Juveniles in detention in Australia, 1981–2008


The Australian Institute of Criminology’s (AIC’s) national Juveniles in Detention Monitoring Program was established to contribute to the evidence base on juvenile detention in Australia, with a particular focus on Indigenous juveniles. Findings date back to 1981 and have been reported annually.

This report provides an overview of the numbers and rates of juveniles in detention in Australia since 1981 and juveniles in detention for the financial year 2007–08. As with the AIC’s previous report on juveniles in detention (Taylor 2009), it also provides contextual information on young people sentenced in the children’s courts. The collation of data for these reports is supported by statutory juvenile justice agencies in each of Australia’s jurisdictions, as well as the NSW Department of Corrective Services.

As described in more detail in this report, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) administers the Juvenile Justice National Minimum Data Set and also reports annually on juveniles in detention. Given this development, the AIC is conducting a review of the Juveniles in Detention Monitoring Report in 2010–11, to ensure that AIC’s research and monitoring does not duplicate the AIHW’s work and that it makes a useful contribution to the field and enables more in-depth analysis of key issues.