Changes in the prevalence and nature of violent crime by youth in Victoria, Australia
Contemporary Australian crime statistics reveal an overall increasing trend in juvenile assault and other violent offence categories; these statistics have coincided with concerns within the Australian criminal justice system that the nature of youth violence has changed. This study utilized a detailed case file review design to investigate the extent and nature of changes in patterns of violent youth offending in Victoria, Australia. It was hypothesized that violent offending would significantly increase between 2000 and 2010, and that the characteristics of those engaging in violence and the types of violence they engaged in would have changed. Analyses showed that violent crime increased significantly and a number of clinically pertinent differences were observed. Continued monitoring of nuanced changes in the frequency and nature of violent offending among Australian youth is warranted to continue to reassure members of the community that criminal justice services are highly committed to their safety.
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