Court orders

If a young person’s offence is serious enough that they need to attend court, if they do not admit an offence or if they breach their pre-court conditions and are sent to court, they will receive one or more of the following orders, if found guilty.

Referral order

Referral Orders are most often used by the courts when dealing with 10-17 year olds, particularly for first time offenders who enter a plea of guilty on their first offence.  It is a community based order in which the court refers the child to a youth offender panel, which is led by volunteer members of the community and held at an informal venue. 

The panel along with the child, parent/carer and victim (where applicable) will agree a contract of work aimed at repairing the harm that has been caused and addressing the causes of the offending behaviour. The child is expected to comply with the order or could be returned to court for non compliance.

Victims have the opportunity if they wish, to say how they have been affected by the offence, they may also ask questions and seek reassurance that they will not be targeted again by the child and receive an explanation and/or an apology.

A young person will be expected to:

  • complete an assessment with the Youth Offending Service
  • attend Youth Offender Panels with a parent/carer
  • sign and agree a contract with panel members
  • attend and engage with appointments set by the Youth Offending Service to complete the points agreed in the contract
  • engage with all services provided

Detention and Training Order (DTO)

A Detention and Training Order (DTO) is a custodial sentence which ranges from 4-months (minimum) to 24-months (maximum) whereby the sentenced young person will serve the first half of the DTO detained in either a young offender’s institution (YOI) for those aged 15 years and over, or a secure training centre (STC) for those under 15 years or assessed as vulnerable. The second half of a DTO is served in the community subject to licence conditions which are monitored by the YOS which can include attending scheduled appointments, an electronic curfew or even exclusion zones in some cases. Failure to engage with licence conditions can result in either a financial penalty or recall to custody.

Whilst detained, regular review meetings take place. At the first review, a plan of what interventions will be put in place whilst detained will be set including checks on the young person’s health and welfare. From there on, quarterly review meetings will take place to check on progression made through the set plan in addition to health and welfare feedback. Prior to the release date, the YOS will draft the licence conditions which will be explained to the young person and parent/carer at the final review. An official copy of the licence will also be provided to the young person upon release.

YOS case managers and parent/carers will be invited to all review meetings which take place at the custodial estate. Those who work with the young person within the prison will also be invited to review meetings to provide face to face feedback in most cases. For those who cannot attend for any reason, will provide a written report to be fed back.

Once released back into the community, the young person will be required to comply with all aspects of their licence conditions. A plan of the work they will continue to do with the YOS will also be set and agreed.

When you finish your DTO your conviction will not be spent (spent convictions don’t affect you when you apply for most jobs in the future). You can ask your YOS worker what this means and when it does become spent.

Criminal Behavioural Order (CBO) formerly known as ASBO

A CBO (formerly known as ASBO) aims to prevent more serious offending for those who come to the attention of the Police for engaging in anti-social behaviour or criminal activity.

CBO’s are designed to be preventative, not punitive. So young people placed on CBO’s will not be convicted or have the CBO on their criminal record. However, failure to comply with a CBO is a criminal offence which provides the court the power to impose all sentencing options on conviction, including a custodial sentence.

The aim of a CBO is to support young people with addressing their anti-social/criminal behaviours using requirements to address the underlying causes of negative behaviour. Examples of requirements include exclusions from certain areas/locations of concern to non-association with people they are likely to get into trouble with.

The court can only issue a CBO in addition to any other sentence or conditional discharge disposed. However, before any application for a CBO can be made at court, the imposing police or local authority ‘must’ seek the views and approval of the YOS. This consultation is an important part of the process as the YOS have the responsibility to consider if any proposed prohibitions conflicts with YOS, work or education commitments. This process in essence prevents young people from having unrealistic conditions added to their CBO, or unnecessarily having to return to court to amend the CBO.

Applications can be made to the sentencing court at any time to vary or discharge the order. This flexibility allows for those monitoring the CBO to alter terms to suit developing new circumstances in the young person’s life.

Youth Rehabilitation Order (YRO)

Youth Rehabilitation Orders are given to young people that have been convicted of an offence in court. If you receive a YRO, you will have to spend time at the Youth Offending Service (YOS) and with partnership agencies doing agreed work approved by the Court.  The intention of a YRO is to help young people and their families with the problems they may be facing that contributed to them getting into trouble.  Wherever possible, the YOS will offer support and guidance and even for the most serious offences and most problematic behaviour. We'll try to offer the Court alternatives to placing children in secure children's homes, secure training centres or Young Offenders Institutes.

We'll support you to:

  • Stay out of trouble: to make sure that through our work together you learn from you mistakes and don’t repeat them.  Through our offending behaviour work and with our partnerships such as Sparks 2 Life mentoring, The Kinsella Trust and Box Up Crime we work together so that young people’s behaviours are addressed and challenged and improved.
  • Not hurt others: so that your behaviour improves, and you contribute positively to society and become a valued member of your community.  We work directly with CAMHS, Subwize Community and Gangs Police.
  • Keep safe: we know that for some young people and their families their own behaviour can sometimes hide the fact that they are not free from harm.  Our partnership working is designed to help everyone that comes to us and to improve their own wellbeing. 
  • Repair harm: we believe all young people are sorry for their behaviour but that is sometimes the mistakes they make are the hardest thing for young people to admit to.  Through our reparation projects and restorative approaches (through direct and non-direct victim work) to benefit victims of crime, we help our young people to effectively say sorry and begin to make amendments for their behaviour.
  • Reach your potential: we believe that all children are entitled to the very best chances of achieving success and happiness and everything in our power will be done to ensure this even for those who are most in trouble. Education, Training, Apprenticeships and Employment are the keys to long term success for all

Youth Rehabilitation Order with Intensive Supervision and Surveillance (YRO with ISS)

A Youth Rehabilitation Order with Intensive Supervision and Surveillance (sometimes called a YRO with ISS, or just ISS) is the same as a youth rehabilitation order, but you must also wear an electronic tag and have your location checked twice a day, at any time. You will have a curfew, this means there will be certain times of the day when you must be at home. You must also attend 25 hours of requirements or activities or YOS appointments every week. This includes 15 hours of education, training and/or employment. You must tell your YOS case manager if you are at school or college or in work so that your appointments can be arranged around this.

Next steps

You will receive a letter within a few days telling you and your parent/carer when to attend your first appointment with your YOS case manager. You will be given a case manager and he/she will meet with you, ask you some questions and write a plan telling you what requirements or activities you must do and how often you must attend your YOS appointments.

You will also be visited at home by someone from an agency who will fit the electronic tag to your ankle. You must not tamper with or damage this in any way. The agency will also install a device in your home which will alert them if you leave your home during the curfew hours that you were given. If you do, this you will be taken back to court.

When you finish your YRO with ISS your conviction will not be spent (spent convictions don’t affect you when you apply for most jobs in the future).  You can ask your YOS worker what this means and when it does become spent.

If you engage very well with the YOS and attend all your appointments, your YOS worker may decide to take your order back to court and to ask for it to finish early.