Court orders

The Youth Offending Service is responsible for the supervision and implementation of nearly all orders imposed by the youth court on young people who have been convicted of a criminal offence.

The court can also impose a Parenting Order on the parents of young offenders and this is also supervised by the Youth Offending Service. The youth court can impose the following orders on a young offender:

Orders not supervised by the Youth Offending Service


Young offenders can be ordered to pay fines, compensation and costs in the same way as adults, with some minor differences with regard to the maximum sums permitted. The court can also order that the parents/guardian be responsible for payments.

The maximum fine for a juvenile is usually £1,000, although there is no statutory limit within the crown court. The court must consider the financial circumstances of the offender and ensure the amount reflects the seriousness of the offence.

Conditional discharge

If the court sees fit, it can discharge the young person conditionally for a specified period of time (no minimum period and not more than three years). This means that the young person must not commit a further offence during that time period.

If they do commit a further offence, they will be guilty of 'breaching' their conditional discharge and will be re-sentenced accordingly. As a result of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, if a young person has been convicted of a offence within two years of receiving a final warning, then a conditional discharge can only to be made in 'exceptional circumstances'. This means that, in practice, few conditional discharges are now made.

Absolute discharge

This is the lightest measure that can be ordered by a court following a conviction. It implies that the process of prosecution and finding of guilt is itself a sufficient response to the offence.

Young adults keeping out of crime

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