Using structured query language (SQL) data extraction, data was obtained from the Department’s database, Total Offender Management Solution (TOMS) for the period between July 2009 and July 2014. Three distinct data sets were created.

Remand population

To measure the changing demographic profile of remandees over the five year period quarterly extractions were performed on the 15th day of July, October, January and April for the 2009-2010 through to 2013-2014 financial years. The person’s status as remand, sentenced or other on this day was used to determine the proportion of the prison population which were on remand.

Data on adults and data on young people under 18 years old was examined separately.

Time on remand

The period of remand were calculated between July 2009 and July 2013. People held on remand after July 2013 were omitted from analyses to enable the calculation of prisoners held in prison for over a year. The length of time they were on remand was calculated by measuring the days between the date the person was classified as remand and the date the person had their status changed (to release, sentenced etc.).

In total, 23 973 adults had a status of remand during this period. This included people who had come into the system on remand multiple times. Accounting for multiples there were 11 765 individual people who were on remand from July 2009 to July 2013.

Charges and court flows

Similar to the data extraction for the remand population, quarterly extractions were performed on the 15th day of July, October, January and April for the 2009-2010 through to 2013-2014 financial years.

This information included offence descriptions, aligning with the Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC) categorisation scheme, which was recoded into eight categories namely:

  • offences against property
  • offences against the person
  • justice procedures
  • weapons or drugs offences
  • traffic offences
  • fraud
  • public order offences
  • unknown or other offences

Examples of the type of charges included in these categories are:

Charge type Examples include
Against property
  • property damage
  • environmental pollution, dumping
  • illegal use of property (except motor vehicle)
  • receiving or handling proceeds of crime
  • robbery, extortion, theft (excluding motor vehicle) and related offences
  • unlawful entry, trespass
Against the person
  • abduction and kidnapping
  • assault
  • attempted murder
  • dangerous or negligent operation of a vehicle
  • deprivation of liberty/false imprisonment
  • harassment, threatening behaviour and causing fear/terror
  • manslaughter and driving causing death
  • murder
  • non-assaultive sexual offences, indecent recording
  • other acts intended to cause injury
  • other dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons
  • sexual assault, carnal knowledge and indecent dealings
Justice procedures
  • breach of bail
  • breach of community based orders
  • breach of custodial order offences
  • breach of other orders (non-restraining)
  • breach of violence and non-violence restraining orders
  • offences against government operations (obstructs/hinder/impede authorised person)
  • offences against government security (brought non-citizens-harboured illegal immigrants, without lawful excuse trespass defence establishment)
  • offences against justice procedures (escaping lawful custody, wilfully destroy evidence, corruption of witness, failure to supply information)
Public order
  • unlawful assembly did not disperse in accordance with an order
  • disorderly behaviour
  • improper use of the emergency call service
  • remain on a licensed premises
  • street drinking
  • driver licence offences
  • driving and other road traffic offences
  • offences relating to use of conveyances (unlawful use of a conveyance)
Weapons and drugs
  • prohibited and regulated weapons and explosives offences (possession, failure to ensure safe-keeping, not being a holder of licence)
  • prohibited drug and other substance offences(deal, traffic, import, export, manufacture, possess)


Behaviour in custody

Quarterly data extractions of every incident occurring in every facility, were performed on the 15th day of July, October, January and April for the 2009-2010 through to 2013-2014 financial years.

In total 33424 incidents involving remandees occurred in adult facilities and 9344 incidents occurred in juvenile facilities. Examples of what was examined as an ‘incident’ and how they were categorised is listed below.

Critical Examples from TOMS (may not be critical incidents)
Assault Includes:

  • assault
  • serious assault
  • sexual assault
Contraband Includes: any item that may have a significant impact on the good order and security of a prison, for example:

  • firearms or ammunition
  • devices constructed or modified for the purpose of firing ammunition
  • significant weapons (ie sword, machete, spear gun etc)
  • large amount of drugs or alcohol
  • mobile phones/data devices
  • any item that could reasonably aid an escape from custody
  • any other item that may place the security of the prison or any person under significant risk


Death Applies when there is a:

  • death of a prisoner in legal custody
  • death of any other person in a prison facility or on prison property
  • death of any person who at the time of death was carrying out official prison duties
Environment An incident or event that results in the loss of essential services or serious damage to prison infrastructure. For example:

  • natural disasters (earthquake, flood, cyclone, bush fire)
  • loss of power that may result in a significant impact to the security of the facility
  • explosion or release of airborne contaminant (ie gases/toxic fumes)
  • fire in a building or cell that requires external assistance.
  • breached/damaged water mains affecting water supply to the prison
  • blocked/damaged sewerage lines disrupting the disposal/removal of human waste (this does not include incident of a blocked toilet)
  • broken window
  • pond damage
  • door lock jammed
Health includes injury, illness

A serious injury can be defined as an injury to a person (prisoner / staff / visitor) which requires external medical assessment or treatment and/or overnight hospitalisation as a result of an industrial accident (workplace injury), an unnatural occurrence / accident (ie. falling out of bed, building defect etc), or a suspicious injury.

Note: where the serious injury is the result of a serious assault, the incident is to be reported as a serious assault.

Injury – Self-harm

Self-harm includes self-injury and self-poisoning and is defined as the intentional, direct injuring of body most often done without suicidal intentions.

Serious self-harm relates to the act of self-harm that requires either:

  • overnight hospitalisation in a medical facility (including prison clinic/infirmary), or
  • ongoing medical treatment

Note: Self-harm which does not fall under the definition of serious self-harm is to be categorised as a Non-Critical incident, Injury (Self-Harm), Self-Harm.

Attempted suicide is the act of self-harm whereby a person attempts to take their own life. Attempted suicides include such examples as: attempted hanging, attempted drug overdose, attempted poisoning (other than drugs), serious self-harm (ie extensive mutilation of ones own body) and/or jumping from an elevated platform where the intent of the act was to cause self-harm or death.

Self-harm also includes voluntary starvation.

Insulting language
Misconduct Any incident that cannot be otherwise categorised and results in a loss of privileges. If it does not result in a loss of privileges it should only be recorded as an offender note.
Risk Management Includes:

  • security equipment (loss theft, removal)
  • security system failure
  • bomb threat
  • break in or attempted break in
  • civil demonstration
  • detained in error
  • discharge of a firearm
  • industrial action
Self-harm Includes:

  • injury – self-harm
  • voluntary starvation
  • testing
  • suspected under the influence
Unlawful absence


An escape occurs when a prisoner breaches physical security; flees from an authorised escort; or flees from any facility, hospital or location whereby they are lawfully meant to be.

Examples of an escape is when a prisoner flees from a:

  • maximum, medium or minimum security facility
  • court complex
  • public hospital
  • secure escort vehicle
  • leave of absence whilst under guard
  • authorised activity whilst outside the main prison facility (ie. s 95 activity, work camp).

Escape (attempted): An attempted escape is an attempt to escape as defined above.

Note: all attempts of escape, regardless of success, are to be reported as critical. This includes situations where an attempt has been terminated before the perimeter has been breached. Preparation to escape is also to be recorded as an Attempted Escape where planning appears to be well progressed.

Released in error: Where a prisoner has been released from custody prior to the date he is lawfully entitled to be released, as a result of an administrative error. Generally follows discovery of:

  • a warrant not entered
  • miscalculated term detail
  • release without signing release order, etc


Use of force

Use of force is the application of DCS approved control, restraint and physical force techniques to maintain security and good order (in line with Policy Directive 5 – Use of Force).

Critical Incident reporting is required when, during the use of force, any of the following applies:

  • chemical agent is deployed
  • a baton is used
  • a TASER is deployed
  • planned use of force (ie cell extraction) is conducted
  • restraints bed is utilised
  • a staff member or prisoner receives an injury requiring external (to the prison) medical assessment or treatment and/or overnight hospitalisation

Note: the planned routine use of restraints for movement purposes is not a reportable incident.



Page last updated: December 4, 2015