Queensland

Quick facts

On an average day in 2019–20, in Queensland:

  • 1,780 young people aged 10 and over were under youth justice supervision
  • 24 per 10,000 young people aged 10–17 were under supervision
  • Indigenous young people were 20 times as likely as non-Indigenous young people to be under supervision.

Of those under youth justice supervision:

  • 89% were supervised in the community, and 12% in detention
  • 76% were male
  • 64% of those aged 10–17 were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • 88% of those in detention were unsentenced (awaiting the outcome of their court matter or sentencing), and the rest were serving a sentence.

Young people spent an average of 32 weeks under supervision during the year.

Over the 5 years to 2019–20, the number of young people aged 10 and over who were under supervision on an average day rose by 22%, while the rate for those aged 10–17 fell from 27 to 24 per 10,000.

Note: In Queensland, legislation to increase the age limit in the youth justice system from 16 to 17 was enacted in February 2018. This change resulted in an increase in the number and rate of young people aged 17 under youth justice supervision from 2017–18 onwards.

 Box: Impact of COVID-19 on youth justice data

This report includes data from the COVID-19 period, between March and June 2020. However, more data is required to determine the impact of COVID-19 on the youth justice system.

 Number and rate

On an average day in 2019–20, in Queensland:

  • 1,780 young people aged 10 and over were under youth justice supervision
  • nearly 9 in 10 (89%) were supervised in the community, and 12% in detention (the proportion of young people under community-based supervision and in detention may not sum to 100% as young people may have been under community-based supervision and in detention on the same day)
  • the rate of supervision was 24 per 10,000 young people aged 10–17
  • 21 per 10,000 young people aged 10–17 were under community-based supervision, and 3.6 per 10,000 were in detention.

Age and sex

On an average day in 2019–20, in Queensland:

  • 72% of those under supervision were aged 10–17, and the rest were 18 and over
  • more than 3 quarters (76%) of young people under supervision were male
  • males under supervision were most likely to be aged 18 or over and females were most likely to be aged 16.

 

Box: Updated age calculation on an average day

For 2019–20, the age calculation for the average daily population has been changed. Age is now calculated based on the age a young person is each day that they are under supervision. If a young person changes age during a period of supervision, then the average daily number under supervision will reflect this. Due to this change in methodology, average daily data with an age selection or breakdown will not be comparable to previous Youth justice in Australia releases.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people

On an average day in 2019–20, in Queensland:

  • Indigenous young people made up 8% of those aged 10–17 in the general population, but 64% of those of the same age under supervision
  • Indigenous young people aged 10–17 were 20 times as likely as non-Indigenous young people to be under supervision (192 per 10,000 compared with 9.5 per 10,000)
  • Indigenous over-representation was higher in detention (29 times the non‑Indigenous rate).

Time under supervision

In 2019–20, in Queensland:

  • the median duration of individual periods of supervision that were completed during 2019–20 was 244 days (35 weeks)
  • when all time spent under supervision during the year is considered, young people spent an average of 224 days (32 weeks) under supervision.

Sentenced and unsentenced detention

On an average day in 2019–20, in Queensland:

  • almost 9 in 10 (88%) young people in detention were unsentenced—that is, they were awaiting the outcome of their court matter, or had been found guilty and were awaiting sentencing
  • 15% of young people in detention were serving a sentence (proportions might not sum to 100%, as young people may be in sentenced and unsentenced detention on the same day).

Trends to 2019–20

Over the 5 years to 2019–20, on an average day, in Queensland:

  • the number of young people under supervision rose overall by 22%, from 1,464 in 2015–16 to 1,780 in 2019–20, with a high of 1,935 in 2018–19
  • the rate of young people aged 10–17 under supervision fell overall from 27 to 24 per 10,000 young people aged 10–17
  • in community-based supervision, the number rose by 23%, while the rate of those aged 10–17 fell from 23 to 21 with a high of 25 in 2018–19
  • in detention, the number rose by 12%, peaking in 2018–19 and the rate fluctuated between 3.6 and 4.6 per 10,000
  • the rate of Indigenous young people under supervision fluctuated between 189 and 228 per 10,000.

 

More information

For more information see Youth Justice.