Patterns of alleged offending amongst Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal young people in the Northern Territory of Australia, 1997–2019

Vincent Yaofeng He, John R. Condon, Catia G. Malvaso, Tamika Williams, Leanne Liddle, Harry Blagg, Steven Guthridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are much more likely to be arrested, charged with criminal offences and imprisoned than other Australians. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders comprise 49% of young people in detention but only 5.8% of the Australian population aged 10–17. This study investigated changes between 1997 and 2019 in the interaction of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal young people with the justice system in the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia. The prevalence of young people being charged with an alleged offence decreased by more than 60% between 1999 and 2001, co-incident with the introduction of the Juvenile Diversion Scheme in August 2000. Thereafter, for non-Aboriginal young people there was a small and temporary increase, but for Aboriginal young people prevalence increased almost back to pre-2000 levels by 2015 before starting to decrease. Aboriginal young people comprised 57% of those charged with any offence in 1997, rising to 88% in 2019. Further investigation is needed to understand the reasons for divergent trends in the prevalence of alleged offending for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal young people, which may include the role of diversion, differences in the nature of offences and systemic bias and racism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalAustralian Journal of Social Issues
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jul 2023

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Patterns of alleged offending amongst Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal young people in the Northern Territory of Australia, 1997–2019'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this