We simply don't know how many prisoners are released each year, nor their demographic characteristics. As a result, we cannot tailor services that would reduce ex-prisoners' risks of re-offending.
Education has been found to reduce prisoners' re-offending, but how can they be properly educated today without internet access?
Our research suggests one in three people taken into police custody are likely to be receiving psychiatric treatment at the time.
Some claim rising crime rates justify jailing more people, others that such policies cut crime. Evidence from around the world shows those claims are wrong and that we should be looking at inequality.
Imprisonment rates in Tasmania have steadily declined over the past decade -- the only state or territory where this has happened. That is a result of progressive and effective corrections policies.
Most crime in NSW has been declining since the early 2000s, and the state's current murder rate is half what it was in 1988. So why is the NSW prison population growing?
The Northern Territory stands out for having one of the highest imprisonment rates in the world - much higher even than in the US - and it's hard to argue that this does the community much good.
The ACT's first prison opened in 2009 with lofty ideals, but rising prisoner numbers and high rates of re-imprisonment are presenting a severe test of the capital's reformist corrections agenda.
Indigenous people are jailed at a rate 18 times that of non-Aboriginal Western Australian adults, but the overall rate is high too. The great costs of this punitive approach yield few clear benefits.
Queensland's rates of imprisonment had been falling, but have undergone a sharp reversal - much of it driven by the nation's highest rates of return by prisoners released into the community.
Since 2004, the number of prisoners in South Australia has risen seven times faster than the state's net population growth – and nearly doubled its rate of locking up Indigenous Australians.
In a new series on imprisonment trends, issues and policies across Australia, The Conversation asks why are imprisonment rates soaring, to what purpose, and with what financial and human consequences?
Victoria was once characterised by low imprisonment rates and innovative corrections policy. The state now has Australia's highest rate of growth in imprisonment.
The US is the great incarcerator, spending US$60 billion a year on prisons, and Australia is sliding down the same path. The solution? Confine jails almost exclusively to sexual and violent offenders.