|Author||Australian Institute of Health and Welfare|
|Source/Publisher||Australian Institute of Health and Welfare|
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are substantially over-represented in the juvenile justice system in Australia, and this over-representation is highest in the most serious processes and outcomes – particularly in detention. This bulletin examines the numbers and characteristics of Indigenous young people in the juvenile justice system, the types of supervision they experience, recent trends, and associated research findings. Although only about 5% of young Australians are Indigenous, almost 2 in 5 of those under juvenile justice supervision on an average day in 2010-11 were Indigenous. There were 2,820 Indigenous young people under supervision on an average day and 5,195 during the year. Indigenous young people first entered supervision at younger ages than non-Indigenous young people, on average, and spent longer under supervision during the year. Indigenous young people aged 10-17 were 4-6 times as likely as non-Indigenous young people to be proceeded against by police during 2010-11 and 8-11 times as likely to be proven guilty in the ChildrenÕs Court (among the states and territories with available data). At a national level, they were, on average, 14 times as likely to be under community-based supervision during the year and 18 times as likely to be in detention. However, over the 5 years to 2010-11, there was a slight decrease in the level of Indigenous over-representation among young people under supervision on an average day, mainly driven by a decrease in the rate ratio in detention. Research suggests that the over-representation of Indigenous young people in the juvenile justice system is largely driven by the social and economic disadvantage experienced by many Indigenous communities and compounded by the ongoing effects of historical events. Current strategies and recommendations for reducing Indigenous involvement in crime and juvenile justice commonly aim to address the underlying reasons for Indigenous offending across a broad range of areas and focus on culturally specific initiatives that encourage community participation and responsibility.
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