The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has reported against the National Prisoner Health Indicators for adult prisoners since 2009. However, little information currently exists, at the national level, about the health of young people under youth justice supervision (also known as juvenile justice supervision) in Australia—either in detention or in community-based supervision.
Addressing this data gap has been recognised as a priority in reports from multiple cross-jurisdictional bodies between 2011 and 2017. The importance of developing a national data collection focused on the health of young people under youth justice supervision was explicitly stated in the National Advisory Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Information and Data (NAGATSIHID) Strategic Plan 2016–2020. Improving national information in this area also supports the agreed standard for practice to be delivered by juvenile justice administrators, as set out by the Australasian Juvenile Justice Administrators (AJJA) in the Juvenile Justice Standards 2009.
The National Youth Justice Health Advisory Group (NYJHAG) was established in August 2016 to assist the AIHW to conduct a feasibility study during 2016–17 into potential data developments. The NYJHAG was set up as a time-limited group, with representatives from the statutory agencies responsible for the health of young people under youth justice supervision in the Australian States and Territories; a selection of subject matter experts in the fields of adolescent health and youth justice; and a representative each from the AJJA, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the AIHW. This report records the results of the feasibility study.