Australian Institute of Criminology

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Juvenile crime and justice

Media Release

25 June 1997

The Australian Institute of Criminology has released the report, Juvenile Crime and Justice: Australia 1997, by Satyanshu Mukherjee, Carlos Carcach and Karl Higgins. The report is the latest in the Institute's Research and Public Policy series.

This report has been prepared for release at the conference Juvenile Crime and Juvenile Justice: Towards 2000 and Beyond, which is being held in Adelaide on 26 and 27 June 1997 at The Australian Mineral Foundation, Connyngham Street, Glenside, SA.

Some of the more interesting findings in this report are:

  • More than nine out of ten arrests in which juveniles are involved concern property offences and about half of all juvenile arrests are for common stealing.
  • In arrests for property offences, boys outnumber girls 10:1, for violent offences this ratio is about 5 to 1.
  • The National Police Custody Survey August 1995 shows that young people in the age groups 17-19 and 20-24 were arrested and detained for some time at police stations more frequently than persons of any other age group; juveniles under the age of 17 were arrested and detained rarely.
  • Juveniles are more likely to be victims of sexual assault than adults. Over 42 per cent of all victims of sexual assaults in 1995 were children under the age of 15 years.
  • The rate of juvenile detention in corrective institutions has decreased. In 1996 it was slightly more than half of the rate prevailing in 1981. Currently one girl is detained in custody for every 10 boys.