Australia’s prison population at 10-year high

Canberra, July 23 (IANS) Australia’s prison population has jumped 10 percent over the last 12 months and reached a 10-year high, authorities said on Thursday.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of prisoners in adult corrective custody in 2014 was 33,791 from 30,775 in 2013, reported Xinhua news agency.

The number of Australian males imprisoned in 2014 was 31,200 compared with 28,426 in 2013, while 2,591 women were in custody in 2014 compared to 2,349 in 2013.

People from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island background make up 27 percent of all prisoners despite making up just 2.4 percent of the Australian population.

One in five (21 percent) male and female prisoners were taken into custody for acts intended to cause injury. The proportion of prisoners locked up for drug offences was at 17 percent for females but at 12 percent for males.

For males, instigators of sexual assault and unlawful entries also made up 12 percent of prisoners each.

Eleven percent of women and 10 percent of men were locked up for offences against the course of justice.

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