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The majority of young people do not return to sentenced supervision
The majority of young people who receive a supervised youth justice sentence serve only 1 sentence, and do not return to sentenced youth justice supervision. Of those aged 10–17 who were under sentenced youth justice supervision from 2000–01 to 2015–16 (born from 1990–91 to 1997–98), 61% received only 1 supervised sentence before turning 18.
Young people whose first sentence was detention were more likely to return to sentenced supervision than those whose first supervised sentence was community based (51% compared with 39%).
Some young people return to sentenced supervision numerous times
A minority go on to receive a large number of sentences before they turn 18—1 in 7 (15%) 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 born from 1990–91 to 1997–98 were 1.7 times as likely as their non-Indigenous counterparts to return to sentenced supervision before the age of 18.
Young people released from sentenced detention are more likely to return to sentenced supervision
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.
For young people aged 10–16 released from sentenced supervision in 2014–15 (allowing a 12-month follow-up period to 30 June 2016):
- 22% of those released from sentenced community-based supervision returned to sentenced supervision within 6 months, and a total of 46% returned within 12 months
- 48% of those released from sentenced detention returned to sentenced supervision within 6 months, and a total of 74% returned within 12 months.
Over the 10 years to 2014–15, the 6 and 12-month return rates for young people released from community-based supervision and detention have remained relatively stable.