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Juvenile Justice in Australia (From Juvenile Justice Systems: International Perspectives, P 29-53, 1997, John A Winterdyk, ed. - See NCJ-174323)

NCJ Number
L Atkinson
Date Published
25 pages
Australia's juvenile justice system is described in terms of its history, laws, definitions of juvenile delinquency, the nature and extent of youth crime, the administration of juvenile justice, and current issues related to juvenile delinquency.
Factors that have influenced the development of juvenile justice systems in Australian jurisdictions include economic issues, labor needs, important historical events, overseas movements and trends, and humanitarian concerns. The dilemma regarding the relationship between welfare and justice in the response to juvenile delinquents continues in the juvenile justice debate today. Australia's children's courts operate according to the principles and practice of due process (justice model), important components of the juvenile justice systems reflect a more forgiving and helpful approach to young offenders than exists in the adult system. Juvenile range from 10 to 16 years in most jurisdictions. The police prosecute cases. Sanctions are proportional to the offense but are less harsh than they are for adults. The juvenile court system has moved closer to the theory and practice underlying the adult court system, but important philosophical and practical differences distinguish the two systems. Public concern about juvenile delinquency has increased in recent years, but juvenile crime rates do not appear to be increasing dramatically. Aboriginal youth are grossly overrepresented in Australian juvenile justice systems. The establishment of a juvenile work camp has been a significant development in Western Australia. The challenges for the future are to address issues associated with the small group of serious, repeat offenders and to address the overrepresentation of Aboriginal youth in the juvenile justice system. Figures, table, appended poem and figure, and 39 references