Northern Territory

Quick facts

On an average day in 2019–20, in the Northern Territory:

  • 198 young people aged 10 and over were under youth justice supervision
  • 50 per 10,000 young people aged 10–17 were under supervision.

Of those under supervision on an average day in the Northern Territory:

  • 86% were supervised in the community, and the rest in detention
  • 88% were male
  • 94% of those aged 10–17 were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Young people spent an average of 30 weeks under supervision during the year.

Over the 5 years to 2019–20, the number of young people aged 10 and over who were under supervision on an average day fell from 183 in 2015–16 to 174 in 2017–18 rising back to 198 in 2019–20. The rate for those aged 10–17 decreased overall from 58 to 50 per 10,000.

 Box: Impact of COVID-19 on youth justice data

This report includes data from the COVID-19 period, between March and June 2020. However, more data is required to determine the impact of COVID-19 on the youth justice system.

Number and rate

On an average day in 2019–20, in the Northern Territory:

  • 198 young people aged 10 and over were under youth justice supervision
  • over 4 in 5 (86%) were supervised in the community, and the rest (15%) in detention (proportions might not sum to 100% because some young people were under community-based supervision and in detention on the same day)
  • the rate of supervision was 50 per 10,000 young people aged 10–17
  • 41 per 10,000 young people aged 10–17 were under community-based supervision, and 9.9 per 10,000 were in detention.

Age and sex

On an average day in 2019–20, in the Northern Territory:

  • 66% of those under supervision were aged 10–17, and the rest were 18 and over
  • 88% of those under supervision were male
  • males under supervision were most likely to be aged 18 and over, and females aged 17.

 

Box: Updated age calculation on an average day

For 2019–20, the age calculation for the average daily population has been changed. Age is now calculated based on the age a young person is each day that they are under supervision. If a young person changes age during a period of supervision, then the average daily number under supervision will reflect this. Due to this change in methodology, average daily data with an age selection or breakdown will not be comparable to previous Youth justice in Australia releases.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people

On an average day in 2019–20, in the Northern Territory:

  • Indigenous young people made up 44% of those aged 10–17 in the general population, but 94% of those of the same age under supervision.

Time under supervision

In 2019–20, in the Northern Territory:

  • the median total duration of individual periods of supervision that were completed during the year was 64 days (9 weeks)
  • when all time spent under supervision during the year is considered, young people spent an average of 210 days (30 weeks) under supervision.

Sentenced and unsentenced detention

On an average day in 2019–20, in the Northern Territory:

  • over 4 in 5 (83%) young people in detention were unsentenced—that is, they were awaiting the outcome of their court matter, or had been found guilty and were awaiting sentencing
  • 37% of young people in detention were serving a sentence.

The proportion of unsentenced and sentenced young people on an average day does not sum to 100% as periods of sentenced detention in the Northern Territory have been backdated to take into account periods of unsentenced detention already served. This affects about 20% of young people on an average day in detention.

Trends to 2019–20

Over the 5 years to 2019–20, on an average day in the Northern Territory:

  • the number of young people aged 10 and over who were under supervision fell from 183 in 2015–16 to 174 in 2017–18, rising back to 198 in 2019–20, while the rate decreased overall from 58 to 50 per 10,000 young people aged 10–17
  • in community-based supervision, the number of young people aged 10 and over rose by 25%, while the rate fluctuated from 40 to 43 per 10,000
  • in detention, the number fell by 38%, while the rate fell from 19 to 9.9 per 10,000.

 

More information

For more information see Youth Justice.