Unsentenced prisoners make up a third of Australia’s prison population as bail refusals boom

10 months ago 43

Advocates urge overhaul of strict bail laws in Victoria and elsewhere to ensure people aren’t needlessly funnelled into jail

The number of unsentenced people in Australian jails has risen more than 120% over 10 years, to account for more than a third of the total prison population, as human rights advocates urge reforms to ensure people aren’t needlessly funnelled into the criminal justice system.

More than 15,000 prisoners, or about 35% of the nation’s prison population, were unsentenced – awaiting trial, sentencing or deportation – in 2021. In 2011, when there were 6,723 unsentenced prisoners, that cohort accounted for less than 25% of the prison population.

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