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
Footnote(s): (a) Excludes organisations.
Australian Bureau of Statistics
© Commonwealth of Australia 2019.
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)
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)
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)
Excluding life and indeterminate imprisonment (see Explanatory Note 48).