4513.0 - Criminal Courts, Australia, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
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Contents >> Magistrates' Courts >> Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Defendants - Northern Territory - Magistrates' Courts


ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER DEFENDANTS

Northern Territory

In the Magistrates' Courts in 2011-12, 4,555 defendants (69%) in the Northern Territory identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

Graph Image for DEFENDANTS FINALISED(a), Magistrates' Courts, Indigenous Status, Northern Territory

Footnote(s): (a) Excludes ANZSOC Division 14 and Subdivision 041 (see Explanatory Notes paragraph 50-51) and organisations.

Source(s): Criminal Courts, Australia



The proportion of males and females was similar for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants and non-Indigenous defendants: 18% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants were female compared with 14% of non-Indigenous defendants.

The age profile of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants varied slightly to non-Indigenous defendants. Those aged under 30 years accounted for less than half (47%) of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants compared with 40% of non-Indigenous defendants.

Graph Image for DEFENDANTS FINALISED(a), Magistrates' Courts, Indigenous Status(b) by age, Northern Territory

Footnote(s): (a) Excludes ANZSOC Division 14 and Subdivision 041 (see Explanatory Notes paragraph 50-51) and organisations. (b) Excludes defendants with an Indigenous Status of not stated.

Source(s): Criminal Courts, Australia



There was also variation when comparing offence categories. In the Northern Territory, the three main offences for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants adjudicated were: acts intended to cause injury (42%), offences against justice (19%) and public order offences (10%). For non-Indigenous defendants, the three main offences were: acts intended to cause injury (22%), illicit drugs (20%) and offences against justice (13%).

When comparing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants with non-Indigenous defendants, the proportions of custodial to non-custodial orders varied in 2011-12. In the Northern Territory, more than half (60%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants proven guilty were sentenced to custodial orders compared with 30% of non-Indigenous defendants. By age, similar proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants and non-Indigenous defendants aged under 25 years received custodial sentences.

Graph Image for DEFENDANTS PROVEN GUILTY(a), Magistrates' Courts, Indigenous Status(b), Custodial orders by age, Northern Territory

Footnote(s): (a) Excludes ANZSOC Division 14 and Subdivision 041 (see Explanatory Notes paragraph 50-51) and organisations. (b) Excludes defendants with an Indigenous Status of not stated.

Source(s): Criminal Courts, Australia



The distribution of non-custodial sentences across age groups was similar for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous defendants. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants aged 20 to 24 accounted for 21% of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders sentenced to a non-custodial order, followed by 25 to 29 year olds (18%). Non-Indigenous defendants aged 20 to 24 accounted for 20% of all non-Indigenous defendants sentenced to a non-custodial order, followed by 25 to 29 year olds (15%).

The age group that least commonly received a non-custodial order was similar for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous defendants:
  • 3% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants aged 50 to 54 years old and 55 years and over were sentenced to non-custodial orders
  • 5% of non-Indigenous defendants aged 50 to 54 years were sentenced to non-custodial orders.

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