Young People in Detention

In 2015-16, New South Wales had the highest number of people in youth detention facilities of any Australian state or territory, at 1,445 young people. Tasmania had the lowest at 30 young people. Victoria had 500 young people in detention during 2015-16.

In 2015-16, Victoria had the second lowest detention rate of 10 to 17 year olds in youth detention facilities of all Australian states and territories, at 0.90 per 1,000 young people or 500 people.  Tasmania had the lowest rate, at 0.59 per 1,000 young people or 30 people. Victoria's rate was substantially lower than the Australian average of 1.83 per 1,000 young people. In contrast, Western Australia had the highest rate of 10 to 17 year olds in youth detention, at 3.36 per 1,000 young people or 843 people.

Note: The data in the graph incorporates all people incarcerated in a youth detention facility and reflects the different age limits in each state and territory for youth detention as opposed to incarceration in an adult custodial facility. Data was not available for 2015-16 on the number and rates of young people in detention in the Northern Territory.

Detention rates per 1,000 young people aged 10 to 17 years in youth detention facilities in each state and territory during 2015–16

Hover over a bar in the graph to display the detention rate and the number of young people in detention for each state and territory. The grey horizontal line shows the national rate.

Jurisdiction Number Rate per 1,000 Young People
Western Australia 843 3.36
South Australia 414 2.62
New South Wales 1,445 1.98
Australian Capital Territory 68 1.92
Australia (excluding the Northern Territory) 4,153 1.83
Queensland 853 1.74
Victoria 500 0.90
Tasmania 30 0.59
Northern Territory n.a. n.a.

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