of persons receiving a control order as a penalty (805 in 2010 and 733 in 2011) and the Children's Court.
- A 24% increase in the median delay between committal for trial and trial finalisation for defendants refused bail but eventually acquitted of all charges in the District Court (from 158 days in 2010 to 196 days in 2011. Only 57 cases were affected.
Commenting on the findings, the Deputy Director of the Bureau, Jackie Fitzgerald, said that the decrease in people being sent to prison appears to be due to a combination of factors. Firstly, there are fewer people coming before the court. Secondly, for some offences, the proportion of offenders receiving a sentence of imprisonment has fallen.
Further enquiries: Jackie Fitzgerald 02 92319190