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4513.0 - Criminal Courts, Australia, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/02/2013   
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Contents >> Children's Courts >> Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants - Northern Territory - Children's Courts


ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER DEFENDANTS

Northern Territory

In the Children's Courts in 2011-12, 594 defendants (76%) in the Northern Territory identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

Graph Image for DEFENDANTS FINALISED(a), Children's Courts, Indigenous Status, Northern Territory

Footnote(s): (a) Excludes ANZSOC Division 14 and Subdivision 041 (see Explanatory Notes paragraph 50-51) and organisations

Source(s): Criminal Courts, Australia



The proportions of males and females were similar for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants and non-Indigenous defendants: 16% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants were female compared with 12% of non-Indigenous female defendants.

Proportionally, the spread of defendants across age groups was similar for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous defendants. 17 year olds were the largest age group in the Children's Courts, representing 20% of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants and 25% of all non-Indigenous defendants.

Graph Image for DEFENDANTS FINALISED(a), Children's Courts, Indigenous Status(b) by age, Northern Territory

Footnote(s): (a) Excludes ANZSOC Division 14 and Subdivision 041 (see Explanatory Notes paragraph 50-51) and organisations. (b) Excludes defendants with an Indigenous Status of not stated.

Source(s): Criminal Courts, Australia



Between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander defendants and non-Indigenous defendants there was some variation between the offence categories. In the Northern Territory, three offences accounted for the majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants adjudicated: unlawful entry with intent (39%), acts intended to cause injury (26%) and theft (14%). For non-Indigenous defendants, three offences accounted for the majority of defendants: theft (34%), acts intended to cause injury (23%) and unlawful entry with intent (21%).

When comparing sentences for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants and non-Indigenous defendants, the proportions of custodial to non-custodial orders varied. In the Northern Territory, 31% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants proven guilty were sentenced to custodial orders compared to 9% of non-Indigenous defendants. Defendants aged 16 to 17 years had the highest proportion of custodial sentences for both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous defendants.

Graph Image for DEFENDANTS PROVEN GUILTY(a), Children's Court, Indigenous Status(b), Custodial orders by age, Northern Territory

Footnote(s): (a) Excludes ANZSOC Division 14 and Subdivision 041 (see Explanatory Notes paragraph 50-51) and organisations. (b) Excludes defendants with an Indigenous Status of not stated.

Source(s): Criminal Courts, Australia



For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants proven guilty and sentenced to a non-custodial order in the Children's Courts in 2011-12, 15 to 17 year olds represented just over half of defendants (55%), with 16 year olds accounting for almost one-fifth (19%). The age spread differed for non-Indigenous defendants - 15 to 17 year olds represented 71% of defendants sentenced to a non-custodial order and 17 year olds accounted for almost one-third (32%).

The age group that least commonly received a non-custodial order varied between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous defendants:
  • 4% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants aged 10 to 12 years were sentenced to non-custodial orders
  • 4% of non-Indigenous defendants aged 10 to 12 years, 13 years and 19 years and over were sentenced to non-custodial orders.

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