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If the young person commits further offences or a more serious offence, they may then be sent to court.

Magistrates and Judges have a number of orders they can use, including the following:

Referral Order

A referral order is the community sentence most often used by the courts when dealing with 10 to 17 year olds, particularly for first time offenders who plead guilty. The young person upon receiving this order has to attend a Referral Order Panel which is composed of volunteers from the community and a panel advisor from the Youth Offending Service. The panel along with the young person, their parents/carers and the victim of the offence (where appropriate) agree a contract or work and support lasting between three and twelve months.

Youth Rehabilitation Order

A Youth Rehabilitation Order (YRO) can be imposed by a court on a young person under the age of 18 years old when they are being sentenced for committing a criminal offence. A YRO will last for a maximum period of three years. YROs are non-custodial community sentences and each sentence includes different requirements which must be adhered to by the young person.

These may include the requirement for the young person to meet with a worker from the Youth Offending Service or be required to comply with other activities, e.g., unpaid work, a curfew or specific conditions on where they can live.


Sentences to Custody

There are two types of sentences to custody. They are:

  • Detention and Training Order: This is a custodial sentence for young people ranging from four months and two years. The first half of this sentence is spent in custody and the second half of the sentence will be in the community under the supervision of the Youth Offending Service.

  • Section 90/91: This sentence can only be given by the Crown Court in response to an offence committed by a young person, which, if committed by an adult, would receive a sentence of fourteen or more years. A minimum custodial period will be set by the sentencing court.


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