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The youth justice system is the set of processes and practices for managing children and young people who have committed, or allegedly committed, an offence. 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 in Australia 2015–16 provides information on young people under youth justice supervision, including the characteristics of, and trends in, supervision both in their communities and in secure detention facilities.

A series of fact sheets are also available.

Youth justice at a glance

On an average day in 2015–16, about 1 in 477 young people (or 21 per 10,000) aged between 10 and 17 were under youth justice supervision in Australia. These young people were more likely to be male, aged 14–17, and under community-based supervision.

Of those young people under supervision on an average day in 2015–16:

dashboard graphic for 4 in 5 males

4 in 5

were male

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More than 2 in 5

were Indigenous

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4 in 5

were aged 14–17

dashboard graphic for 84 per cent


were supervised in the community, with the remainder in detention

Of those young people under supervision in 2015–16:

Dashboard graphic for 6 months with initials

Half a year

is the average length of time spent under supervision

 dashboard graphic for 2 in 5

2 in 5

 were in detention at some point during the year

The Northern Territory supplied non-standard data for the Juvenile Justice National Minimum Data Set during 2015–16. These data are included in national estimates, where possible. For more information, see the Technical notes.