The majority of young people do not return to sentenced supervision
Of young people aged 10–17 who were under sentenced youth justice supervision at any time from
2000–01 to 2018–19 (born from 1990–91 to 2000–01), 3 in 5 (59%) served only 1 sentence and did
not return to sentenced youth justice supervision.
Young people whose first sentence was detention were more likely to return to sentenced
supervision (51%) than those whose first sentence was community-based (40%).
Some young people return to sentenced supervision numerous times
A minority of young people went on to receive a large number of supervised sentences before
they turned 18—1 in 6 (17%) young people whose first supervised sentence was community-based,
and more than 1 in 4 (27%) whose first supervised sentence was detention, received 5 or more
supervised sentences between the ages of 10 and 18.
Young people who served shorter initial sentences were more likely to return to sentenced
supervision than those who served longer initial sentences, regardless of whether their first
sentence was community-based or detention.
Young Indigenous Australians under youth justice supervision were 1.6 times as likely as their
non-Indigenous counterparts to return to sentenced supervision before the age of 18 (55% and
Young people released from sentenced detention are more likely to return to
The rate of return can also be measured by looking at the number of young people who were
released in a given year, and returned within 6 and 12 months.
Of young people aged 10–16 released from sentenced supervision in 2017–18 (allowing a 12-month
follow-up period to 30 June 2019):
- 2,950 were released from sentenced community-based supervision, with 1,183 (40%) returning to sentenced supervision within 6 months and 1,693 (57%) returning within 12 months.
- 643 were released from sentenced detention, with 393 (61%) returning to sentenced supervision within 6 months and 516 (80%) returning within 12 months.
Over the 10 years to 2017–18, the 6 and 12 month return rates for young people released from
community-based supervision has gradually increased, while the return rate for those released
from detention fluctuated.