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NCJ Number: 50974 Find in a Library
Title: PRISONS AND PRISONERS (FROM CRIME AND JUSTICE IN AUSTRALIA, 1977, BY DAVID BILES - SEE NCJ-50969)
Author(s): D BILES
Corporate Author: Australian Institute of Criminology
Australia

Sun Books Pty Ltd
Australia
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Sun Books Pty Ltd
South Melbourne, 3205, Australia
Type: Statistics
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: AN OVERVIEW OF CORRECTIONS IN AUSTRALIA DISCUSSES THE PURPOSES OF IMPRISONMENT, THE CHARACTERISTICS AND SIZE OF THE INMATE POPULATION, AND THE MAIN FEATURES OF THE COMMONWEALTH'S SEVEN PRISON SYSTEMS.
Abstract: A BRIEF REVIEW OF THE HISTORY OF CORRECTIONS IN AUSTRALIA NOTES THAT THE COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED AS A PENAL COLONY. STOCKADES WERE DEVELOPED AS DETENTION CENTERS FOR PARTICULARLY TROUBLESOME CONVICTS SENT TO AUSTRALIA FROM ENGLAND, BUT THE MAJOR PRISON-BUILDING PERIOD WAS IN THE 1850'S AND 1860'S, DURING AUSTRALIA'S GOLD RUSH. THAT MANY OF THE PRISONS BUILT DURING THAT PERIOD ARE STILL IN USE IS AN INDICATION OF THE MAJOR DIFFICULTY FACED BY PRISON ADMINISTRATORS WHO ARE TRYING TO PROVIDE MODERN REHABILITATIVE PROGRAMS IN ANTIQUATED FACILITIES. THERE IS NO NATIONAL PRISON SYSTEM IN AUSTRALIA; EACH STATE AND TERRITORY RUNS ITS OWN SYSTEM. THERE ARE MORE THAN 70 SEPARATE INSTITUTIONS IN AUSTRALIA, WITH A DAILY AVERAGE PRISON POPULATION OF APPROXIMATELY 8,500. THE VARIOUS AIMS OF IMPRISONMENT--DETERRENCE, REHABILITATION, INCAPACITATION--ARE DISCUSSED BRIEFLY, AS IS THE CLASSIFICATION OF INMATES BY THE DEGREE OF SECURITY REQUIRED FOR THEIR CONFINEMENT. A TYPICAL DAY IN THE LIFE OF A MAXIMUM-SECURITY INMATE IS DESCRIBED. RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE LIVES OF INMATES--VISITS, MAIL, WAGES, REMISSION (EARLY RELEASE) FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR, ETC.--ARE NOTED. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE AVAILABILITY OF TOBACCO IN PRISONS IS POINTED OUT. PRISON RIOTS, STRIKES, AND OTHER DISTURBANCES FREQUENTLY HAVE BEEN CAUSED BY DISPUTES OVER TOBACCO, WHICH TRADITIONALLY IS THE STANDARD 'CURRENCY' WITHIN AUSTRALIAN PRISONS. THE TRAINING OF PRISON PERSONNEL IS DISCUSSED, AND STATISTICS ON STAFF-INMATE RATIOS FOR EACH STATE AND TERRITORY ARE PRESENTED. ON THE AVERAGE, THERE IS ONE PRISON OFFICER FOR EVERY TWO TO THREE PRISONERS. EDUCATIONAL, VOCATIONAL TRAINING, AND SOCIAL-RECREATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR INMATES ARE DESCRIBED. EVIDENCE THAT THE NUMBER OF LONG-TERM INMATES IS INCREASING THROUGHOUT AUSTRALIA IS PRESENTED AND DISCUSSED. DATA ON IMPRISONMENT RATES SHOW THAT THERE ARE GREAT DIFFERENCES IN RATES AMONG THE JURISDICTIONS, WITH THE RATE FOR THE NORTHERN TERRITORY BEING MORE THAN FOUR TIMES GREATER THAN THAT FOR VICTORIA. THE NORTHERN TERRITORY ALSO HAS AN UNUSUALLY HIGH CRIME RATE, BUT IT IS DIFFICULT TO ESTABLISH A CONNECTION BETWEEN CRIME AND IMPRISONMENT RATES. FOR EXAMPLE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA'S IMPRISONMENT RATE IS TWICE AS HIGH AS VICTORIA'S, BUT THERE IS NO COMPARABLE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO STATES' RATES OF CRIME. THERE HAVE BEEN DECLINES (IN ALL STATES EXCEPT QUEENSLAND) IN BOTH NUMBERS OF PRISONERS AND RATES OF IMPRISONMENT IN THE 1970'S, POSSIBLY DUE IN PART TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF ALTERNATIVES TO IMPRISONMENT. SIX TABLES ARE INCLUDED. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Australia; Correctional institutions (adult); Correctional personnel; Inmate Programs; Inmate statistics
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50974

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