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released: 17 Apr 2014 author: AIHW media release

Around 6,300 young people were under youth justice supervision in Australia on an average day in 2012–13, due to their involvement, or alleged involvement, in crime. Of these, over 4 in 5 (5,300 young people) were supervised in the community and the remaining 1,000 were in detention. Young people spent, on average, 26 weeks under supervision during the year.

ISSN 1446-9820; ISBN 978-1-74249-548-4; Cat. no. AUS 179; 24pp.; Internet only

Summary

Youth justice in Australia 2012–13 presents information on young people under youth justice supervision, both in the community and in detention, during 2012–13. It explores the characteristics of their supervision and recent trends. Data are reported for all states and territories except WA and the NT. National totals include estimates for all jurisdictions where possible.

Around 6,300 young people under youth justice supervision on an average day

On an average day in 2012–13 in Australia, there were around 6,300 young people aged 10 and older under youth justice supervision due to their involvement, or alleged involvement, in crime. This equates to a rate of 23.8 per 10,000, or about 1 in 420 young persons aged 10–17. A total of 12,880 young people were under supervison at some time during the year.

In 2012–13:
• young people aged 10–17 were more than 6 times as likely to be under community-based supervision as in detention (including estimates for WA and NT) • young people under any form of youth justice supervision on an average day were
predominantly male (83%) (including estimates for WA and NT)
• young people aged 10–17 from Remote areas were 4 times as likely to be under supervision on an average day as those from Major cities, while those from Very remote areas were about 6 times as likely
• the rate of young people aged 10–17 under supervision on an average day was lowest in Victoria, at 16.1 per 10,000, and highest in Tasmania, at 35.3 per 10,000
• the average length of time spent under supervision during the year was 26 weeks.

Indigenous young people continue to be over-represented

In 2012–13, Indigenous young people aged 10–17 were 17 times as likely as non-Indigenous young people to have been under supervision and they were also, on average:
• younger (27% were aged 10–14, compared with 13%)
• more likely to complete multiple periods of supervision (22%, compared with 14%)
• spending longer, in total, under supervision during the year (195 days, on average, compared with 180).

Between 2008–09 and 2012–13, the level of Indigenous over-representation in supervision on an average day increased in all states and territories for which data were available, except in South Australia and Tasmania.

Drop in numbers and rates under youth justice supervision

There was an overall drop in the number and rate of young people under youth justice supervision between 2008–09 and 2012–13. While the number under supervision peaked at 7,332 in 2010–11, it dropped to 6,329 in 2012–13 (down 14%). Similarly, the rate of young people aged 10–17 under supervision peaked at 27.6 per 10,000 in 2010–11 and dropped to 23.8 in 2012–13. This decrease was mainly due to a fall in the number and rate of young people under community-based supervision (decreasing by 931 or 15% of young people, and from 24.0 to 20.3 per 10,000 young people aged 10–17) and to a decrease in males under supervision (down from 43.5 to 37.9 per 10,000 on an average day). The rate of females under supervision remained steady at around 9 per 10,000.

Recommended citation

AIHW 2014. Youth justice in Australia 2012-13. AIHW bulletin no. 120. Cat. no. AUS 179. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 26 November 2014 <http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129546738>.