Overview

The youth justice system is the set of processes and practices for managing children and young people who have committed, or allegedly committed, an offence. In Australia, it deals primarily with young people aged 10–17 at the time of the offence, although there are some variations among the states and territories. A major component of the system is the supervision of young people in the community or in detention.

More reports and statistics on youth justice can be found under Children & youth and Prisoners.

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Latest findings

On an average day in 2020–21, 4,695 young people aged 10 and over were under youth justice supervision

Individual periods of supervision that were completed during 2020–21 lasted for a median of 124 days (about 4 months)

72% of young people in detention were unsentenced—that is, awaiting the outcome of their legal matter or sentencing

The detention rate for young people aged 10–17 was down slightly over the 4-year period from 3.5 to 2.7 per 10,000

On an average night in the June quarter 2021, 91% of young people in detention were male

Half (50%) of all young people in detention on an average night in the June quarter 2021 were Indigenous

Highlights