At least 5,300 young people under youth justice supervision on an average day in 2019–20

More than two-thirds of young people under youth justice supervision in 2019–20 had previously been under supervision, according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Youth justice in Australia 2019–20, presents information on young people aged between 10 and 17 years under youth justice supervision both in the community and in detention.

‘Our report shows that in 2019–20, 6,950 (68%) young people under supervision had been supervised in a previous year, and the remainder (32%) were new to supervision, said AIHW spokesperson Ms Anna Ritson.

‘On an average day in 2019–20, there were 5,320 (1 in 607) young people under youth justice supervision due to their involvement, or alleged involvement, in crime. Throughout the year, a total of 10,220 young people were under supervision.’

Over the past five years, the rate and number of young people under youth justice supervision in Australia fell slightly.

‘Between 2015–16 and 2019–20, the number of young people aged 10 and over under supervision on an average day fell by 4%, while the rate of young people aged 10–17 dropped from 20 to 16 per 10,000,’ Ms. Ritson said.

Ms. Ritson noted that some groups were more likely to be under youth justice supervision than others.

‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people (75%) were more likely than non-Indigenous young people (63%) to have been under supervision in a previous year,’ Ms. Ritson said.

Males were also more likely to have previously been in detention than females (70% and 64%, respectively).

Today’s report is accompanied by 8 fact sheets, profiling youth justice supervision in each state and territory.

‘Each jurisdiction in Australia has its own youth justice legislation, policies and practices, which are reflected in differences in the rate of youth justice supervision,’ Ms. Ritson said.

‘The full impact of COVID-19 may be difficult to determine due to variability of the data and small numbers of young people in youth justice on an average day. In future work, the AIHW will continue to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on youth justice data,’ Ms. Ritson said.

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