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 2019–20, 5,323 young people aged 10 and over were under youth justice supervision

68% of young people in detention were unsentenced—that is, awaiting the outcome of their legal matter or sentencing

Individual periods of supervision that were completed during 2019–20 lasted for a median of 123 days (about 4 months)

On an average night in the June quarter 2020, 798 young people were in detention

Most (80%) young people in detention were aged 10–17, the remainder (20%) were aged 18 and older

64% of young people in detention on an average night in the June quarter 2020 were unsentenced

Highlights