Sentencing Outcomes in the Children's Court

In 2016-17, the most used dispositions in the Children’s Court were:

  • youth diversion (imposed in 29.1% of cases)
  • good behaviour bond (22.9%)
  • fine (13.3%).

Only 3.7% of cases received a custodial sentence. 

Some key trends for the 10 years to June 2017 were:

  • the percentage of cases receiving youth diversion increased from 0.7% (25 cases) in 2014-15 to 29.7% (1,120 cases) in 2016-17. Youth diversion was first available in a limited number of Children’s Court locations in Victoria between June 2015 and December 2016. It became available in all Children’s Court locations in January 2017
  • the percentage of cases sentenced to a fine declined from 56.1% in 2007-08 to 13.3% in 2016-17. The high in 2007-08 was a result of large numbers of infringements being processed through the court at that time
  • the percentage of cases sentenced to a good behaviour bond gradually increased, from 20.6% in 2007-08 to 36.5% in 2014-15, before declining to 22.9% in 2016-17
  • the percentage of cases sentenced to probation increased from 9.4% in 2007-08 to 20.4% in 2014-15, before declining to 11.2% in 2016-17
  • the percentage of cases sentenced to a youth residential centre order or a youth justice centre order increased from 1.6% in 2007-08 to 3.7% in 2016-17.

Note: The figures in this graph include cases that received youth diversion. 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 may use in certain circumstances to divert low-level offenders from the criminal justice system.

Percentage of cases sentenced in the Children’s Court from July 2007 to June 2017 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Source: Court Services Victoria, unpublished data.