The make-up of the target group

How large is the potential group?

There are about 1,350 young people in the target group, which makes up about 16% of the total number of young people receiving cautions. Some demographic details of this group can be estimated:

  • 87% are male
  • 67% are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders
  • 46% were first involved in the criminal justice system before the age of 14

Of particular relevance is the very high proportion of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the target group.

Note that this target group is only made up of people who receive cautions from police or courts. Some young people do not receive cautions, but instead go straight to attending a Youth Justice Conference, or receive a Juvenile Justice-administered sentence from a court. These young people generally do not receive cautions because they have committed more serious offences.

It is likely that more serious offenders have a risk of re-offending that is even higher than the group of young people receiving cautions, as shown above, and therefore the Youth on Track model may be appropriate for them. We know that there are about 300 young people whose first contact is other than a caution, and so adding this to the target group of those receiving cautions makes about 1,600 young people it may be appropriate to refer to Youth on Track.

Where are they from?

Using the re-offending model and the latest data on juvenile offenders, relatively accurate predictions can be made of where the Youth on Track target group are likely to be located.

A map of the distribution of the target group is shown in Figure 5, below. The areas with the largest numbers of likely Youth on Track participants are in the Sydney (predominately Blacktown and Outer Western Sydney), Hunter, Mid-North Coast, Northern and North Western Statistical Divisions. About two thirds of the target group are located with the majority of the population � in the Sydney, Illawarra, Hunter and Mid-North Coast areas.

  Figure 5: Target group members by statistical subdivision

Target group members by statistical subdivision