4513.0 - Criminal Courts, Australia, 2006-07 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/01/2008   
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January 25, 2008
Embargoed 11.30 am (AEDT)
Children's Courts - 1,625 offenders serve time: ABS

Children's Courts across Australia sentenced 1,625 juvenile offenders to time in a correctional institution during 2006-07, according to a report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

This represents 5% of all defendants proven guilty in the Children's Courts; most offenders (92% or 29,800 people) received a non-custodial sentence such as fines, good behaviour bonds and community supervision or work orders.

Just over half of the defendants before the Children's Courts were either 16 (22% or 7,500) or 17 (29% or 9,960) years old; defendants aged 10 to 12 years were the smallest proportion, at 2% (686).

Other results from the publication relating to adult defendants include:

In the Magistrates' Courts:
  • Road traffic and motor vehicle offences accounted for 43% (227,238) of all defendants, similar to previous years.
  • The most common motor vehicle offences were drink driving (61,200 defendants) and speeding (27,200).
  • An additional 70,200 defendants were heard for driving licence offences, such as driving without a licence.
  • For road traffic offences, 84% of offenders were fined.
  • Overall, around 9 in 10 offenders were sentenced to non-custodial orders.

In the Higher Courts:
  • In 2006-07, there were 13,900 defendants heard.
  • Three offences - acts intended to cause injury (22%), drug offences (17%), and sexual assault (14%) - accounted for just over half of all defendants.
  • People aged 25-34 made up nearly one third (31%) of all defendants.
  • Almost all (92% or 12,800) defendants were proven guilty; 1,100 were acquitted.
  • The majority (82% or 10,500) of defendants proven guilty received a custodial sentence, up from 74% (9,900) in 2002-03.

Further information is in Criminal Courts, Australia (cat. no. 4513.0).