The majority of young people do not return to sentenced supervision
The majority of young people who receive a supervised youth justice sentence serve only 1 sentence, and do not return.
Of those aged 10–17 who were under sentenced youth justice supervision at any time from 2000–01 to 2016–17 (born from 1990–91 to 1998–99), 61% received only 1 supervised sentence before turning 18.
Young people whose first supervised sentence was detention were more likely to return to sentenced supervision (50%) than those whose first sentence was community based (39%).
Some young people return to sentenced supervision numerous times
A minority of young people go on to receive a large number of sentences before they turn 18—1 in 6 (16%) young people whose first supervised sentence was community based, and 1 in 4 (26%) whose first supervised sentence was detention received 5 or more supervised sentences when aged 10–18.
Young people who served shorter initial sentences were more likely to return to sentenced supervision than those who served longer initial sentences, regardless of whether their first sentence was community based or detention.
Young Indigenous Australians under youth justice supervision were 1.7 times as likely as their non-Indigenous counterparts to return to sentenced supervision before the age of 18.
Young people released from sentenced detention are more likely to return to sentenced supervision
The rate of return can also be measured by looking at the number of young people who were released in a given year, and who returned within 6 and 12 months.
For young people aged 10–16 released from sentenced supervision in 2015–16 (allowing a 12-month follow-up period to 30 June 2017):
- half (50%) of those released from sentenced community-based supervision returned to sentenced supervision within 12 months, with 26% returning within 6 months
- 8 in 10 (82%) of those released from sentenced detention returned to sentenced supervision within 12 months, with 59% returning within 6 months.
Over the 10 years to 2015–16, the 6- and 12-month return rates for young people released from community-based supervision remained relatively stable, while the return rates for those released from detention rose.