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


ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER DEFENDANTS

New South Wales

In the Magistrates' Courts in 2011-12, 8,680 defendants (13%) finalised in New South Wales identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

Graph Image for DEFENDANTS FINALISED(a), Magistrates' Courts, Indigenous Status, New South Wales

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 varied for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants when compared to non-Indigenous defendants. In New South Wales, 27% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants were female compared to 18% of non-Indigenous defendants.

The age profile of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants also differed from non-Indigenous defendants. Those aged under 30 years accounted for half (50%) of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants compared with 43% of non-Indigenous defendants.

Graph Image for DEFENDANTS FINALISED(a), Magistrates' Courts, Indigenous Status(b) by age, New South Wales

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. The three main offences for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants adjudicated were: acts intended to cause injury (42%), theft (13%) and public order offences (10%). For non-Indigenous defendants, the three main offences were acts intended to cause injury (36%), illicit drug offences (17%), and theft (12%).

In the Magistrates' Courts the majority of defendants proven guilty were sentenced to non-custodial orders. 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 New South Wales, almost one-third (31%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants were sentenced to a custodial order compared with 15% of non-Indigenous defendants. By age, there was some difference in the younger age groups, with a larger proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants aged under 25 years receiving custodial sentences compared with non-Indigenous defendants.

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

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



Of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants proven guilty and sentenced to a non-custodial order, 20 to 24 year olds comprised almost one-quarter (23%), followed by 25 to 29 year olds (16%). Very similar proportions were found for non-Indigenous defendants proven guilty, with 20 to 24 year olds accounting for 21% of defendants sentenced to a non-custodial order, followed by 25 to 29 year olds (16%).

The age group that least commonly received a non-custodial order was the same for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous defendants:
  • 2% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants aged 55 years and over were sentenced to non-custodial orders
  • 5% of non-Indigenous defendants aged 55 years and over were sentenced to non-custodial orders.

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