In Victoria, where greater emphasis is placed on drug and alcohol courts and youth conferencing, nine out of 100,000 adolescents are in custody, compared with 38 in NSW.The review said the heavy stick approach was not helping law and order as the level of youth crime was more or less static.
Furthermore, community-based interventions are always much cheaper than incarceration, the review said.
"While 'get tough' approaches may be politically attractive, evidence indicates they are not effective."
A disproportionate number of those jailed were mentally ill, socially marginalised or Indigenous.
So much for the evidence.