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A DTO is a custodial sentence where time is split between custody and supervision in the community. Requirements to Notices of Supervision should be designed to prevent future crime. They should never be applied as a punishment.

To address youth offending, we must look to the evidence of what works

This means that the requirement is necessary to enable the management of identified risks of harm posed by the child or young person. No other less onerous requirement will suffice. The requirement must be needed to allow for effective management of the child or young person. This means that any restriction or loss of liberty arising from the imposition of the requirement is proportionate to the level of risk presented by the child or young person.

It also means that no other less intrusive means of addressing the risk is available or appropriate. The requirement cannot go further than what is necessary to manage the risk. You should also look at the likelihood of reoffending and risk of serious harm to help you assess the level of intervention required. You should refer to the case management guidance and the joint national protocol for transitions in England or the youth to adult transition principles and guidance for Wales for further information about what to do when a young person turns 18 during their sentence.

This guidance does not cover licences, but there are specific instances when it is useful to outline when licences apply to children and young people. The function of a licence is very similar to that of a Notice of Supervision, however there are some important distinctions that you must pay close attention to. In the youth justice system licences apply to custodial sentences that are not DTOs and not Section 91 sentences of less than 12 months. The legislation supporting licence conditions is a little more detailed than that for Notices of Supervision and there is a legal obligation for standard conditions to be imposed as a part of a licence as outlined in the Criminal Justice Sentencing Licence Conditions Order 2.

In setting licence conditions, the Secretary of State for Justice is required to have regard to the following aims when supervising offenders while on licence:. This guidance does not change the way in which licences and licence conditions for children and young people operate. There is a difference in the statutory framework that provides the basis for requirements for Notices of Supervision and licence conditions. Section of the Criminal Justice Act outlines that standard conditions should be applied to all licences licences for adults and children.

The possible additional conditions may be added onto a licence if it is felt that it is necessary and proportionate to achieve the aims of the licence. There is nothing specific within legislation that outlines the standard or additional requirements that can or should be added to a Notice of Supervision. There are standard requirements, drawn from the Criminal Justice Act , which will normally be applied to all Notices of Supervision for children and young people leaving custody. This includes the option of additional requirements if it is deemed proportionate and necessary to apply them to the child or young person.

These are illustrated in the table below. It is important that you talk this through with the child or young person so that they understand the impact, and their right to a family and private life as conferred by Article 8 of the Human Rights Act is respected. You should explain the standard and additional requirements to them and make sure that they understand what is expected of them while they are under supervision. This is in line with the national standards for youth justice services.

You must also ensure that the child or young person understands the consequences of breaching any of the requirements and explain the next steps. Read more about breach and recall in the case management guidance. When deciding whether to breach a child or young person you should have due regard as to whether they have an acceptable reason for breaching their requirement.

Finally, you must let the child or young person know that should they feel they will not be able to comply with any of the requirements included in the Notice of Supervision, they must inform their supervising officer. This will allow the child or young person and their supervising officer to work together to avoid breach.

Where standard requirements are not sufficient to address identified risks, additional or different requirements can be attached to the Notice of Supervision. When applying for additional Notice of Supervision requirements, you must be able to demonstrate whether they are necessary and proportionate. The imposition of requirements in a Notice of Supervision must be fair and reasonable, and must be necessary and proportionate to the individual circumstances of the child or young person. Standard requirements can be applied, but in exceptional and appropriate circumstances there must be scope for alternative but still necessary and appropriate conditions to be applied.

It has gone through a significant amount of consultation, but if you wish, bespoke requirements can be applied for, however you must justify their need and identify how the bespoke additional requirement is both necessary and proportionate. You can appeal decisions made with the decision-making authority via email or letter or by the complaints procedure. You must provide reason for your appeal and clearly explain why you feel the denied additional requirements are both proportionate and necessary. Intensive Supervision and Surveillance is a high intensity programme designed to address complex factors which contribute to offending.

It is not a safeguarding measure and as a Notice of Supervision requirement should not be applied to punish a child or young person. It should only be used where it has been evidenced that such an intervention is proportionate and necessary to manage the risk of reoffending and where no less onerous intervention or requirement will manage the identified risks.

ISS cannot be applied for as an additional requirement if a child or young person does not meet the criteria. This is because the eligibility threshold for ISS has purposefully been set high. Based on the principles of a Victorian Christian home, reformatories are intended to save troubled children from a fallen life. The prison element is finally abolished in the Reformatory Schools Act Young people may be held in remand homes or in workhouses instead of being kept in adult prisons. Sir Evelyn Ruggles-Brise introduces a strict regime based on physical drill, training and education.

Initially, it is principally aimed at replacing punishment for young offenders. Release is followed by a supervised licence period of resettlement in the community. Replacing both reformatories and industrial schools, the voluntary units house both children deemed criminal and those beyond parental control. Non-custodial Attendance Centres are introduced for children over 12 to be sent for specified daytime activities.

The Act introduced them to replace court-imposed corporal punishment. The resulting inquiry recommended the use of more closed facilities for difficult children. Set up in , the Committee emphasises local authority welfare, early intervention and support for the family. Responding to the Ingleby Report, it also requires local authorities to undertake preventative work with children and families at risk of offending. Proposed by a Home Office Inspectorate group in , the custodial units are meant for children aged 10 to 18 who have absconded from open Approved Schools.

The recommendation is adopted by the Labour government and appears in a White Paper, but is subsequently dropped. It is one of several similar scandals at Approved Schools, fuelling public discontent. Secure units and approved schools are combined into local authority community homes. Its raising the age of criminal responsibility to 14 is never implemented. The Department of Health units are for young people considered too disturbed for other custodial options. Both youth treatment centres are closed by Detention centres are reaffirmed as a short, sharp shock. Custody rates fall dramatically.

In addition, the extent to which cases were diverted from the court process varied considerably between provinces.

The YCJA contains provisions to increase the appropriate use of extrajudicial measures for less serious offences, including the following principles:. The YCJA also sets out clear objectives to guide the use of extrajudicial measures, including repairing the harm caused to the victim and the community; providing an opportunity for victims to participate in decisions; ensuring that the measures are proportionate to the seriousness of the offence; and encouraging the involvement of families, victims and other members of the community.

The YCJA requires police officers to consider the use of extrajudicial measures before deciding to charge a young person. Police and prosecutors are specifically authorized to use various types of extrajudicial measures:. Under the YOA in , 63 percent of youths accused of a crime were charged and 37 percent were not charged. Under the YCJA in , 42 percent of youths accused of a crime were charged and 58 percent were not charged see Figure 1. The number of accused young persons who were charged includes those who were recommended for charging by police in provinces in which the prosecutor makes the decision on charging.

Young persons who were not charged include youths diverted from the court process through the use of warnings, referrals to community programs, cautions and pre-charge extrajudicial sanctions. This change in police behaviour occurred without evidence of net-widening; in other words, the evidence does not suggest an increase in the number of young persons drawn into the system and subjected to informal measures, but rather an increase in the use of informal measures as an alternative to laying charges. There has also been a significant reduction in the use of the court under the YCJA.

Youth court cases declined by 26 percent between and see Figure 2. After a large initial drop, the number of youth court cases has remained relatively stable.

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There have been declines in court cases in all provinces and territories, with declines of more than 20 percent in seven jurisdictions. Court cases have declined significantly in all major offence categories. Despite the significant reduction in the number of court cases, most cases still involve offences that are relatively "less serious. Figure 1: Accused Youths: Charged v. Not Charged - and Prior to the YCJA , the use of conferences was increasing in many parts of Canada in order to assist in the making of decisions regarding young persons who were involved in the youth justice system.

In general, a conference refers to various types of processes in which affected or interested parties come together to formulate plans to address the circumstances involved in individual youth cases. Conferences operated without legislative authority and in an informal manner. Conferences can take the form of family group conferencing, youth justice committees, community accountability panels, sentencing circles and inter-agency case conferences.

Conferences provide an opportunity for a wide range of perspectives on a case, more creative solutions, better coordination of services and increased involvement of the victim and other community members in the youth justice system. The YCJA authorizes and encourages the convening of conferences to assist decision makers in the youth justice system.

Under the legislation, a conference is defined as a group of people brought together to give advice to a police officer, judge, justice of the peace, prosecutor, provincial director or youth worker who is required to make a decision under the YCJA. A conference can give advice on decisions such as:.

A conference can be composed of a variety of people depending on the situation. It can include the parents of the young person, the victim, others who are familiar with the young person and his or her neighbourhood, and community agencies or professionals with a particular expertise that is needed for a decision. A conference under the YCJA is not a decision-making body. It provides advice or recommendations to a decision maker, such as a judge or a prosecutor. The recommendations can be accepted by the decision maker only if they are consistent with the YCJA.

Prior to the YCJA , there was considerable evidence that pre-trial detention was being over-used. In particular, large numbers of youths who were charged with relatively minor offences were being detained. Youths were often detained on charges for which adults were not detained. Most of the provisions related to pre-trial detention under the YOA were not changed with the coming into force of the YCJA , including the application of the Criminal Code. However, in response to concerns that pre-trial detention was being over-used, the YCJA , when passed by Parliament, included the following changes: Pre-trial detention is not to be used as a substitute for child protection, mental health or other social measures.

The objective of the amendments was to reduce complexity in order to facilitate effective decision-making at the pre-trial stage, which includes managing youth in the community where possible, while at the same time ensuring that youth who should be detained can be detained. Rather than applying the grounds for detention in the Criminal Code to youth, the amendments created a new stand-alone test for pre-trial detention of youth in the YCJA.

Now a court may detain a youth if the following criteria are met:. In , the average daily number of youths in remand was 15 percent higher than in see Figure 3. Six of the 10 provinces had a higher number of youths in remand in than in Comparisons of remand rates i. Based on statistics from the 10 provinces, the overall remand rate increased from 3. Pre-trial detention under the YCJA is primarily used to detain youths charged with non-violent offences.

The Law Society of South Australia

The most serious offence charged in about 75 percent of admissions to detention is a non-violent offence. The most common offence leading to detention is an administration of justice offence, such as a breach of a bail condition. Youth sentences were not required to be proportionate to the seriousness of the offence committed, and custody was often imposed as a sentence in less serious cases.

Youth courts sometimes imposed very intrusive sentences on young persons who committed relatively minor offences in an effort to address psychological or social needs. The YCJA includes a specific purpose and set of principles to guide judges in deciding on a fair and appropriate youth sentence.

Under the YCJA , the purpose of youth sentences is to hold young persons accountable through just sanctions that ensure meaningful consequences for them and promote their rehabilitation and reintegration into society, thereby contributing to the long-term protection of the public. Proportionality is a basic principle of fairness that means less serious offences should result in less severe consequences and more serious offences should result in more severe consequences.

The YCJA is clear that rehabilitative measures intended to address problems that appear to have caused the young person to commit an offence must not result in a sentence that is not in proportion to the seriousness of the offence committed. For example, a young person who has committed a relatively minor offence but has serious psychological needs that seem to have contributed to the behaviour should receive a sentence that reflects the seriousness of the offence and not the seriousness of the psychological needs. As passed by Parliament in , neither specific deterrence i.

The YCJA also did not provide for the adult sentencing objective of denunciation. In , Parliament amended the YCJA to permit a youth sentence to include the objectives of denunciation and specific deterrence.

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However, including these objectives must not result in a sentence that exceeds a proportionate response or is inconsistent with the purpose of sentencing and the mandatory sentencing principles mentioned above, such as choosing a sentence that is most likely to rehabilitate the young person. Under the YCJA , custody sentences are intended to be reserved primarily for violent offenders and serious repeat offenders.


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As passed by Parliament in , the Act provided that a young person could not be sentenced to custody unless:. In , Parliament amended the YCJA by expanding the meaning of violent offence and pattern of findings of guilt. The meaning of a "pattern" was expanded to include extrajudicial sanctions.

This means that extrajudicial sanctions will be included with findings of guilt in determining whether the young person has a history that indicates a pattern of offences. Before the court can impose a custodial sentence, it must consider all reasonable alternatives to custody and determine that there is no reasonable alternative capable of holding the young person accountable in accordance with the purpose and principles of sentencing discussed above.

This means, for example, that although a young person has failed to comply with previous non-custodial sentences, he or she may receive another non-custodial sentence if the court determines that it would be adequate to hold the young person accountable. Although the court must consider alternatives to custody for all offenders, particular attention must be given to the circumstances of young Aboriginal offenders.

In general, the sentencing options that were available to the court under the YOA , such as probation or community service, were retained in the YCJA. However, the YCJA contains significant improvements regarding youth sentencing options. The YCJA replaced the usual custody order with a custody and supervision order.

This sentence is composed of a portion in custody and a portion in the community. The YCJA also introduced a number of new sentencing options that allow youth court judges to deal with the full range of youth crime:. The federal government provides special funding for the provinces and territories to ensure that this intensive rehabilitative sentencing option is available throughout the country.

The number of custody sentences dropped by 64 percent between and see Figure 5.