4513.0 - Criminal Courts, Australia, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
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Contents >> Children's Courts >> Aborginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants - New South Wales - Children's Courts


ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER DEFENDANTS

New South Wales

In the Children's Courts in 2011-12, 2,490 defendants (31%) finalised in New South Wales identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

Graph Image for DEFENDANTS FINALISED(a), Children's Courts, Indigenous Status, New South Wales

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

Source(s): Criminal Courts, Australia



The proportion of males and females were similar for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants when compared to non-Indigenous defendants. In New South Wales, 21% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants were female compared to 19% of non-Indigenous female defendants.

Proportionally, the spread of defendants across age groups was slightly different for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous defendants. 16 year olds were the largest age group for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants (25%) compared with 17 year olds for non-Indigenous defendants (29%).

Graph Image for DEFENDANTS FINALISED(a), Children's Courts, Indigenous Status(b) by age, New South Wales

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



There was little variation when comparing offence categories between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants and non-Indigenous defendants. The three main offences for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants adjudicated in New South Wales were: acts intended to cause injury (32%), theft (20%) and unlawful entry with intent (17%). For non-Indigenous defendants, the three main offences were: acts intended to cause injury (34%), theft (17%), and unlawful entry with intent (11%).

In the Children's Courts the majority of defendants proven guilty were sentenced to non-custodial orders. When comparing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants with non-Indigenous defendants, the proportions of custodial and non-custodial orders varied. In New South Wales, 21% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants proven guilty were sentenced to a custodial order compared to 10% of non-Indigenous defendants. Defendants aged 15 to 18 years received 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, New South Wales

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



Of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants proven guilty and sentenced to a non-custodial order, 16 year olds represented one-quarter (25%) of defendants, followed by 17 year olds (21%). These age groups were also largest for non-Indigenous defendants proven guilty, with 17 year olds comprising 29% of defendants sentenced to a non-custodial order, followed by 16 years olds (23%).

The age group that least commonly received a non-custodial order varied between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous defendants:
  • 3% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants aged 19 years and over were sentenced to non-custodial orders
  • 1% of non-Indigenous defendants aged 10 to 12 years were sentenced to non-custodial orders.

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