Young People in Detention

In 2017–18, Victoria had 523 young people in detention, down slightly from 528 people in 2016–17. New South Wales had the highest number of young people aged 10 to 17 in youth detention facilities of any Australian state or territory. At 1,476 young people, this represents a 5% increase from 1,401 young people in 2016–17. Tasmania had the lowest number, at 52 young people, a 13% decrease from 60 young people in 2016–17.

Victoria had the lowest rate of young people aged 10 to 17 in youth detention in 2017–18 at 8.94 per 10,000 young people. This was followed by Tasmania at 10.31 per 10,000 young people. The Northern Territory had the highest rate at 77.18 per 10,000 young people. This is more than twice the rate in Western Australia, at 33.4 per 10,000 young people, and more than eight times the rate in Victoria.

Note: The data in the graph includes people aged 10 to 17 incarcerated in a youth detention facility as opposed to an adult custodial facility. Data is based on the count of unique persons in custody at any time during the year.

Detention rates per 10,000 young people aged 10 to 17 years in youth detention facilities in each Australian state and territory in 2017–18

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 vertical line shows the national rate.

Jurisdiction Number Rate per 10,000 Young People aged 10 to 17
Northern Territory 197 77.18
Western Australia 838 33.40
Australian Capital Territory 103 27.91
Queensland 1,064 20.99
New South Wales 1,476 19.78
South Australia 314 19.60
Tasmania 52 10.31
Victoria 523 8.94
Australia 4,567 19.33

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Youth Justice in Australia 2017-18, Cat. no. JUV 129, Supplementary table S83b and S85b (2019).