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Adelaide

Sample

Throughout 2009–10, 1,017 detainees were interviewed at the Adelaide city police lockup. The majority (85%) were males and the average age was 32 years. Male detainees were, on average, one year older than female detainees (32 cf 31 years; see Table 15).

Overall, the number of detainees surveyed in 2010 was higher than in 2009—up by eight percent, although this increase was not equal for male and female detainees. In 2010, for example, there was a nine percent decrease in the number of women surveyed and an 11 percent increase in the number of men surveyed compared with figures for 2009. This increase in the number of interviews with male detainees comes despite an overall decrease in the number of offenders processed during DUMA interview hours throughout 2010. Overall, in 2009 and 2010, there was a decrease in the number of detainees processed during DUMA interview hours compared with earlier years.

In 2010, the average age of detainees increased by one year—from 31 years to 32 years of age. This modest increase from 2009 to 2010 was consistent for both male and female detainees.

Offending

In 2009–10, Adelaide detainees were arrested and detained for a total of 1,729 charges. Consistent with previous years, the average number of charges per detainee was two and the maximum number of charges was 10. Charges for violent offences were those most frequently recorded, comprising 22 percent of all charges for 2009–10, followed by charges for property offences (20%), disorder offences (16%), breach of justice order offences (13%), road and traffic offences (11%), drug offences (5%) and drink driving offences (2%). A further 173 charges were recorded as ‘other offences’ not otherwise defined (see Table 16). Between 2009 and 2010, there was a modest three percentage point increase in the number of charges for violent offences recorded (24%, up from 21%).

The most serious offence classification—an approach that categorises each offender according to the most serious charge listed on their charge sheet—has been used consistently since 1999. In Adelaide, in 2009–10, 25 percent of detainees were classified as most serious violent offenders, having at least one violent offence recorded on their charge sheet. Of the remaining 75 percent, 19 percent were property offenders, 19 percent were disorder offenders, 12 percent were breach offenders, 10 percent were traffic offenders, six percent were drug offenders and three percent were drink driving offenders. A further six percent were recorded as ‘other offenders’ not otherwise falling into the categories listed above (see Table 16). The most notable change between 2009 and 2010 was a four percentage point increase in the proportion of violent offenders interviewed (up to 27% in 2010). In 2010 a higher number of violent offenders were interviewed than at any other time since collection began in Adelaide in 2002. Conversely, the proportion of property offenders interviewed remained at historical lows (19%, down from 31% in 2002).

One in four male detainees in 2009–10 was in custody for a violent offence (27%), with violence being the single largest offence category recorded, followed by property (17%), disorder (17%) and breach offences (13%). Female detainees were less likely than males to be detained for a violent offence (16%) and more likely to be detained for a property offence (31%). It should be noted that, in 2010, female detainees at Adelaide were much more likely to be charged with a violent offence than in the previous year (22%, up from 11% in 2009) and much less likely to be charged with a property offence (27%, down from 34%).

Prior criminal justice contact

In 2009–10, for more than half of all Adelaide detainees, the current episode of contact with the police was not an isolated incident: 50 percent had been charged on at least one separate occasion in the previous 12 months (see Table 17). There was a sizeable decrease in prior contact in the previous 12 months in 2010 compared with 2009 (47%, down from 53%). Yet, overall, the proportion of detainees reporting a prior history of police contact was substantially lower in 2009–10 compared with earlier years. Male detainees were more likely than female detainees to have been charged on a separate occasion in the previous 12 months (51% cf 42%).

Approximately one in every 10 Adelaide detainees (12%) had spent time in prison in the previous 12 months, with males being slightly more likely than females to report a recent prison history (13% cf 10%; see Table 17), continuing a general decrease in the proportion of detainees with a recent prior history of imprisonment.

Education, housing and employment

For a little more than one in three Adelaide detainees (35%), Year 10 was their highest level of educational attainment (see Table 18). This is modestly lower than in previous years and continues the gradual decline in this category since 2002. Of the remaining two-thirds, the majority (42%) had attempted or completed a post-secondary TAFE or university qualification—a result that was generally consistent between male and female detainees and when compared with previous years.

Nearly all detainees (84%) reported most recently residing in a private residence for most of the time in the 30 days before their arrest. This figure consists largely of those who lived in a privately owned or rented residence (50%) and to a lesser extent those who lived in a residence owned or rented by someone else (34%). A small number of detainees (9%) reported having no fixed address or living in emergency accommodation (see Table 18). There was no notable difference in the housing and accommodation status of Adelaide detainees compared with previous years.

Housing for male and female detainees differs considerably. A greater proportion of females lived in a privately owned or rented residence (56% cf 49%), while males were more likely to report living in a residence owned or rented by someone else (34% cf 29%). While the numbers were small, five percent of female detainees in Adelaide reported living in emergency accommodation, compared with only one percent of males. Conversely, males were more likely to report living on the street with no fixed address or in another unspecified household location (14% cf 9% for females).

One in four detainees (25%) reported being in full-time employment at the time of their arrest, while 98 detainees (10%) were employed part-time (see Table 18). The remaining 668 detainees (65%) were not working at the time of their arrest and of these:

  • 240 (24%) were looking for work;
  • 144 (14%) were not looking for work;
  • 189 (19%) were not working either because they were on leave from work or due to illness, disability or the seasonal nature of their employment;
  • 40 (4%) were full-time homemakers; and
  • 55 (5%) were retired or studying.

In the two years from 2009 to 2010, there was a six percentage point increase in the proportion of detainees not working either because they were on leave from work or because of illness, disability or the seasonal nature of their employment (15% cf 21%). Generally, however, these results have remained consistent between 2009 and 2010 and have not substantially changed when compared with earlier years.

Male detainees were more likely to be employed full-time or part-time (37%) when compared with female detainees (19%), who were more likely to be unemployed and not looking for work (20% cf 13% for males) or not working because of their role as a full-time homemaker (23% cf 1% for males). There were only modest changes in the employment status of male and female detainees from 2009 to 2010. For male detainees, the proportion that was unemployed and looking for work (23%) declined by three percentage points, while the proportion of male detainees that was disabled and unable to work (18%) increased by three percentage points in 2010. For females, the proportion that reported being unable to work due to a disability increased by nine percentage points in 2010 (19%).

Drug use

Urinalysis screening was conducted for five drug classes—amphetamines, benzodiazepine, cannabis, cocaine and opiates—and secondary screening tests were conducted for the opiate pharmacotherapy substances methadone and buprenorphine. In addition, confirmatory analysis was conducted for samples positive to amphetamines and opiates (not including pharmacotherapies). Opiates were then classified as either heroin or other opiates (including prescription opiates). Amphetamines were classified as methamphetamine, MDMA, or other amphetamines (including prescription amphetamines).

Of the 689 detainees who provided a urine sample throughout 2009 and 2010, 60 percent tested positive to at least one drug type. This is substantially lower than the proportion recorded in previous years and shows a continuing decline in drug use from its peak in 2004, where 83 percent of detainees tested positive to at least one drug. This figure may be partially attributable to a continued decline in cannabis use by Adelaide detainees (currently 42%), now 21 percentage points lower than the peak use of 63 percent in 2004. Nevertheless, cannabis still remains the drug most commonly used by detainees in Adelaide. The next most commonly detected drug was benzodiazepines (21%), followed by opiates (18%) and amphetamines (15%). Only four detainees tested positive to cocaine in 2009 and 2010 (1%). Of those who tested positive to amphetamines, the majority were confirmed to have used methamphetamine (13%), while only nine detainees had used MDMA (1%) and eight detainees tested positive to another amphetamine type substance (1%). Of those who tested positive to an opiate-based substance, 10 percent tested positive to heroin, seven percent tested positive to methadone, six percent tested positive to buprenorphine and three percent tested positive to other opiate-based substances (see Table 19).

In 2009–10, female detainees were more likely than males to test positive to amphetamines (20% cf 14%), opiates (32% cf 16%), benzodiazepines (34% cf 19%) and cannabis (44% cf 41%). Changes in test positive results between 2009 and 2010 for other categories of drugs included a three percentage point decline in positive cannabis tests (down to 40%), a two percentage point decline in amphetamines use (down to 14%), a three percentage point increase in benzodiazepine use (up to 22%) and a two percentage point increase in illegal opiate use (up to 19%). There was no noticeable change in the level of heroin use (10% in 2009 cf 9% in 2010) and buprenorphine use (6% in each year).

Self-reported alcohol use

Alcohol use among detainees cannot be reliably tested using urinalysis. Instead, the DUMA survey relies on a range of questions regarding recent and lifetime alcohol use, including whether the detainee had consumed alcohol in the 48 hours before their arrest. Overall, throughout 2009 and 2010, 51 percent of detainees reported drinking in the previous 48 hours (see Table 20)—a notable increase when compared with previous years. For example, in 2008, 42 percent of detainees reported having consumed alcohol in the previous 48 hours. Male detainees were more likely than female detainees to have been drinking (53% cf 42%). In 2010, overall rates of recent alcohol consumption increased by five percentage points over reported use in 2009.

Alcohol consumption patterns

In the third quarter of 2009, changes were made to the DUMA survey in an effort to capture a wider range of information about detainees’ alcohol consumption. In particular, an alcohol consumption grid was developed to identify both the type and quantity of alcohol consumed during the last episode of drinking. Units of consumption can therefore be disaggregated both by size and strength so that standard drink estimates can be developed.

In 2009–10, 76 percent of detainees had consumed at least one alcoholic drink in the 30 days before their arrest. On the last occasion of drinking, 30 percent of these detainees had consumed beer only, 17 percent had consumed wine only and 30 percent had consumed spirits only. It was not uncommon for detainees to have mixed different types of alcohol: the remaining 23 percent reported having consumed at least two types of alcohol on the last occasion.

In terms of quantity, the average number of standard drinks consumed on the last occasion was 14. Beer-only drinkers consumed an average of eight standard drinks, while wine-only drinkers drank an average of 16 standard drinks and spirit-only drinkers consumed an average of nine standard drinks on the last occasion. Those who mixed drinks tended to have the highest consumption rate, at 26 standard drinks. Though these figures are high, it is important to note that the length of time spent drinking on the last occasion would have varied from person to person.

In 2009–10, female detainees were more likely than males to have most recently consumed wine, while males were more likely than females to drink beer and they were both almost equally likely to have recently consumed spirits. One-third of all female detainees who had consumed alcohol in the previous 30 days had consumed spirits only on the last occasion (32% cf 15% for males); similarly, one in three males had consumed beer only (32%) compared with fewer than one in five of females (19%). In 2010, the proportion of male detainees drinking beer decreased by only six percentage points compared with 2009 (30% cf 36%) and there was also an eight percentage point decrease in the proportion of male detainees drinking more than one type of alcohol (28% cf 20%). The quantity of alcohol consumed on the last occasion was, on average, higher among males than females across all alcohol types except wine (see Table 20).

Drug and alcohol treatment and mental health

Between February 2009 and November 2010, 87 Adelaide detainees reported that they were in drug or alcohol treatment at the time of their arrest. This figure represents approximately 16 percent of those who had used at least one illicit drug in the previous 12 months. Treatment options included support groups, counselling and pharmacotherapy. A further 140 detainees (26%) had been previously in a treatment program but were no longer in treatment at the time of their arrest. Of those currently in treatment, one in five had been referred by the courts or police or as a result of a legal order. The remaining 80 percent were either self-referred or referred by a health practitioner (see Table 21). Overall, treatment access was consistent across 2009–10 and was not notably different when compared with previous years.

Questions relevant to the mental health of detainees were revised in the third quarter of 2009. In the first two quarters, detainees were asked whether they had stayed overnight in a psychiatric or psychological services unit on at least one occasion in the previous 12 months. In the third and fourth quarters of 2009, detainees were asked whether they had ever been diagnosed with or received treatment for depression, anxiety or any other mental health related issue (that is, not just in the previous 12 months). Overall, 23 detainees (11%) reported at least one overnight stay in a psychiatric unit and 347 detainees (49%) reported having been previously diagnosed with a mental health related issue (see Table 22).

Although the numbers are small, male and female detainees were almost equally likely to report an overnight stay in a psychiatric unit (11% cf 10%) and female detainees were more likely to report having been previously diagnosed with a mental health related issue (69% cf 46%). Given that the new questions regarding mental health diagnosis were first implemented in the third quarter of 2009, reliable trend data is not yet available.

Linking drugs and crime

The link between drugs and crime is measured in the DUMA study using a range of indicators, including the extent to which drug use varies between offenders of different offence types and the extent to which an offender reports that drugs or alcohol were a factor that contributed to their most recent offending.

Of the 681 respondents who provided a urine sample in 2009–10 and were charged with an offence, 60 percent tested positive to at least one drug type. The test positive rate to any drug was consistent from 2009 to 2010. The prevalence of recent drug use varied by most serious offence type, with breach offenders (69%) most likely to test positive to at least one drug type and drink driving offenders the least likely (40%). Test positive rates for other offenders were:

  • 57 percent for violent offenders;
  • 61 percent for property offenders;
  • 68 percent for drug offenders; and
  • 57 percent for disorder offenders.

Test positive rates varied by offence type across 2009 and 2010. For example, there was an eight percentage point decrease in test positive rates for any drug among drug offenders (64% cf 72% in 2009), a nine percentage point decrease in drug use among breach offenders (64% cf 73%), a five percentage point increase for disorder offenders (59% cf 54%) and a six percentage point increase for road and traffic offenders (56% cf 62%). Overall, the rate at which drug offenders tested positive to any drug remained relatively consistent when compared with earlier years, while for violent and property offenders the test positive rates declined substantially.

Although the prevalence of drug use varied somewhat between offenders depending on their offence, the pattern of use by drug type was relatively consistent. In nearly all cases throughout 2009 and 2010, the drug most commonly used among detainees was cannabis, followed by either amphetamines or benzodiazepines and then opiates. Violent, property, road and traffic, disorder and breach offenders all had higher rates of benzodiazepine use than amphetamines use. The opposite was true for drug and drink driving offenders. Violent, property and disorder offenders all had higher rates of opiate use than amphetamines use, while the opposite was true for all other offence categories (see Table 23).

In mid-2009 a set of new questions was developed in an effort to identify the relationship between substance use (drugs and/or alcohol) and the offences for which detainees were currently in custody. Two out of every five respondents (40%) confirmed that their substance use contributed to their current offences. By most serious offence, those detained on a drink driving offence had the highest level of combined drug/alcohol attribution (75%), followed by disorder offenders (57%), drug offenders (49%), breach offenders (36%), violent offenders (34%), property offenders (34%) and road and traffic offenders (24%). Alcohol was more likely than other substances to be identified as a contributing factor by violent, drink driving, road and traffic, disorder and breach offenders, whereas other substances such as heroin and amphetamines were more likely than alcohol to be implicated by drug offenders. Property offenders attributed alcohol and drugs equally in relation to their current offences (see Table 23).

Table 15: Adelaide DUMA sample, by age and gender, 2009–10
MaleFemaleTotal
n%n%n%
Age
18–20 114 13 12 8 126 12
21–25 193 22 38 25 231 23
26–30 158 18 27 18 185 18
31–35 127 15 30 19 157 15
36+ 271 31 47 31 318 31
Total 863 154 1,017
Min/max age 18/77 18/55 18/77
Mean age (median) 32(29) 31(31) 32(30)

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 16: Adelaide DUMA sample, by offences recorded and gender, 2009–10a
MaleFemaleTotal
ChargesDetainees most serious offenceChargesDetainees most serious offenceChargesDetainees most serious offence
n%n%n%n%n%n%
Charges recorded
Violent 356 25 226 27 30 11 25 16 386 22 251 25
Property 252 17 140 16 93 33 47 31 345 20 187 19
Drug 67 5 40 5 26 9 16 11 93 5 56 6
Drink driving 30 2 23 3 7 2 5 3 37 2 28 3
Traffic 160 11 87 10 35 12 17 11 195 11 104 10
Disorder 248 17 174 20 27 10 19 13 275 16 193 19
Breach 193 13 109 13 32 11 14 9 225 13 123 12
Other 139 10 52 6 34 12 9 6 173 10 61 6
Total 1,445 851 284 152 1,729 1,003

a: Sample size may vary, as cases may have been excluded due to missing data

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 17: Adelaide DUMA sample, by criminal history and gender, 2009–10a
MaleFemaleTotal
n%n%n%
Prior charge history (past 12 months)
Yes 358 51 50 42 408 50
No 338 49 68 58 406 50
Prior prison history (past 12 months)
Yes 102 13 14 10 116 12
No 705 87 125 90 830 88

a: Sample size may vary, as cases may have been excluded due to missing data

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 18: Adelaide DUMA sample, by education, housing, employment and gender, 2009–10a
MaleFemaleTotal
n%n%n%
Education
Year 10 or less 303 35 50 33 353 35
Year 11 or 12 198 23 40 26 238 23
TAFE/university not completed 133 15 29 19 162 16
Completed TAFE 173 20 22 14 195 19
Completed university 56 6 12 8 68 7
Total 863 153 1,016
Housing
Private house/apartment 425 49 86 56 511 50
Someone else’s place 297 34 44 29 341 34
Shelter or emergency 10 1 7 5 17 2
Incarceration facility/halfway house 9 1 2 1 11 1
Treatment facility 7 1 1 1 8 1
No fixed residence 66 8 9 6 75 7
Other 48 6 5 3 53 5
Total 862 154 1,016
Employment
Full-time 234 27 17 11 251 25
Part-time 86 10 12 8 98 10
Have job but out due to illness/leave/strike/disability/seasonal work 165 19 24 16 189 19
Looking for work 211 24 29 19 240 24
Not looking for work 113 13 31 20 144 14
Full-time homemakers 5 1 35 23 40 4
Retired or studying 49 6 6 4 55 5
Total 863 154 1,017

a: Sample size may vary, as cases may have been excluded due to missing data

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 19: Adelaide DUMA sample, by urinalysis test results and gender, 2009–10
MaleFemaleTotal
n%n%n%
Provided urine
Yes 598 69 91 59 689 68
No 265 31 63 41 328 32
Test results
Cannabis 246 41 40 44 286 42
Cocaine 4 1 0 0 4 1
Methamphetamine 72 12 17 19 89 13
MDMA 9 2 0 0 9 1
Other amphetamines 7 1 1 1 8 1
(Any amphetamines)a (85) (14) (18) (20) (103) (15)
Heroin 51 9 15 16 66 10
Methadone 31 5 14 15 45 7
Buprenorphine 28 5 13 14 41 6
Other opiates 19 3 2 2 21 3
(Any opiate)b (96) (16) (29) (32) (125) (18)
Benzodiazepines 112 19 31 34 143 21
Any drug 346 58 65 71 411 60
Any drug other than cannabis 210 35 49 54 259 38
Multiple drugs 143 24 34 37 177 26

a: Detainees may test positive to more than one class of amphetamine

b: Detainees may test positive to more than one class of opiate

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 20: Adelaide DUMA sample, by self-reported alcohol use and gender, 2009–10
MaleFemaleTotal
n%n%n%
Alcohol use
Past 48 hoursa 458 53 64 42 522 51
Past 30 daysa, b 503 78 70 65 573 76
Alcohol type consumed on last drinking occasionb
Beer only 160 32 14 19 174 30
Wine only 78 15 23 32 101 17
Spirits only 154 30 19 26 173 30
Mixed drinksc 115 23 17 23 132 23
MaleFemaleTotal
nmean (median)nmean (median)nmean (median)
Quantities consumed on last drinking occasion (standard drinks)b
Beer only 158 8(5) 14 6(5) 172 8(5)
Wine only 77 15(7) 23 18(5) 100 16(7)
Spirits only 149 9(6) 19 7(5) 168 9(5)
Mixed drinksc 115 27(21) 17 13(10) 132 26(19)

a: Only if consumed alcohol in the past 30 days

b: Data are quarter 3 2009 onwards only

c: ‘Mixed drinks’ refers to consuming more than one type of alcohol

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 21: Adelaide DUMA sample, by drug and alcohol treatment and gender, 2009–10a, b
MaleFemaleTotal
n%n%n%
Treatment
Never been in treatment 283 61 35 43 318 58
Been in, but not currently in treatment 121 26 19 23 140 26
Currently in treatment 60 13 27 33 87 16
Treatment referral of those currently in treatment
Drug court requirement 4 7 2 7 6 7
Court diversion scheme 0 0 1 4 1 1
Police diversion scheme 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other legal order 8 13 4 15 12 14
Otherc 48 80 20 74 68 78

a: Treatment options include detoxification, rehabilitation program/therapeutic community, outpatient/counselling services, support groups (Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous etc), methadone maintenance, naltrexone, buprenorphine and general practitioners

b: Only of those who had used drugs or alcohol in the past 12 months

c: ‘Other’ refers to ‘referral from general practitioner or health professional’ and ‘self-referral’

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 22: Adelaide DUMA sample, by mental health status and gender, 2009–10
MaleFemaleTotal
n%n%n%
Overnight stay in psychiatric/psychological services unit (past 12 months)a
Yes 19 11 4 10 23 11
No 155 89 37 90 192 89
Ever been diagnosed or received treatment for depression, anxiety or any other mental health related issueb
Yes 279 46 68 69 347 49
No 331 54 31 31 362 51

a: Data are for quarter 1 and quarter 2 2009 only

b: Data are for quarter 3 2009 onwards only

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 23: Adelaide DUMA sample, by urinalysis test results and drug–crime attributions by most serious offending, 2009–10a
ViolentPropertyDrugDrink drivingDisorderTrafficBreachOtherTotal
(n=171)%(n=125)%(n=40)%(n=20)%(n=73)%(n=123)%(n=87)%(n=42)%(n=681)%
Urinalysis results
Cannabis 69 40 48 38 17 43 4 20 33 45 53 43 40 46 19 45 283 42
Cocaine 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 2 4 1
Amphetaminesb 20 12 14 11 13 33 3 15 16 22 7 6 21 24 9 21 103 15
Opiatesc 25 15 39 31 9 23 2 10 9 12 17 14 15 17 8 19 124 18
Benzodiazepines 27 16 40 32 6 15 5 25 10 14 23 19 23 26 8 19 142 21
Any drug 97 57 76 61 27 68 8 40 43 59 70 57 59 68 27 64 407 60
Any drug other than cannabis 57 33 58 46 21 53 5 25 29 40 32 26 37 43 19 45 258 38
Multiple drugs 34 20 44 35 14 35 4 20 21 29 22 18 26 30 11 26 176 26
Self-reported drug-crime attributiond, e
Alcohol 49 26 27 19 1 3 15 75 12 17 77 51 26 24 8 25 215 29
Other drugs 17 9 27 19 17 46 3 15 6 8 12 8 13 12 3 9 98 13
Any attribution 64 34 47 34 18 49 15 75 17 24 86 57 38 36 10 31 295 40

a: Sample sizes may vary, as cases may have been excluded due to missing data

b: Includes methamphetamine, MDMA and other amphetamines

c: Includes heroin, methadone, buprenorphine and other opiates

d: Data are from quarter 3 2009 onwards only

e: Missing data excluded from analysis

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Figure 6: Test positive trends, males by drug type, Adelaide 2002–10 (%)

  Test positive trends, males by drug type, Adelaide 2002–10 (%)

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Figure 7: Test positive trends, females by drug type, Adelaide 2002–10 (%)

  Test positive trends, females by drug type, Adelaide 2002–10 (%)

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]