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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

Decline in Indigenous youth incarceration rates in Australia

Date posted: 5 September 2012

A report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) in August 2012 has noted a decline in Indigenous youth detention rates across Australia.

Juvenile justice in Australia: 2010-11 provides information on young people who were under juvenile justice supervision in Australia during 2010-2011. The report found that Indigenous youths were 24-times more likely to be in detention than non-Indigenous youths, a figure that is lower than previous years.

AIHW spokesperson, Tim Beard, said, 'This level of Indigenous over-representation remains very high, but is an improvement on the 2007-08 level of 28 times as likely to be in detention.'

The over-representation of Indigenous young people who are under community-based supervision has also fallen slightly, from 15 times as likely in 2007-08, to 14 times as likely in 2010-11.

Mr Beard says there has been a steady drop in numbers of young Indigenous people entering the justice system, which is a sign that things are moving in the right direction. Mr Beard also notes that over the last few years, there has been a greater focus on criminal diversion programs in various states and territories throughout Australia, which might account for the decrease.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and SBS World News Australia Radio


Tim Beard
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Ph: (02) 6244 1270
Mob: 0418 271 395


Last updated: 6 September 2012
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