AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Conferences & events Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation Strategic Directions 2011-2014 Tenders
By category Ageing, disability & carers Families & children Hospitals Housing & homelessness Indigenous Australians Population groups Risk factors, diseases & death Services, workforce & spending
By subjectAdoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions Deaths Dementia Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Data Publications Contact AIHW
Publications CatalogueOrdering publicationsForthcoming publicationsOnline reportsRate our publication effectivenessSubscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases Chronic kidney disease
Chronic respiratory conditions Corporate publications Data linkage Data standards Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition General practice Health indicators Health priority areas Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Injury Life expectancy Male health Mental health Mothers & babies Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Subjects Data Contact AIHW
About AIHW data METeOR - metadata online registry Data by subject Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Customised data analysis request Data linking Data standards Privacy of data
By subject Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators National Aged Care Data Clearinghouse
Chronic disease indicators Deaths Disability Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General practice (GP) data Hospitals Height and weight data sources
Indigenous Australians International collaboration Medical indemnity Mental health National indicator catalogue National core maternity indicators Risk factors statistics Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee CKDMAC AODTS NMDS WG CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC HHIMG
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISS MyHospitals NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDD
NMDS NOPSAD NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Worksheets by subject All Latest Ageing Australia's health Australia's welfare Carers
Children & youth Disability Disease Drugs
Health Health prevention Indigenous Australians Injury
In other sections Subjects Data Publications Contact AIHW
Job vacancies How to apply for a position at the AIHW Conditions of employment Benefits of working for the AIHW Indigenous temporary employment register Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Subscribe to employment notices Graduates
AIHW Access magazine Conferences & events Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
The youth justice system deals with young people who have committed or allegedly committed offences. In Australia, it deals primarily with young people aged 10-17 at the time of the offence, although there are some variations among the states and territories. Youth justice is also known as juvenile justice.
Major parts of the youth justice system include the police, courts and youth justice supervision. Young people first enter the system when they are investigated by police, and charges made against them may be answered in a court. If the charge is proven, the court may hand down any of a number of legal orders, either supervised or unsupervised.
Young people may be supervised in the community or in detention. They may be supervised when they are unsentenced - that is, when they have been charged with an offence and are awaiting the outcome of their court case or sentencing. They may also be sentenced to a period of supervision if they are proven guilty in court.
These are the latest figures on youth justice supervision from Youth justice in Australia 2012-13.
Across Australia, children under the age of 10 cannot be charged with a criminal offence due to their immaturity. While people aged 10 or over can be deemed to have criminal responsibility, in practice, in all Australian jurisdictions a rebuttable presumption exists (known as doli incapax in common law) that young people between the ages of 10 and 14 are incapable of crime.
There are separate justice systems for young people and adults in all states and territories, each with its own legislation. The upper age limit in the youth justice system is 17 in all states and territories except Queensland, where the age limit is 16. This refers to the age of the young person when the offence was committed (or allegedly committed), and means that people who are aged 18 or older (17 or older in Queensland) when they (allegedly) commit an offence will be dealt with under the criminal legislation relating to adults.
However, it is possible for young people aged 18 or older to be under youth justice supervision. This includes young people who:
A key principle of the Australian youth justice system is that young people should be detained only as a last resort. This is consistent with United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that children should be deprived of liberty for the shortest appropriate period of time. It is also consistent with the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice ('The Beijing Rules'). This principle is legislated in each state and territory.
State and territory legislation also allows young people to be diverted away from further involvement in the youth justice system when appropriate. They may be diverted from the youth justice system altogether (such as an informal warning by police); referred to services outside the system (such as drug and alcohol treatment); or diverted from continued contact with the system by police or courts (such as conferencing).
The figure below summarises a range of possible pathways through the youth justice system. The stages that require a young person to be supervised by youth justice agencies and are included in the Juvenile Justice National Minimum Data Set (JJ NMDS) are shaded. These stages are the focus of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's reporting series on youth justice supervision.