Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report reveals Aboriginal children in Western Australia 45 times more likely to be in jail than non-indigenous kids

Aboriginal children aged 10-17 were 45 times more likely to be jailed than their non-indigenous peers in WA last year.

An Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report out today shows that WA has the highest over-representation of indigenous incarceration among young people in Australia.

On an average day in WA last year, 105 of the 138 children in detention were Aboriginal.

The detention rate for indigenous youth aged 10-17 in WA was 59 per 10,000.

For non-indigenous youth, the figure was one per 10,000.

First Nations young people were also over-represented when it came to community supervision orders, with indigenous children in WA 18 times more likely to be on an order than their non-indigenous peers.

Nationally, more than half of the children in detention last year were Aboriginal.

On average, indigenous young people entered youth justice supervision at a younger age than non-indigenous young people.

Nearly two in five indigenous young people had their first justice supervision aged 10-13, compared with about one in seven for their non-indigenous peers.

While young indigenous people remain over-represented in the justice system, AIHW spokes-woman Anna Ritson said the rate had stabilised between 2014–15 and 2018–19.

“The rate of indigenous people aged 10–17 under supervision on an average day fell from 176 to 172 per 10,000,” she said.

“The rate of non-indigenous young people fell from 12 to 11 per 10,000.

“Although only about 6 per cent of young people aged 10–17 in Australia are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, half (2448) of the young people under supervision on an average day in 2018–19 were indigenous.”


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