In 2019–20, the Children’s Court most often sentenced children and young people to:
- youth diversion (imposed in 38.1% of cases)
- a good behaviour bond (imposed in 23.4% of cases)
- probation (imposed in 11.8% of cases).
Only 5.7% of cases received a custodial sentence.
The percentage of cases receiving youth diversion increased from 0.6% (22 cases) in 2014–15 to 38.1% (1,054 cases) in 2019–20.
Youth diversion was introduced in Victoria in 2015. It is now available in all Children’s Court locations as part of a statewide youth diversion program. Youth diversion is imposed under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic).
The use of fines declined from 67.0% in 2006–07 to 4.2% in 2019–20. There was a spike in fines in 2006–07 because the court processed large numbers of infringements at that time.
The use of good behaviour bonds increased from 15.7% in 2006–07 to 36.1% in 2014–15, but then declined to 23.4% in 2019–20.
Cases sentenced to probation increased from 7.4% in 2006–07 to 20.6% in 2014–15, but then declined to 11.8% in 2019–20.
Cases sentenced to a custodial order (a youth residential centre order or a youth justice centre order) increased from 1.6% in 2006–07 to 5.7% in 2019–20.
Note: Youth diversion is not a sentence and does not result from a formal finding of guilt. However, it is an important disposition that the Children's Court can use to divert low-level offenders from the criminal justice system.
Percentage of cases sentenced in the Children’s Court, by sentencing outcome
Hover over the lines in the graph to display the sentencing outcome, year, number of cases and percentage of cases. Select and deselect sentencing outcomes using the key at the top of the graph. Double-click on the key to reset the graph.
Source: Court Services Victoria, unpublished data. Note that the data may be subject to revision to reflect amendments to records in Court Services Victoria’s databases.