Technical terms are often used when describing aspects of youth offending. Below are the most commonly used terms arranged in order of least to most serious consequences.
Issued to first-time offenders for minor offences by the police. Serves as an official conviction and warning that next time the punishment will be more serious.
Further offending following a reprimand or a more serious first offence, can result in a final warning being issued. A final warning involves the police referring the offender to the youth offending team who will assess the young person, and where necessary design a programme of activity with the young person to tackle the causes and consequences of their actions. Any further offending will result in a formal charge and being sent to court.
- action plan orders
- supervision orders
- community rehabilitation orders
- community punishment orders
YOT’s assess each young offender with a new national standardised tool called asset. This is used to determine the specific problems of the individual and what risk they pose to others and to themselves. The findings from this assessment are used to inform any subsequent work with that young person in order to prevent further offending
A referral order involves the court referring the offender to a Youth Offender Panel. These orders are only issued to youths who have not previously been convicted and if they admit their guilt.
If you need more information about referral orders you can contact us online.
Youth offender panels
If sentenced to a Referral Order an offender will be referred to a Youth Offender Panel, which involves volunteer members of the community, carers, parents, victims and the young offender, agreeing a plan of action in the form of a 'contract' to repair the harm done to the victim and to prevent any future offending. They ensure young offenders take responsibility for their behaviour by giving victims a chance to say how committing the offence has affected them.
If you need more information about youth offender panels you can contact us online.
A reparation order is a way of dealing with young people between the ages of 10 and 17 who appear before a court. The order will involve reparation work, not exceeding a total of 24 hours, being made to the victim or community. This can take many forms.
If you need more information about reparation orders you can contact us online.
The idea is for the young offender to make some kind of reparation to the victim or work carried out in and for the benefit of the local community. This can form a part of community penalties.
Action plan order
An action plan order is a way of dealing with young people between the ages of 10 and 17. A youth court will issue this type of order that will require the young offender to complete any number of specific tasks, such as:
- participating in activities
- staying away from specified places
- attending work groups
- monitored school attendance
If you need more information about action plan orders you can contact us online.
A supervision order issued by a court is a more demanding sentence which can involve a range of requirements including drug treatment, residence requirements and curfews. The order may also involve reparation work and can last for a period of up to three years.
If you need more information about supervision orders you can contact us online.
Usually part of a supervision order. The young offender is required to live in local authority accommodation.
Detention and training order
This is a custodial sentence in a detention and training centre for 12-17 year olds. It combines detention with training and will be used for young people who commit a serious offence or a number of offences. Half of the sentence will be spent in custody and the other half will be supervised by the YOT in the community.
If you need more information about detention and training orders you can contact us online.
Anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs)
ASBOs are a way of tackling persistent anti-social behaviour. They are designed to protect people whose lives are disrupted by the actions of specific individuals and not to punish those perpetrators. They can be used for a variety of offences and can ban people from doing things in specific places and sometimes from entering certain areas on a map (exclusion zones). ASBOs can be applied for in relation to any individual aged 10 and over and last for a minimum of 2 years.
Intensive supervision and surveillance programme (ISSP)
This programme is aimed at the most prolific offenders and involves a minimum of 25 hours contact a week, electronic tagging, voice verification and intensive work with young people and their families.
Mediation involves a victim of crime and the young offender meeting in person for the offender to make a verbal apology.
Provides young offenders with an adult role model to give them direction and support and involve the local community in helping young people to improve their behaviour.
Parenting orders are designed to offer the parents weekly guidance and training sessions for up to three months on topics such as parenting skills, preventing your child re-offending or helping parents with attendance problems at school. Such orders can also include parents ensuring their child is at home during set hours and appropriately supervised.
If you need more information about parenting orders you can contact us online.
Youth inclusion support services (YISS)
The YISS team work with young people who are not offenders but are identified as on the brink of offending behaviour. They will accept self-referrals from young people who feel they need extra support to stay away from offending behaviour or from parents and carers who may be concerned about their child becoming a young offender. You can contact the YISS team on (01482) 396623 for a self referral.
Youth justice system
The youth justice system in England and Wales, comprises YOTs, the police, the youth courts, and the institutions where young people are held in custody. The youth justice system has one overall aim, to prevent youth offending.
Youth justice board (YJB)
Is a non-departmental government body that monitors performance of the YOTs in England and Wales against their individual youth justice plans to ensure national standards are met and maintained.
The YJB's aims and objectives are:
- confronting young offenders with the consequences of their offending
- punishment proportionate to the seriousness and persistence of offending
- encouraging reparation to victims by young offenders
- reinforcing parents' responsibilities
- swift administration of justice
- and interventions that target particular factors which put a young person at risk of offending.
Restorative justice is a set of principles that offers an alternative way of dealing with crime. It is based on the belief that crime is not just an act perpetrated against the state but an act that damages relationships amongst people within a community. It uses healing as a real alternative to retribution and punishment by balancing the concerns of the community with the need to reintegrate the offender into society.
Restorative justice can involve:
- consulting with victims and offenders about what happened and what might happen in the future
- involving relevant community members in helping the victim to recover and offenders to take responsibility for their actions
- assessing the reasons for particular offences and taking steps to help reduce the risk of them being repeated
- being flexible so the steps taken can be adjusted to individual circumstances avoiding 'assembly line justice'
- all agencies working together to the common aims of restoring victims and offenders to a supportive community
Healing the harm can be made directly to the victim in the form of dialogue, an apology, compensation or the carrying out of an activity that benefits the victim or the wider community. For example, a victim might ask the offender to repair for the damage to their property or recommend the offender do some work for a local community centre.
The youth offending team keeps information about you for as long as necessary in performing its statutory duties, in paper and electronic form. Under the Data Protection Act you have the right to a copy of the information held about you, subject to certain restrictions. If you wish to access this information please see our parenting worker or contact the youth offending team administrative and information officer, who will explain the process.
If you consider that you have been treated unfairly during your contact with the Youth Offending Team, you have the right to complain. You should first discuss the matter with the worker concerned or his/her manager. If you are not satisfied with the outcome then you can contact the youth offending team manager on (01482) 396623.