Youth Rehabilitation Orders
Young offenders may be given a community sentence if they are convicted of a crime by a court but are not sentenced to custody.
There are three main community sentences a court can give a young person under 18:
- Referral orders – when, with a panel of people from your local community and your youth justice workers, you are asked to agree a programme of work to address your behaviour
- Reparation orders – when you make up for the harm caused by your crime; for example by repairing any damage to the victim’s property
- Youth Rehabilitation Order – when a court decides on different things that you have to do or must not do, which can last for up to three years.
You can also be given a discharge, when the court decides that the experience of being arrested and going to court is enough of a punishment.
As part of your community sentence you may also have to speak to the victim and:
- listen to their side of the story
- apologise to them, either in writing or, if the victim wants, face-to-face.
If you break the rules of your community sentence you could end up back in court, and if you have recently been released from custody you could be sent back.
A supervision order is a non-custodial – or community – sentence that is imposed on a young person (aged 11 to 17), either at a youth court or a crown court. The order requires the young person to be supervised by a member of the youth offending team (called the ‘supervising officer’). The order can be made for up to three years and is organised by the supervising officer, according to standards required by the Home Office.
The purpose of a supervision order is to help a young person do what is necessary to stop offending, and protect the public from harm.
Once the order has been made, your co-operation and the support of your family are essential if the order is to be of use to you.
- You will be assigned a youth offending team worker, who will oversee the supervision order.
- This worker will draw up a detailed plan (called a ‘supervision plan’) of what you will be doing during your order (such as attending school and meetings with the youth offending team worker).
- This plan will be agreed with you and your parents/carers within the first week.
- The supervision plan will be reviewed every three months. You and your parents, where possible, will be asked to help in this process and have the right to a copy of the plan.
The supervision order aims to make demands on the offender and protect the public from harm. We will work with you to find new ways of dealing with situations so that you do not offend again. You will also be expected to consider the effect your crime has had on its victims and make amends for your behaviour.
Your supervising officer has a duty to encourage you to work on those areas that are linked to your offending. If this is going to make any difference, you will need to talk openly with your officer about yourself.
To comply with your supervision order you must:
- notify the supervising officer if you change your address
- attend appointments (with youth offending team staff or partner agencies) when required
- arrive on time for these appointments
- comply with any reasonable directions from youth offending team staff, such as attending school and other appointments
- comply with any additional requirements, such as specific pieces of work or activities included in your order.
For the duration of the order, the following behaviour is prohibited on youth offending team premises, or when staff (or anyone operating under their direction) accompany you:
- attending appointments while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- fighting, violent or aggressive behaviour or threats of violence
- other conduct or language that might give serious offence to people
- other persistent non co-operative behaviour.
At the time of sentence, the court may add further requirements which you must comply with. These could include requirements to:
- live at specified places
- participate in specified activities
- adhere to a curfew for specified periods of time.
Making good progress
If you make good progress, you or your supervising officer can ask the court to end the order early. The court is unlikely to agree to this unless, in the opinion of your supervising officer, you have completed at least half the sentence satisfactorily, without committing another offence.
Failure to comply with your supervision order
If you ‘breach’ or do not comply with any requirement of your order, the youth offending team will return you to court. The court will expect you to answer to this alleged breach, and will decide if you have breached the order.
If the court considers you to have breached your order, it may:
- revoke the order and pass another sentence, which could include custody
- tell you to complete the order, but punish you by imposing either a fine of up to £1,000, an attendance centre order or a curfew order.