Victoria

Quick facts

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

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

Among those under youth justice supervision in Victoria on an average day:

  • 81% were supervised in the community, and the rest in detention
  • 84% were male
  • 15% of those aged 10–17 were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • 57% 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 28 weeks under supervision during the year.

Over the 5 years to 2019–20, the number of young people under supervision on an average day fell by 15%, while the rate for those aged 10–17 fell from 12 to 9 per 10,000.

 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 Victoria:

  • 925 young people aged 10 and over were under youth justice supervision
  • 4 in 5 (81%) were supervised in the community, and the rest (20%) were 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 9.0 per 10,000 young people aged 10–17
  • 7.2 per 10,000 young people aged 10–17 were under community-based supervision, and 1.9 per 10,000 were in detention.

Age and sex

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

  • 60% of those under supervision were aged 10–17, and the rest were 18 and over (in Victoria, some young people aged 18–20 may be sentenced to detention in a youth facility rather than adult prison under the ‘dual track’ system).
  • 84% of those under supervision were male
  • males under supervision were most likely to be aged 18 or over, and females aged 17.

 

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 Victoria:

  • Indigenous young people made up 2% of those aged 10–17 in the general population, but 15% of those of the same age under supervision
  • Indigenous young people aged 10–17 were 10 times as likely as non-Indigenous young people to be under supervision (79 per 10,000 compared with 7.8 per 10,000)
  • Indigenous over-representation was similar in community-based supervision (10 times the non-Indigenous rate) and detention (9 times the non-Indigenous rate).

Time under supervision

In 2019–20, in Victoria:

  • the median duration of individual periods of supervision that were completed was 185 days in total (about 26 weeks)
  • when all time spent under supervision during the year is considered, young people spent an average of 197 days (28 weeks) under supervision.

Sentenced and unsentenced detention

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

  • Over half (57%) of 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
  • 43% of young people in detention were serving a sentence.

Trends to 2019–20

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

  • the number of all young people under supervision fell by 15% (from 1,089 in 2015–16 to 925 in 2019–20), while the rate fell from 12 to 9.0 per 10,000 young people aged 10–17
  • in community-based supervision, the number fell by 20%, while the rate fell from 10 to 7.2 per 10,000 young people aged 10–17
  • in detention, the number rose by 11%, while the rate remained at about 1.9 per 10,000 young people aged 10–17
  • the rate of Indigenous young people aged 10–17 under supervision fell from 137 to 79 per 10,000.

 

More information

For more information see Youth Justice.