Socioeconomic outcome area 11

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are not overrepresented in the criminal justice system

TARGET 11

By 2031, reduce the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people (10‑17 years) in detention by at least 30 per cent.

Nationally in 2019-20, the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 10-17 years in detention was 25.7 per 10 000 children in the population (figure CtG11.1).

This is a decrease from 31.9 per 10 000 young people in 2018-19 (the baseline year).

Nationally, based on progress from the baseline, the target shows good improvement and is on track to be met. However, this assessment should be used with caution as it is based on a limited number of data points. Please see the How to interpret the data page for more information.

For states and territories, and nationally, based on progress from the baseline, there has been: Right arrow improvement   square no change   Left arrow worsening    not applicable as required data not available.

The assessment below reflects progress from the baseline (improvement, worsening or no change). For the national assessment, the target outcome shows good improvement and is on track to be met. The assessments below reflect progress from the baseline (improvement, worsening or no change). For the national assessment, the target outcome shows good improvement and is on track to be met.
NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
AssessmentImprovingImprovingImprovingImprovingImprovingNot applicable as required data not availableNot applicable as required data not availableImprovingGood improvement and target on track to be met

Right arrow improvement square no change Left arrow worsening not applicable as required data not available. tick good improvement and target on track to be met. circle improvement but target not on track to be met.

Note: These assessments of progress should be used with caution as they are based on a limited number of data points.

Disaggregations

Tables appear directly under figures:

Selections apply to all Disaggregation figures/tables below:

By sex

Nationally in 2019-20, the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander male children aged 10-17 years in detention was 44.5 per 10 000 children in the population compared to 6.0 per 10 000 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander female children (figure CtG11.2).

By age group

Nationally in 2019-20, the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in detention aged 14-17 years (49.2 per 10 000) was higher than the rate for children aged 10-13 years (4.1 per 10 000) (figure CtG11.3).

By sex, by age group

Data on the average daily number of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in detention, by sex, by age group is available in table CtG11A.4.

Target data specifications

Target 11: Reduce the rate of young people in detention

Outcome:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are not overrepresented in the criminal justice system.

Target:

By 2031, reduce the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people (10–17 years) in detention by at least 30 per cent.

Indicator:

The rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people aged 10–17 years in detention.

Measure:

This measure is defined as:

Numerator — average daily number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people aged 10–17 years in supervised youth detention

Denominator — number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 10–17 years in the population

and is presented as a rate per 10 000 young people.

Target established:

National Agreement on Closing the Gap July 2020

Latest dashboard update:

31 March 2022

Indicator type:

Target

Interpretation of change:

A low or decreasing rate is desirable.

Data source(s):

Name (numerator): Youth Justice National Minimum Dataset (YJ NMDS)

Frequency: Annual

Name (denominator): Estimates and Projections for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population

Frequency: Annual (revised data for 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 in the March 2022 Dashboard update)

Documentation (links): https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-data/health-welfare-services/youth-justice

https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-peoples/estimates-and-projections-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-australians

Data provider:

Provider name (numerator): Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Provider area: Youth justice

Provider name (denominator): Australian Bureau of Statistics

Provider area: Demography

Baseline year:

2018-19

Latest reporting period:

2019-20

Target year:

2030-31

Disaggregations:

State and territory and Australia, by Indigenous status

State and territory and Australia, by Indigenous status, by sex

State and territory and Australia, by Indigenous status, by age group

State and territory and Australia, by Indigenous status, by sex, by age group

Computation:

Numerator divided by Denominator multiplied by 10 000

Counting rules

Age is calculated based on the age a young person is each day that they are under supervision. If a young person changes age during a period of supervision, then the average daily number under supervision will reflect this.

The numerator is calculated by summing the number of days each young person spends in detention during the financial year and dividing this total by the number of days in the financial year reporting period. Number of young people on an average day may not sum to total due to rounding.

Rates are calculated from unrounded numbers of young people on an average day.

Includes (numerator):

  • Unsentenced (remanded in custody) and sentenced detention, under the supervision of youth justice agencies.

Excludes (numerator):

  • People for whom Indigenous status was not stated.

Denominator:

  • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is calculated for December (of the reference period) based on the average of two June estimates of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population based on Series B projections.
  • The non-Indigenous population is calculated by subtracting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population from the total population (December of the reference period).

Disaggregations:

Sex refers to a young person's biological characteristics at birth. A person's sex is usually described as being either male or female, but may be recorded as ‘other’. See Person—sex, code X (aihw.gov.au)

Age is based on date of birth where known but can also be collect directly or estimated. Children with unknown age are excluded from the analysis by age.

Data quality considerations:

Data by Indigenous status are influenced by the quality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identification of young people in the YJ NMDS. About 5 per cent of all young people in the YJ NMDS since 2000-01 have an unknown Indigenous status. In 2018-19, less than 2 per cent of all young people under supervision during the year had an unknown Indigenous status. Among the states and territories, this ranged from less than 1 per cent in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia to 5 per cent in New South Wales. Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory had no unknown Indigenous status.

Rates are calculated by the AIHW and are not provided where the numerator is less than five. However, relevant data are included in the calculation for Australian totals.

Rates are calculated using updated population data and may differ from data published in the AIHW publication, Youth Justice in Australia 2019-20.

While the scope of this target is youth aged 10-17 years, additional data have been provided for all people in detention (ie including those aged 18 years or over) for context. The AIHW do not calculate rates for 18+ as the age range is too large and most people 18+ are under adult justice supervision. Therefore, rates are published for 10-13 years and 14-17 years age groups and numbers for the 18 years or over age group.

The AIHW do not calculate rates for sex, by age group at the sub-national level. Numbers (numerator) are published for 10-13 years, 14-17 years and 18 years or over age groups.

Future reporting:

Additional disaggregations required for future reporting:

  • Remoteness areas and other small geographic areas (where available)
  • Socioeconomic status of the locality
  • Disability.

Supporting indicators

Driver

  • Un-sentenced detention rates
  • Average time in detention for unsentenced youth
  • Proportion of young alleged offenders (10-17 years) involved in police proceedings
    Including charges and summons, cautions, diversions
  • Proportion of young people convicted and sentenced
    By type of sentence (community supervision, detention)
  • Entrant rate to detention
    Newly sentenced to youth detention
  • Proportion of youth under community supervision transitioning to detention
  • Young people returning to detention or community supervision
  • Proportion of young people first coming into youth justice system aged 10-13
    Offending and courts data, first entry to detention

Contextual information

  • Community supervision trends
    Proportion of young people in detention who had received child protection services (including out-of-home care)
  • Proportion exiting detention
    By reason
  • Progress towards parity

Material for download

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