Changes to sentencing practice: young adult offenders

Youth justice Crime Victoria
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This report examines the effect on young adult offenders of recent changes to sentencing options in Victoria. In particular, the analysis shows an increase in the use of the community correction order, a sentencing option introduced in Victoria in 2012.


1.1 This report examines the extent to which recent changes to intermediate sentencing options in Victoria have influenced sentencing practices for young adult offenders (18 years or over and under 21 years at the time of sentencing) in Victoria. This group of offenders is a subset of the group of offenders aged under 21 that are defined as ‘young offenders’, by section 3 of the Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic).

1.2 The analysis examines the longitudinal trends for sentencing for this age group in two ways. First, the variations in the number of young adult offenders sentenced are considered. Second, the differences in the sentencing outcomes for those offenders are explored.

1.3 This report demonstrates that there has been a large decline in the number of young adult offenders sentenced in Victoria in recent years. The analysis also demonstrates that, for young adult offenders who are sentenced, there has been a notable increase in the use of the recently introduced community correction order. The report concludes by discussing some possible reasons for these trends and outlining directions for future research.

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