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Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 406. Updated Tuesday, 22 April 2014

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Fewer young people under court orders

There has been a drop in the number and rate of young people under youth justice supervision, but Indigenous youth continue to be over-represented, according to an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report.

The report, entitled Youth justice in Australia 2012-13, presents data on young people aged 10-17 under youth justice supervision, both in the community and in detention facilities, during 2012-13, and examines trends over the preceding five-year period.

AIHW spokesperson, Tim Beard said the decrease was mainly due to a fall in the number and rate of young people under community-based supervision and young males under supervision.

On an average day about 85 per cent of young people under youth justice supervision were under community-based supervision, and over four in five were male, Mr Beard said.

Indigenous youth still over-represented

"Of ongoing concern is the continuing over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people who are under supervision," he said.

Despite the number of Indigenous young people under supervision falling by five per cent over the past five years, in 2012-13 these young people were 17 times as likely as non-Indigenous young people to have been under supervision.

On an average day in 2012-13, there were 6,329 young people under youth justice supervision due to their involvement, or alleged involvement, in crime, according to the report.

This was a drop of 1,000 young people from a peak of 7,332 young people under youth justice supervision on an average day in 2010-11 (down 14 per cent).

Similarly, in 2012-13 the rate of young people under supervision dropped to 23.8 per 10,000 (or 1 in 420) young people - down from a high of around 27.6 (or 1 in 360) in 2010-11.

The full report can be viewed at this PS News link.

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