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Young people returning to sentenced youth justice supervision 2018-19

Recidivism Juvenile offenders Sentencing Youth justice Australia

In Australia, young people who have been found guilty of an offence may be given:

  • an unsupervised community-based sentence (such as a good behaviour bond)
  • a supervised community-based sentence (such as probation)
  • a sentence of detention.

Supervised community-based and detention sentences are both known as ‘supervised sentences’, and are the focus of this report.

In each of the states and territories, the department responsible for youth justice is tasked with providing young people who are serving supervised sentences with services designed to reduce their likelihood of returning to sentenced supervision, among other outcomes. The rate of return to sentenced supervision is, in part, an indication of the performance of youth justice departments, although other factors beyond the control of these departments will also influence returns. Variations in state-based legislation, policies and practices may affect comparability of data between states and territories.

This report contains the following components:

  • Chapter 1 introduces key concepts for this report
  • Chapter 2 describes the rate of return to sentenced supervision at any time while a young person was aged 10–17, for those born from 1990–91 to 2000–01
  • Chapter 3 describes the rate of return to sentenced supervision within 6 and 12 months for young people who were released in 2017–18, and were aged 16 and under at the time of release
  • The Appendix provides further information on the data and methods.
Publication Details


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Juvenile justice series no. 24