Youth involved in crime supervised for average of six months

YOUNG people caught up in crime spent on average six months under supervision in 2011/12, new research shows.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's Youth Justice in Australia 2011-12 report provides information on young people aged 10 and older who were under youth justice supervision in Australia due to their involvement or alleged involvement in crime.

AIHW spokesman Tim Beard said the six-month figure had changed little from the previous reporting period.

"Some young people experienced more than one supervision period during the year, and when all the time spent under supervision during 2011-12 is considered, young people spent an average of about 6 months, or 185 days under supervision,", Mr Beard said.

"However, relatively few young Australians are involved in the youth justice system."

On an average day, almost 7000 young people were under youth justice supervision - equating to a rate of 26 per 10,000, or 1 in every 385 young people.

Of these, most were supervised within the community rather than in detention.

Mr Beard said indigenous youth remained overrepresented among those under supervision.

"Although less than 5% of young Australians are indigenous, 39% of those under supervision in 2011-12 were indigenous," he said.