Summary

The majority of young people do not return to sentenced supervision

Of young people aged 10–17 who were under sentenced youth justice supervision at any time from 2000–01 to 2017–18 (born from 1990–91 to 1999–00), 3 in 5 (59%) served only 1 sentence and did not return to sentenced youth justice supervision.

Young people whose first sentence was detention were more likely to return to sentenced supervision (51%) than those whose first sentence was community-based (40%).

Some young people return to sentenced supervision numerous times

A minority of young people went on to receive a large number of supervised sentences before they turned 18—1 in 6 (17%) young people whose first supervised sentence was community-based, and more than 1 in 4 (27%) whose first supervised sentence was detention, received 5 or more supervised sentences between the ages of 10 and 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 1.6 times as likely as their non-Indigenous counterparts to return to sentenced supervision before the age of 18 (55% and 34%, respectively).

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 returned within 6 and 12 months.

Of young people aged 10–16 released from sentenced supervision in 2016–17 (allowing a 12 month follow-up period to 30 June 2018):

  • 3,120 were released from sentenced community-based supervision, with 759 (24%) returning to sentenced supervision within 6 months and 1,476 (47%) returning within 12 months.
  • 670 were released from sentenced detention, with 393 (59%) returning to sentenced supervision within 6 months and 535 (80%) returning within 12 months.

Over the 10 years to 2016–17, the 6 and 12 month return rates for young people released from
community-based supervision remained relatively stable, while the return rate for those released
from detention fluctuated.