Back to RJ Archive

Diversion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth From Juvenile Detention

Stokes, Julie
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) Canberra ACT : Australian National Council on Drugs

This is a comprehensive overview of the diversion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth from the criminal justice system in Australia. In part 1, a literature review addresses issues for Indigenous Australians, the juvenile justice system, offending by Indigenous youth, drug use among Indigenous youth, the etiology of psychoactive substance use disorders and offending behavior, the etiology of substance use problems among Indigenous youth, diversion from the criminal justice system, bail and remand, sentencing Indigenous offenders, treatment of psychoactive substance use disorders (PSUD), PSUD treatment in the juvenile justice system, PSUD for Indigenous people, and interventions to reduce recidivism. Part 2 presents national data on Indigenous youth in juvenile detention centers, and part 3 summarizes programs, services, and diversion procedures for Indigenous youth in each Australian jurisdiction. Part 4, which addresses existing programs and key principles of diversion and treatment, covers the existing range of programs; youth conferencing; and police training in juvenile diversion initiatives, particularly early interventions. Part 5 presents six recommendations pertinent to improving diversion policies and programs for Indigenous Australian youth. Recommendations pertain to the development of a greater number and range of culturally appropriate diversion options that target Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth; the design of future diversion and treatment services for Indigenous juveniles in accordance with specified principles; the enhancement of the knowledge of police and magistrates about diversion options for Indigenous juveniles; a revision of policies that exclude repeat juvenile offenders from diversion programs; the collection of identifying data for the monitoring of youth in the full range of diversion options; and broader social justice programs for improvements in PSUD interventions for Indigenous youth. Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


AbstractCourtsDiversionJuvenilePolicePrisonsRJ in SchoolsRJ OfficeStatutes and Legislation
Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now