Released Prisoners Returning to Prison

In Australia overall, 42.1% of prisoners released during 2011–12 returned under sentence within two years. Victoria’s rate of return to prison (39.5%) was slightly lower than the Australian average. The Northern Territory had the highest rate of recidivism to prison, at 51.7%.

Recidivism figures for the Australian Capital Territory are not presented because New South Wales houses the majority of full-time prisoners sentenced in the Australian Capital Territory.

For an analysis of the nine-year recidivism rates for all people sentenced in Victoria, see our Reoffending Following Sentence in Victoria: A Statistical Overview.

Figure 1: The percentage of prisoners released during 2011–12 returning to prison within two years of release (recidivism to prison)

Table 1: Data for Figure 1

Jurisdiction Proportion
New South Wales 45.8%
Victoria 39.5%
Queensland 39.0%
South Australia 38.4%
Western Australia 39.0%
Tasmania 39.3%
Northern Territory 51.7%
Australia 42.1%

Source: Australian Productivity Commission, Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision (2015), Report on Government Services 2015 (external link opens in a new window)