Community Interventions of the Criminal Justice System

Community Interventions of the Criminal Justice System

Referral Order

  • Order is given to a young person in Youth Court who pleads guilty to an offence when it is his/her first time in Court (unless the offence is deemed to be so serious that only a custodial sentence can be imposed)
  • Order lasts between 3-12 months
  • YOT complete an Asset Assessment and report identifying areas of concern and positive areas of a young person’s life
  • A panel consisting of two community volunteers and a YOT officer meets with the young person and their carers to agree a contract of work aimed at reducing the risk of further offending
  • The victim of the offence is always asked to attend if they wish so that the young person can better understand the consequences of their offending
  • An element of reparation must be included in the contract. This can be an agreement to write a letter of apology or carrying out some practical work for the victim or the local community

The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 gives more flexibility and allows wider use of Referral Orders through: 

  • A discretionary power to impose a Referral Order on young people convicted of an offence for a second time and who plead guilty, where they had not previously had a Referral Order;
  • A discretionary power to impose a second Referral Order on the recommendation of the Youth Offending Team in exceptional circumstances.

Community sentences

There are different types of orders that can be given:

  • Reparation Order – requires young person to complete up to 24 hours of Reparation in a 3-month period. Reparation can be direct to the victim but more often is undertaken in the local community.
  • Action Plan Order – lasts for 3 months and is issued in Court. It is an intensive programme that requires twice-weekly contact to deliver an individually tailored programme to reduce the likelihood of further offending behaviour.
  • Supervision Order – lasts for up to 3 years. The young person must meet with his/her supervisor at regular intervals to complete a programme of work based on assessment to reduce their risk of committing further offences.
  • Community Rehabilitation Order – Order lasts for up to 3 years and is only available for young people aged 16-17. The young person is required to complete a programme of work based on assessment to reduce their risk of committing further offences. 
  • Community Punishment Order – Available for young people aged 16-17. The young person must complete community work for hours agreed by the Court of between 40-240.
  • Community Punishment & Rehabilitation Order – combines both above elements. 
  • Attendance Centre Order – Requires a young person to attend the attendance centre for up to 36 hours. Programmes concentrate upon group work to give attendees basic skills, life skills, as well as undertaking offending behaviour work and physical activity. 
  • Curfew Order – Requires a young person to remain, at set periods of time at a specified place and can be imposed alongside other Orders.

The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 introduced a new generic community order for any offences committed by young people after the 30th November 2009. The Youth Rehabilitation Order replaces the nine community sentences listed above and combines up to 18 requirements into one generic sentence.

The following requirements can be attached to a YRO:

  • Activity Requirement 
  • Curfew Requirement
  • Exclusion Requirement
  • Local Authority Residence Requirement
  • Education Requirement
  • Mental Health Treatment Requirement
  • Unpaid Work Requirement (16/17 years)
  • Drug Testing Requirement
  • Intoxicating Substance Treatment Requirement
  • Supervision Requirement
  • Electronic Monitoring Requirement
  • Prohibited Activity Requirement
  • Drug Treatment Requirement
  • Residence Requirement
  • Programme Requirement
  • Attendance Centre Requirement
  • Intensive Supervision and Surveillance
  • Intensive Fostering (only available in pilot areas)

The level of contact on a YRO is determined by the assessed level of re-offending or serious harm determined at assessment stage.

Intensive Supervision and Surveillance (ISS)

ISS is the most rigorous non-custodial intervention available for young offenders (aged 10-17). As its name suggests, it combines unprecedented levels of community-based surveillance with a comprehensive and sustained focus on tackling the factors that contribute to the young person's offending behaviour.

ISS targets the most active repeat young offenders, and those who commit the most serious crimes. ISS is a programme that can be given as an added condition of either a Supervision,Community Rehabilitation Order, Youth Rehabilitation Order or the community element of a Detention and Training Order. It is generally a 6-month programme but can be imposed for up to 12 months for the most persistent/serious offenders.

During the first 3 months, the young offender is supervised for up to 25 hours per week. In addition the young person is usually tagged and on curfew during this time.

During the last 3 months the young offender is supervised for a minimum of five hours a week.

ISS is individually tailored to target assessed issues that are contributing to a young person’s risk of further offending.

Last Modified: 05/12/2018
For more information contact:

Youth Offending Team

Tel: 01495 768300

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