New Aihw Report: Juvenile Justice In Australia 2007-088

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4th November 2009, 04:00am - Views: 793





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MEDIA RELEASE

UNDER EMBARGO—strictly not for publication before

1.00am Wednesday 4 November 2009



Juvenile detention numbers on the rise

The number of young people in juvenile justice detention is increasing, according to a report

released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Juvenile justice in Australia 200708, found that the number of young people in

detention on an average day in Australia (except NSW, where data were not available)

increased by 17%, from 540 in 2004-05 to 630 in 2007-08.

However, while the number of unsentenced young people in detention (which included

young people on remand) on an average day increased over the four years, the number of

sentenced young people decreased. 

‘On an average day in 2004-05, around one-third of those in detention were unsentenced. But

by 2007-08, over half were unsentenced,’ said Rachel Aalders of the Institute’s Child and

Youth Welfare Unit.

The decrease in the number of sentenced young people is most likely due to a combination of

a decrease in the number of young people received into sentenced detention and a decrease

in the length of time spent in sentenced detention.

Young people who were under community-based supervision were more likely to be

sentenced than those in detention. Over 90% of those under community-based supervision

on an average day in 2007–08 were serving a sentence, compared with just under 50% in

detention.

There were nearly 5,000 young people under supervision on an average day in all states and

territories except NSW, and most (nearly 90%) were under community-based supervision. 

Most of those under supervision were male, with males four times as likely to be under

community based supervision on an average day and eight times as likely to be in detention

as females.

About 1 out of every 500 young people aged 10-17 were under community-based

supervision on an average day and 1 in 3,000 was in detention. One-quarter of young people

under supervision during 2007-08 had both community-based supervision and detention.

Indigenous young people were over-represented in community-based supervision and

detention. 

‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people aged 10-17 years were nearly 15 times as

likely to be under community-based supervision on an average day and nearly 30 times as

likely to be in detention as their non-Indigenous counterparts’, Ms Aalders said.

Indigenous young people in detention were also more likely to be unsentenced than 

non-Indigenous young people. Almost 60% of unsentenced detainees were Indigenous,

compared with 44% of sentenced detainees.

Canberra, 30 October 2009

Further information: Ms Rachel Aalders, AIHW, tel. 02 6244 1112, mob. 0407 915 851

For media copies of the report: Publications Officer (02) 6244 1032

UNDER EMBARGO

—strictly not for publication before 1.00am Wednesday 4 November 2009






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