Indigenous Young People in Detention

In 2015-16, Indigenous young people (aged 10 to 17 years) had a higher rate of detention than non-Indigenous young people in all Australian states and territories. The greatest difference in detention rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people was in Western Australia, where the detention rate was approximately 26 times greater for Indigenous young people than for non-Indigenous young people. Tasmania had the smallest difference in detention rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people. Tasmania’s rate of 1.1 per 1,000 Indigenous young people was approximately twice the rate of 0.5 per 1,000 non-Indigenous young people. Victoria had the second smallest difference in detention rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people.

Note: The graphs use only the population of 10 to 17 year olds in detention and in the general population to calculate the rate per 1,000 people. Data on the detention rates for Indigenous young people for the Northern Territory were not available for 2015-16.

Rates per 1,000 young people in detention during 2015-16 according to Indigenous status

Hover over a bar in the graph to display the detention rate for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people for each state and territory.

Jurisdiction Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Non-Indigenous Ratio
Western Australia 33.2 1.3 26
South Australia 28.4 1.4 20
Australian Capital Territory 17.9 1.4 13
New South Wales 16.6 1.1 16
Queensland 13.9 0.7 19
Victoria 8.9 0.8 12
Tasmania 1.1 0.5 2
Northern Territory n.a. n.a. n.a.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2017), Youth Justice in Australia 2015-16, Cat. no. AUS 198, Supplementary table S77b (external link opens in a new window).