4725.0 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and youth, Apr 2011
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/05/2012 Reissue
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LAW AND JUSTICE: CONTACT WITH THE LAW AND JUSTICE SYSTEM
This article is part of a comprehensive series released as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and Youth.
Note: In this section, 'children' refers to people aged 4–14 years. The terms 'youth' and 'young people' refer to people aged 15–24 years. Data presented are from the ABS National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2008 (cat. no. 4714.0).
Contact with the criminal justice system is intertwined with other aspects of wellbeing. Those who have committed crimes may have already been struggling with issues such as financial difficulties, family problems, poor mental health or low self-esteem (Endnote 1). Moreover, being arrested or incarcerated can compound these issues and further affect wellbeing. The arrest and incarceration of a young person can also impact on a family as the family deals with the financial and emotional implications.
According to the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, one in six Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people (18,000 or 17%) had been arrested in the last five years. Of those young people who had been arrested:
Young males were more than twice as likely as young females to have been arrested in the last five years (25% compared with 10%).
CHARACTERISTICS OF YOUNG PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN ARRESTED
Compared with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth, those who had been arrested were more likely to face difficult health, social and/or economic circumstances.
Youth who had been arrested in the last five years were more likely than those who had not to: