This article appeared in the June 2019 edition of Proctor.
Queensland’s youth justice statistics paint a very bleak picture for the state’s most vulnerable people – its children – with at least one out of every 100 children aged 10 to 17 exposed to the criminal justice system.
Figures gathered by the state’s Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women for 2017-18 reflect a youth justice system in crisis – with 175 of the 210 children held in detention on remand, spending on average 36 days in custody waiting for their day in court.
And of those 210 children – almost 150 ordered into custody were either Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders.
The Youth Justice Pocket Stats 2017-18 show that of Queensland’s 490,111 children aged between 10 and 17, 4017 were convicted of “proven offences’’ totalling 31,090.
Of those crimes, 401 children were responsible for almost 13,700 of the more than 31,000 offences.
Types of offences recorded:
- 30% Theft and related offences (including cars 8%)
- 18% Break and enter/burglary
- 9% Property damage
- 6% Trespass
- 5% Assault
- 0.9% Robbery
- 5% Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences
- 0.7% Dangerous or negligent traffic offences
- 5% Illicit drug offences
- 8% Justice procedure offences (such as resist police)
- 5% Public order offences
- 4% Fraud
- 0.5% Sex offences
- 2.5% Other unspecified offences