Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that this page may contain words, names and descriptions of people who have passed away.

Download the report (PDF, 3.5 MB)

The Connecting the dots report examines courts data for cases involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples sentenced in Queensland between July 2005 and June 2019.

It examines trends and patterns and provides insight into the sentencing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Queensland.

Insights and reflections from members of the Council’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel are unique to this report.

Our research found:

  • 52,937 unique Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were sentenced in Queensland across 321,669 cases
  • the number of unique offenders decreased from 88.7 offenders per 1,000 in 2005–06 to 78.2 offenders per 1,000 in 2018–19 while the number of sentenced cases increased
  • the proportion of female offenders increased over time, from 28.8% in 2005–06 to 31.0% in 2018–19
  • children accounted for over 1 in 10 sentenced offenders (12.7%)
  • justice and government offences were the most common offences sentenced (41.2%), followed by public order offences (38.6%)
  • over two-thirds were repeat offenders (70.3%)
  • the most common penalty for adults was a monetary order (60.1%)
  • the use of custodial penalties for adults increased over time
  • nearly half of all adults sentenced to imprisonment received a sentence less than 6 months (46.8%)
  • the likelihood of receiving imprisonment was increased by:
    • the seriousness of the offence
    • prior offending
    • prior imprisonment
    • being sentenced for more than one offence
    • being male and younger (which resulted in a greater likelihood of imprisonment)
  • a reprimand was the most common penalty received by children (23.9%).

Read the media release

Technical paper

Our technical paper explains important terminology, data sources, counting rules and methodologies for our research publications.
Download technical paper (PDF, 139.3 KB)