FEWER Tasmanians are being jailed, but the state had the country's biggest spike in community service orders, data released this week shows.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics examined how many people across the nation were in jail and how many were in community- based corrections, comparing data for the June quarter 2012 with the same period this year.
Tasmania's average daily imprisonment rate for this year's June quarter was 117 prisoners for every 100,000 adults in the state, the second lowest behind the Australian Capital Territory (91 prisoners).
This represented a 9 per cent proportional decrease in Tasmania's imprisonment rate, the biggest drop in Australia.
At the same time, Tasmania had the second biggest increase in the rate of offenders in community-based corrections in the June quarter 2013, 6 per cent, behind the Northern Territory, 11 per cent.
Tasmania also had the nation's largest jump in offenders on community service orders, 154 people or 13 per cent, in the June quarter 2013.
A Department of Justice spokeswoman said there was now an expanded suite of programs and project sites available for offenders on community service orders.
"It is believed that this shows that our courts have confidence in Community Corrections and are supportive of new sentencing options and programs it has introduced, such as the sober driver program," the spokeswoman said.
"Community Corrections has also increased the project sites available for offenders on community service orders."
The spokeswoman said Corrective Services did not have control over the processes by which offenders were assigned to it and responded to demand as required.
"Factors which may influence the demand for Corrective Services include underlying crime rates, the rate of detection of crimes, arrest rates, remand rates, police action or charge rates, court findings or conviction rates, sentence type and sentence length," she said.