U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Prison Capacity Planning

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2012
66 pages
This audit provides information on the Australian prison infrastructure and support services.
Results indicate that by 2016 the male and female prison systems will not have sufficient capacity to meet increases in prisoner numbers. The male prisoner population is growing beyond the capacity of existing infrastructure. The average prison utilization rates have remained close to or above the nationally accepted limit of 95 percent since May 2011. As a result, the capacity of the male prison system to cope with the increase in prisoners is becoming unsustainable. These existing capacity difficulties are compounded by the 4- to 6-year lead time to construct a major prison facility and also by changes, for example, to sentencing policy that are likely to increase the rate of imprisonment. The prison system faces the following demand pressures: the prisoner population has grown by 38 percent since 2002; Male prisoner population is projected to grow by 44.7 percent from June 2011 to June 2016; there are more prisoners being held in police cells than at any point in the past 10 years; prison expansions have increased capacity by 53 percent more than the prison system's original design; prisons currently hold 22 percent more beds than their current supported capacity; and temporary prison beds make up 19 percent of the total number of beds in the prison system. Figures and appendixes