Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021: Youth Community Sentencing Fact Sheet


What are we going to do?

The main objective of the youth justice system is to prevent delinquency and we believe that wherever possible children who commit offenses should be managed in the community as this is most beneficial for their rehabilitation. The reforms contained in this bill will give courts the tools they need to impose tougher community sentences, supporting the welfare of the child while ensuring that the public is protected and sentences reflect the seriousness of the offences.

How are we going to do it?

This Bill makes a number of changes to the Youth Rehabilitation Ordinance (YRO). The YRO is a community sentence for young people that allows courts to choose from a selection of 18 requirements, including curfews, education, activity, unpaid work and health.

We will increase the flexibility of the curfew requirement by increasing the maximum number of daily hours from 16 to 20, while maintaining the weekly maximum of 112 hours.

We will be adding a stand-alone location monitoring requirement to the list of available requirements to help provide an additional protective factor for the child and improve confidence in tougher community sentences. This measure will initially be introduced for a limited period and we will monitor its effects before fully rolling it out.

We will make Young Offender Teams officers in charge of YROs with electronic monitoring requirements, rather than electronic monitoring providers, as they are aware of the individual child’s situation and can make informed decisions in the event of an offense .

We will raise the upper age limit of the education requirement so that children who are past the compulsory school age but are still in compulsory education or training will still be eligible for the education requirement. education (compulsory education or training beyond compulsory school age only exists in England) .

We will also be making changes to the YRO with Intensive Supervision and Supervision (ISS), a high-intensity alternative to custody, which we believe will give courts confidence that children can be supervised in the community, and will use the ‘ISS instead of short custody. Sentences. These changes will be tested to ensure they are robust and effective before wider use.

We will double the maximum duration of the extended activity requirement from 6 to 12 months. We will add a mandatory location monitoring requirement.

Finally, we will abolish the reparation order, a little-used community sentence, to redirect convicts to other more effective avenues of reparation, such as remand orders or YROs.


These reforms were originally proposed in the government’s White Paper, A Smarter Approach to Sentencing, published in September 2020, which set out a number of proposals to strengthen the youth justice system.

The approach to sentencing for youth is distinct from that for adults. It has a separate sentencing framework, which focuses on crime reduction, but also takes into account the well-being of the child. We believe that significant changes could be made to improve its functioning.

We believe that children should be diverted from detention whenever possible: community sentences disrupt family ties and child-rearing less and may be more effective than custodial sentences in reducing recidivism. The intent behind these measures is to increase court and public confidence in community sentencing as a strong alternative to detention.

As we continue to develop these measures, we will produce further guidance on their implementation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How will the measures contribute to the reintegration of young people?

A: Sentencing should allow children to get the support they need to change their lives while ensuring that the public is protected. Rehabilitation is an integral part of the entire youth justice system and courts must always consider the welfare of the child when determining sentence.

We recognize that the rate of recidivism among children is high and that is why we intend to take action that gives the courts the power to offer stronger alternatives to custody.

Although courts should have full sentencing options to ensure public protection in cases of children who repeatedly re-offend or who have committed serious offences, where possible children should be managed in the community, as it is more beneficial for their rehabilitation.

Q: What will be the benefit of increased curfews?

A: We know there will be times when a child is more likely to commit further offences. For example, on weekends, when they have more free time and it can be more difficult to stay away from unwanted influences. By increasing the maximum daily curfew from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. while keeping the overall weekly total at 112 a.m., we are giving courts the flexibility to impose a more tailored sentence while not allowing greater total restrictions on liberty. during a given week.

Q: Why are you piloting changes to YRO with ISS?

A: Piloting will allow us to ensure that the process is effective before considering a national roll-out and will enable services to put the right measures in place to ensure that these orders are not only effective as an alternative to custody, but also to rehabilitate children who have committed serious offences.

Q: Will there be a need for secondary legislation or additional guidance for any of these reforms?

A: As these policies are implemented, we will work with operational partners, including the Youth Justice Council, to ensure detailed guidelines are in place for implementation. For changes to YROs with ISS, further details will be defined in secondary legislation based on information gathered during the pilots.

Q: Is location monitoring appropriate for children?

A: Location monitoring can already be used as part of the supervision period of a juvenile custodial sentence and we believe this technology can be a valuable tool to protect the public and children themselves, where it can provide an additional protective factor. Electronic monitoring can already be used to monitor compliance with other conditions in a youth rehabilitation order (community sentence) and this is to give the courts another tool to ensure that children are not detained only as a last resort.


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