Department for Education
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Smarter and stronger sentences for youth crime

New, smarter punishments, that will further tackle the underlying causes of youth crime, help prevent reoffending and make our neighbourhoods safer and better places to live, will come into effect on 30 November, Ed Balls and Jack Straw announced yesterday.

The Youth Rehabilitation Order (YRO) will provide judges and magistrates with a choice of 18 rigorous options from which they will be able to create a sentence specifically designed to deal with the individual circumstances of the young offender before them and so help them turn their backs on crime.

The YRO will consolidate and enhance existing community sentences to enable courts to sentence in a flexible and tailored way. The YRO provides a range of sentencing options that will punish effectively and rehabilitate young people, including intensive fostering, intensive surveillance and supervision requirements, electronic monitoring, curfews, the required attendance of substance abuse or mental health programmes as well as undertaking tough community work and reparation. This could include apologising to their victim, in order to make visible amends for their crimes.

Custody will continue to be available to punish those who commit the most serious offences.

The community payback element of YROs, which will see young offenders scrubbing off graffiti and repairing the damage wrought by vandals not only gives offenders a hard lesson through tough punishment, but also brings a benefit to local communities who have been affected.

Justice Secretary Jack Straw said:

“Breaking the cycle of youth crime is key to making our communities safer; preventing reoffending; and putting young and vulnerable people back on the right track. The Youth Rehabilitation Order takes a tough but fair approach and provides sufficient support to achieve this. It will deliver a serious punishment while also tackling the underlying causes of offending behaviour so it is easier for the young person to turn their back on crime.

“We have already made real progress with our Youth Crime Action Plan as there are fewer young people entering the criminal justice system in the first place. But there is always more that can be done.

Speaking at the Youth Justice Convention in Southport today, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families Ed Balls said:

“Youth Rehabilitation Orders will build on existing community sentences to give courts the power to make sure young people get the punishment they deserve when their behaviour is unacceptable, as well as giving them the tailored support they need to break away from a cycle of crime. Those under-18s who commit serious crimes or are persistent offenders will still be given custody to protect the public.

“The figures show that the triple track approach of tough enforcement, non negotiable support and early intervention and prevention is working and I believe the Youth Rehabilitation Order will be an important sentence that will protect the public and prevent re-offending.”

Editor's Notes
This press notice relates to 'England'

1. The YRO comes into effect on 30 November nationwide. The following community sentences will, in respect of children and young persons, be replaced by the YRO:
• Action Plan Order
• Attendance Centre Order
• Community Punishment & Rehabilitation Order
• Community Punishment Order
• Community Rehabilitation Order
• Curfew Order
• Drug Treatment and Testing Order
• Supervision Order
• Exclusion Order

2. Reparation Orders and Referral Orders will continue to be available to the courts. The following requirements can be attached to a YRO:
• Activity requirement
• Supervision requirement
• Attendance Centre requirement
• Programme requirement
• Curfew requirement
• Education requirement
• Residence requirement (16/17 year olds only)
• Local Authority Residence requirement
• Drug Treatment requirement
• Drug Testing requirement
• Mental health treatment requirement
• Intoxicating substance treatment requirement
• Exclusion requirement
• Prohibited activity requirement
• Electronic monitoring requirement
• Unpaid work requirement (16/17 Year olds only)
• Intensive fostering
• Intensive supervision and surveillance

3. The Sentencing Guidelines Council will shortly publish the first sentencing guideline which sets out overarching principles for judges to take in account when they sentence young people.
4. More than 222,609 young people have benefited from YCAP in the last year, potentially diverting them from committing, or becoming the victim of a crime. And 29,803 of them were referred on to other specialist services to address their behaviour.
5. By the end of March 2011 Government will have invested £122m of funding for Family Intervention Projects to confront and challenge the parents and children they work with to change their behaviour.
6. For further information please call MoJ Press Office on 020 333 4 3525 or DCSF press office on 020 7925 6789.

Contact Details
Public Enquiries 0870 000 2288, info@dcsf.gsi.gov.uk

 

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