This study examined the impact of the New South Wales Young Offenders Act on the likelihood that a young offender would receive a custodial order.
This study, conducted by the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, examined the impact of the New South Wales Young Offenders Act on the likelihood that a young offender would receive a custodial order. The study found that following implementation of the Young Offenders Act, the likelihood that a young person would receive a custodial order decreased for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people. In addition, the study found that before the introduction of the YOA, 10 percent of Indigenous young people received a custodial order within 17 months of a court appearance, compared to after introduction of the YOA, in which it was 21 months after a court appearance before the custodial order appeared. The same change also occurred for non-Indigenous young people, with the time for receipt of a custodial order going from 36 months since court appearance prior to passage of the YOA to 57 months since court appearance after passage of the YOA. Data for the study were obtained from the NSW Re-Offending Database (ROD) which contains information on all young people who have been dealt with by way of a police caution or a Youth Justice Conference since 1998. The data was analyzed to determine the extent to which the YOA had any impact on the probability that a young person appearing before the justice system would receive a custodial order, whether it differed between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous persons, and whether it impacted the time it took for a young person to receive their first custodial order. The study's findings suggest that passage of the YOA has had a significant impact on the likelihood that a young person would receive a custodial order but that the impact between Indigenous and non-Indigenous offenders has not been significant. Study limitations are discussed. Tables, figures, references, and appendix
New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research
Level 8, St James Centre, 111 Elizabeth Street, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia, Australia
NSW Crime and Justice, No. 166