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Australia's welfare 2019: in brief 

Australia’s welfare 2019: in brief tells the story of welfare in Australia with key findings on housing, education and skills, employment and work, income and finance: government payments, social support, justice and safety, and Indigenous Australians.

Australia’s welfare 2019 is the 14th biennial welfare report of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. This edition introduces a new format and expanded product suite:

Youth detention population in Australia 2018 

This bulletin presents information on the youth detention population in Australia from June 2014 to June 2018. Among the 980 young people in detention on an average night in the June quarter 2018, most were male (90%), aged 10–17 (84%), unsentenced (60%), and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (54%). Over the 4-year period, the number of young people in detention rose, though rates fluctuated across quarters.

Young people in child protection and under youth justice supervision: 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2017 

This report presents information on people aged 10–17 who were in the child protection system and under youth justice supervision from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2017. Young people under youth justice supervision were 9 times as likely as the general population to be in the child protection system. Indigenous Australians were 17 times as likely as their non-Indigenous counterpart to be both in the child protection system and under youth justice supervision.

Young people returning to sentenced youth justice supervision 2016–17 

Of young people aged 10–17 who were under sentenced youth justice supervision at some time from 2000–01 to 2016–17, 39% returned to supervised sentence before turning 18. Of young people aged 10–16 in 2015–16 and released from sentenced community-based supervision, 26% returned to sentenced supervision in 6 months, and 50% within 12 months. Of those released from sentenced detention, 59% returned within 6 months, and 82% within 12 months. 

Overlap between youth justice supervision and alcohol and other drug treatment services: 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2016 

This report examines the overlap between alcohol and other drug treatment services and youth justice supervision from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2016. Compared with the age-equivalent Australian population, those who had youth justice supervision were 30 times as likely to have an alcohol and other drug treatment service, and those who received an alcohol and other drug treatment service were 30 times as likely to have youth justice supervision.

Youth justice in Australia 2016–17 

Of the 5,359 young people under youth justice supervision on an average day in 2016-17, most were male (82%) and supervised in the community (83%). Overall rates of supervision varied among the states and territories, from 13 per 10,000 in Victoria to 67 per 10,000 in the Northern Territory. Despite the overall fall in supervision over the 5 years from 2012–13 to 2016–17, for both detention and community-based supervision, Indigenous over-representation continued to rise.

Youth detention population in Australia 2017 

This bulletin presents information on the youth detention population in Australia, focusing on quarterly trends from June 2013 to June 2017. Among the 964 young people in detention on an average night in the June quarter 2017, high proportions were male (91%), aged 10–17 (84%), unsentenced (64% excluding Victoria) and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (53%). Over the 4-year period to the June quarter 2017, the numbers and rates of young people in detention remained stable, with minor fluctuations across quarters.

Young people in child protection and under youth justice supervision 2015–16 

This report presents information on people aged 10–16 who were in the child protection system and under youth justice supervision from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2016. Young people under youth justice supervision were 12 times as likely as the general population to be in the child protection system. Indigenous Australians were 16 times as likely as their non-Indigenous counterpart to be both in the child protection system and under youth justice supervision.

Young people returning to sentenced youth justice supervision 2015–16 

The majority of young people who receive a supervised youth justice sentence serve only 1 sentence, and do not return. For those born from 1990–91 to 1997–98, about 61% had only 1 sentence before the age of 18. Of the young people aged 10–16 in 2014–15 who were released from sentenced community-based supervision, about 22% returned to sentenced supervision in 6 months, and 46% returned within 12 months. Of those released from sentenced detention, 48% returned to sentenced supervision within 6 months, and 74% returned within 12 months.

Youth justice in Australia 2015–16 

There were about 5,500 young people (aged 10 and older) under youth justice supervision in Australia on an average day in 2015–16, due to their involvement, or alleged involvement, in crime. This number has decreased by 21% over the 5 years to 2015–16. Around 4 in 5 (82%) young people under supervision on an average day were male. Most (84%) young people were supervised in the community and the remainder were in detention. Indigenous young people continued to be over-represented in the youth justice system: young Indigenous people were 17 times as likely as non-Indigenous young people to be under supervision on an average day.

Youth detention population in Australia 2016 

This bulletin presents information on the youth detention population in Australia, focusing on quarterly trends from June 2012 to June 2016. There were just over 900 young people in detention on an average night in the June quarter 2016, just over half (57%) of whom were unsentenced. Numbers and rates of young people in detention dropped slightly over the 4 years, despite a slight increase in the most recent year. Just over half (55%) of all young people in detention on an average night were Indigenous.

Vulnerable young people: interactions across homelessness, youth justice and child protection: 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2015 

This report reveals that individuals who experience multiple, cross-sector services in the specialist homelessness, protection or youth justice service areas are a particularly vulnerable group. Clients experiencing 2 or more of these services were more likely than specialist homelessness services-only clients: to report having substance use issues; to report having mental health issues; to have an over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; and to receive more days of support and more support periods from specialist homelessness services agencies.

Young people in child protection and under youth justice supervision 2014–15 

This report presents information on young people aged 10–17 who were both in the child protection system and under youth justice supervision in 2014–15; it demonstrates the insights that can be gained through data linkage. Two (2) in 5 (40.8%) young people in youth justice detention in 2014–15 were also in the child protection system that year. Those who were younger at their first youth justice supervision were more likely to also be in child protection.

Young people returning to sentenced youth justice supervision 2014–15 

Most young people who have a supervised sentence serve only 1 sentence and do not return. For those born from 1990–91 to 1996–97, around 62% received only 1 sentence before the age of 18. The younger a person is at the time of first receiving a supervision sentence, the more likely they are to return. Of the young people aged 10–16 in 2013–14 and released from sentenced community-based supervision, around 23% returned to sentenced supervision in 6 months, and 46% returned within 12 months. Of those released from sentenced detention, 50% returned to sentenced supervision within 6 months and 74% returned within 12 months.

Youth justice in Australia 2014–15 

There were about 5,600 young people (aged 10 and older) under youth justice supervision in Australia on an average day in 2014–15, due to their involvement, or alleged involvement, in crime. This number has decreased by 23% over the 5 years to 2014–15. Around 4 in 5 (82%) young people under supervision on an average day were male. Most (85%) young people were supervised in the community and the remainder were in detention. Although rates of supervision decreased over the 5-year period for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people, the level of Indigenous over-representation increased.

Young people in child protection and under youth justice supervision 2013–14 

This report presents information on young people aged 10–17 who were involved in the child protection system and under youth justice supervision in 2013–14, and demonstrates the insights that can be gained through data linkage. Nearly half (45%) of young people in youth justice detention were also in the child protection system in the same year. Those who were younger at their first youth justice supervision were more likely to also be in child protection.

Youth detention population in Australia 2015 

This bulletin presents information on the youth detention population in Australia, focusing on quarterly trends from June 2011 to June 2015. There were fewer than 900 young people in detention on an average night in the June quarter 2015, just over half (55%) of whom were unsentenced. Numbers and rates of young people in detention dropped slightly over the 4 years, but trends varied among the states and territories. Just over half (54%) of all young people in detention on an average night were Indigenous.