4513.0 - Criminal Courts, Australia, 2017-18 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/02/2019   
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CHILDREN’S COURTS

There were 28,244 defendants finalised in the Children’s Courts during 2017–18, an increase of one per cent on the previous year.

Defendants finalised in the Children’s Courts accounted for 5% of all defendants finalised nationally. (Table 1)

FIGURE 4: NUMBER OF DEFENDANTS FINALISED(a), Children’s Courts, Method of finalisation, Principal sentence, 2017–18
FIGURE 4: NUMBER OF DEFENDANTS FINALISED, Children’s Courts, Method of finalisation, Principal sentence, 2017–18

Footnote(s): (a) Excludes organisations.

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Commonwealth of Australia 2019.


Summary Characteristics

Of all defendants finalised in the Children’s Courts during 2017–18, the majority:

  • Were male (76%, 21,347)
  • Were aged between 15 and 17 years (64%, 18,173)
  • Had an adjudicated finalisation (82%, 23,025), most of whom were proven guilty (22,090). (Table 1)

Principal offence

More than half of all defendants finalised in the Children’s Courts during 2017–18 had one of three principal offences:
  • Assault (21%, 5,952)
  • Theft (20%, 5,659)
  • Unlawful entry with intent (15%, 4,144). (Table 1)

Principal Sentence

Of the 22,090 defendants who were proven guilty in the Children’s Courts during 2017–18:
  • Most (90%, 19,774) were sentenced to a non-custodial order. These were mainly other non-custodial orders (60%, 11,782), which include good behaviour bonds, recognisance orders, licence disqualification/suspension, forfeiture of property orders and nominal penalties.
  • One in ten were sentenced to a custodial order (2,319), most commonly custody in a correctional institution (1,372); the median sentence length of custody1 was 6 months.
  • Nearly a third (32%) of defendants sentenced to custody in a correctional institution had a principal offence of Acts intended to cause injury. (Tables 7, 10 and 57)

Footnotes

1 Excluding life and indeterminate imprisonment (see Explanatory Note 48).