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This bulletin is part of an annual series that looks at trends in the numbers and rates of young people in secure detention facilities in Australia due to their involvement or alleged involvement in crime.

In Australia, young people who are charged with, or proven guilty of, criminal offences may be supervised by state and territory youth justice agencies. Supervision may take place either in the community or in detention facilities.

Among the states and territories, variations in the numbers and rates of young people under supervision can reflect differences in youth justice legislation, policy, and practice. This includes differences in police practices, the types of legal orders available, and the options for diversion.

Among the 980 young people in detention on an average night in the June quarter 2018, most were male (90%), aged 10–17 (84%), unsentenced (60%), and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (54%). Over the 4-year period, the number of young people in detention rose, though rates fluctuated across quarters.

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