7 November 2019
The number of women entering prison in Victoria in 2018 was more than double the number in 2012, driven by an increasing number of women received on remand, research released today by the Crime Statistics Agency shows.
More than 800 women were received into prison during the last six months of 2018 compared with 333 women in 2012, with nine out of 10 women entering custody as an unsentenced prisoner during 2018.
Crime Statistics Agency Chief Statistician Fiona Dowsley said the study found the most commonly recorded charge for women entering prison on remand in 2018 was a breach of order, with almost three-quarters of women recorded for this type of offence (74%).
“Our research found that half the women who entered prison on remand during 2018 were charged with one of two new breach of bail offences first introduced during December 2013,” Ms Dowsley said.
The next most commonly recorded type of charge for women remanded during 2018 was theft (63%), followed by drug use and possession (39%).
“One quarter of women who entered prison on remand in 2018 were charged with drug use or possession involving methamphetamine, an increase from 5% in 2012,” Ms Dowsley said.
The research found that less than two-thirds of women who enter prison on remand are eventually sentenced to prison, however more than 90% have at least one of their charges proven against them in court.
The second most common sentence received at court for women entering prison on remand was a community corrections order, with this court outcome recorded for 20% of women received into prison during 2018.
Half the women were the victim of at least one crime in the two years prior to their entry into prison, with assault the most common type of offence recorded.
Eight per cent of women received into prison on remand in 2018 were the victim of a sexual offence in the two years prior to entering prison.
Forty-five per cent of women received into prison on remand during 2018 had been imprisoned on at least one other occasion in the previous two years.
The paper Characteristics and offending of women in prison in Victoria, 2012-2018 was released today. The study includes all women who entered prison between July and December during 2012, 2015 and 2018.
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