Last updated 7 August 2017

It is important to understand the context of youth offending, that is:

  • the problem
  • the extent of the problem
  • the reasons giving rise to the problem
  • the way the problem is addressed.

Statistics show that the number of individual juveniles found to have committed an offence by a court in 2014–15 fell by 6% compared to the previous year, and represents only 0.8% of the 10 to 16 year-old population (Balanced Justice, 2013 ).

Most young people who come into contact with the police before the age of 18 will not become ‘career criminals’; their contact will be short lived and relatively minor, and they will grow out of offending from late adolescence (Snapshot 2011: Children and Young People in Queensland / Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian).

The small group of repeat offenders tends to have common characteristics: