The average daily number of young people aged 10–17 years under youth justice supervision in Australia during 2017-18 was 4765. The majority of these young people were supervised on community-based orders (which include supervised bail, probation and parole) — nationally, on an average day in 2017-18, 82.7 per cent of young people aged 10–17 years who were supervised by youth justice services were in the community, with the remainder in detention.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people were significantly overrepresented in youth justice detention. Nationally during 2017-18, the average daily detention rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 10–17 years was 35.2 per 10 000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, 24 times the rate for non-Indigenous young people (1.5 per 10 000).
Total recurrent expenditure on detention-based supervision, community-based supervision and group conferencing was $842.4 million across Australia in 2017-18, with detention based supervision accounting for the majority of this expenditure (60.4 per cent, or $509.1 million).
Youth justice services aim to promote community safety, rehabilitate and reintegrate young people who offend, and contribute to a reduction in youth re offending.
To achieve these aims, governments seek to provide youth justice services that:
- divert young people who offend from further progression into the youth justice system to alternative services
- assist young people who offend to address their offending behaviour
- provide a safe and secure environment for the protection of young people during their time in detention
- assist young people who are in youth justice detention to return to the community
- promote the importance of the families and communities of young people who offend, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, in the provision of services and programs
- support young people to understand the impact of their offending on others, including victims and the wider community
- recognise the rights of victims.
Governments aim for youth justice services to meet these objectives in an equitable and efficient manner.