Juvenile justice report shows both community-based supervision and detention rates declining

A new report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows that the number of young people under juvenile justice supervision is declining.

Report co-author, Ms Ingrid Johnston, said that in 2004-05 there were 12,649 young people under some kind of supervision within the Australian juvenile justice system- a 7% drop since 2000-01.

'During an average day in 2004-05 there were 5,047 young people under community based supervision, down 5% since 2000-01, and 784 in detention, down 13% since 2000-01,' she said.

The report, Juvenile justice in Australia 2004-05, showed that about 10% of sentenced supervision was spent in detention, while about 90% was spent in the community, including probation, recognisance and community service orders.

In 2004-05 almost two thirds (63%) of young people under supervision within the juvenile justice system were 16 years of age or over. Less than 10% were children 10-13 years of age.

The report also found that the younger people were when they entered supervision the more likely they were to re-enter the juvenile justice system during subsequent years.

'Males were much more likely to be under supervision than females, with over five times as many young men as young women in community based supervision and 12 times as many in detention on an average day,' Ms Johnston said.

About one-third of young people under supervision during 2004-05 were of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin.

'This represents a rate of around 42 per 1,000 Indigenous young people (aged 10-17 years) compared to about three per 1,000 for non-Indigenous young people,' said Ms Johnston.

The Juvenile Justice national minimum data set (NMDS) is a joint project between the Australasian Juvenile Justice Administrators (AJJA) and the AIHW, and provides states and territories with a common resource to consult when comparing their juvenile justice policies.

28 March 2007

Further information: Ingrid Johnston AIHW, tel. +61 2 6244 1047, mob. 0418 271 395.

For media copies of the report: Publications Officer, tel. +61 2 6244 1032.