Australian Institute of Criminology

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Young offenders progress from juvenile to adult corrections

Media Release

18 November 2003

The Youth justice criminal trajectories research project has found that 79 per cent of young offenders on supervised orders progress to adult corrections systems.

Male participants in the study were more likely than female members to enter the adult correctional system, and in particular receive a prison sentence. 54 per cent of males entered the prison system, while 22 per cent of females did so.

Indigenous young people were most likely to progress from juvenile to adult systems, with 86 per cent (compared to 75 per cent of non-Indigenous young people) entering the adult correction system and 65 per cent serving a prison term.

Tracking the offending paths of 1,503 juvenile offenders over a seven year period, the paper also found 49 per cent of juvenile offenders had served at least one term of imprisonment, highlighting extremely high levels of recidivism within the study group.

"It is crucially important to focus on juvenile offenders as early as possible to prevent and change attitudes and behaviours that will bring juveniles into further contact with the criminal justice system", said Dr Toni Makkai, Acting AIC Director.

The paper is available on the AIC's website. The paper also appears in the Crime and Misconduct Commission's Research and Issues Paper Series.