Released Prisoners Returning to Prison

In Victoria, 43.7% of prisoners released during 2015–16 returned to prison within two years (to 2017–18). This rate is comparable to the Australian rate of 45.6%. The Northern Territory had the highest rate at 55.9%, and South Australia had the lowest rate at 37.1%.

Overall, 54.2% of released prisoners in Australia returned to corrective services in the two years to 2017–18. This includes people who returned to prison as well as people who were subsequently placed on community orders.

The rate of people returning to prison following release is one measure of recidivism or repeat criminal activity.

Percentage of prisoners released during 2015–16 who returned to prison within two years

Hover over a bar in the graph to display the percentage of prisoners who returned to corrective services for each state and territory. The vertical line shows the national rate.

Jurisdiction Percentage of prisoners returning to prison Percentage of prisoners returning to corrective services
Northern Territory 55.9% 58.7%
New South Wales 50.8% 55.8%
Tasmania 46.3% 55.5%
Australian Capital Territory 44.2% 69.9%
Victoria 43.7% 58.2%
Queensland 42.7% 53.7%
Western Australia 38.5% 45.3%
South Australia 37.1% 45.7%
Australia 45.6% 54.2%

Source: Australian Productivity Commission, Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision, Report on Government Services 2019 , Part C, Table CA.4 ( 2019).