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Youth justice

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 2012–13 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 2012–13, about 1 in 420 young people (or 23.8 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.

In 2012–13, on an average day young people aged 10–17:

  • from the areas of lowest socioeconomic status were more than 5 times as likely to be under supervision than those from the areas of highest socioeconomic status
  • from Very remote areas were 6 times as likely to be under supervision as those from Major cities
  • who were Indigenous were about 17 times as likely to have been under supervision as non-Indigenous young people.

Of those young people under supervision on an average day in 2012–13:

dash-4 in 5-male PNG

4 in 5

were male

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2 in 5

were Indigenous

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4 in 5

were aged 14–17

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were supervised in the community


Of those young people under supervision in 2012–13:

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Half a year

is the average length of time spent under supervision

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had been under supervision in a previous year

 dash-2 in 5 PNG

2 in 5

 were in detention at some point during the year