17 Youth Justice Services – Government Services Report 2022

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The average daily number of young people aged 10-17 under juvenile court supervision in Australia in 2020-21 was 3,457 (Table 17A.1). Of youth under supervision on an average day in 2020/21, over 80% were supervised in the community (including bail, probation and parole with supervision), with the remainder being in custody ( table 17A.1 and figure 17.2).

Nationally in 2020-21, the average daily rate of custody was 2.6 per 10,000 youth (Figure 17.3a) and the average daily rate of community supervision was 11.4 per 10,000 youth (Figure 17.3 b) — the two lowest rates for the seven years of reported data.

Center utilization (which is based on the number of all youth in detention centers as a proportion of the number of permanently funded beds) decreased in most jurisdictions and nationally between 2019-2020 and 2020 -21 (Table 17A.2), and is at its lowest level in the seven years of reported data. Operating youth justice detention centers below full capacity helps maintain a safe operating environment for young offenders.

Most young people aged 10-17 supervised by juvenile justice agencies are male (in 2020-2021, 89.7% in custody and 77.3% in the community) (Tables 17A.3−4) .

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth are overrepresented in the juvenile justice system and, to a lesser extent, in custody-based supervision (18 times the rate of non-Aboriginal youth nationally in 2020-21 ) (Figure 17.4a) compared to community supervision (16 times the rate for non-Indigenous youth nationally in 2020-21) (Figure 17.4b).

Data on detention rates and community supervision rates, by Aboriginal status from 2014-2015, are available in Tables 17A.5 and 17A.6 respectively. Data for 2014-2015 on average daily detention and community supervision rates, and rate ratios, are available in Tables 17A.7 and 17A.8.

Additional data is provided on the ages of children under juvenile court supervision. These data are based on aggregated counts of all children under the supervision of a youth justice system during the year (not average daily counts like those used for other reports in this section) .

Nationally, 467 children under community supervision (5.7%) and 444 children in detention (10.4%) were between the ages of 10 and 13 (Table 17A.9). In community supervision and detention, more than half of children aged 10 to 13 were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (Table 17A.9). Controlling for different population sizes, the community supervision rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 10-13 was 39 times higher than for non-Aboriginal children, and in custody 28 times higher than for non-Aboriginal children. non-Aboriginal children (Chart 17.5a). The rate ratios are lower for those aged 14 to 17 (14:1 for community supervision and 13:1 for custody) (Figure 17.5b).

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