In Welfare Services

Australian Bureau Of Statistics

More Children In Australia’s Courts: ABS

Victor P Taffa

The number of defendants finalised in Australia’s Children’s Courts rose by 7% in 2008-09, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Increases were recorded in all states and territories, except Queensland. The largest increases were in Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory (20%, 19% and 18% respectively).


Theft offences represented one fifth of the 34,200 adjudicated defendants, followed by acts intended to cause injury (18%) and traffic offences (13%).

The figures showed that nine in ten defendants convicted of an offence were sentenced to a non-custodial order.

The Adult Court System

The number of defendants finalised in the adult courts increased by 3% (to 653,133 defendants).

Traffic offences accounted for roughly half (264,800) of defendants adjudicated in the Magistrates Courts, followed by public order offences (12%). Nearly a third (29%) of those charged with traffic offences were under 25.

In the Higher Courts nearly a quarter (22%) of adjudicated defendants were charged with acts intended to cause injury, followed by drug offences (20%) and sexual assault (16%).


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