Going to court

Young people who have to go to Court usually go to a special type of Magistrates called the Youth Court.  There isn’t a Jury in a Youth Court – there will either be three Magistrates or a District Judge who will decide the case and what will happen, such as what sentence to pass.  If the offence is serious, a child or young person might have to go to the Crown Court.  Here there is a Jury who will decide the case if there is a trial.  A Judge will then decide what happens next, such as what sentence to impose.


Court - We have a dedicated Court Team who cover all remand, Youth and Crown Court hearings. We make assessments of young people in cells and put together packages of support for them which also include specific restrictions to protect the public from harm. We complete Pre-sentence reports for children to assist Magistrates and Judges in sentencing to the most appropriate outcome. We work with other agencies and have a dedicated initiative (Youth Court Solutions) within our Youth Court environment. YCS is devised of a number of specialist professionals including mental health workers and substance misuse workers who are available for young people/families to access before and/or after their Court hearing. This allows us to take a holistic approach to working with children with complex needs.  


Orders From Court


Statutory Outcomes – where you will work with a Youth Offending Case Manager to help look at the reasons why you committed your offence



Referral Order -  A Referral Order (RO) can range from 3 months to 12 months, which will be supervised within the community.

A Referral order Panel with be held, run by people from the local community who take the lead in encouraging young people to take responsibility for their actions and helping them to change their behaviour for good. Panels will also give victims a chance to say how the crime has affected them and what might help put things right.


 Youth Rehabilitation Order - A YRO is a community sentence within which a court may include one or more requirements designed to provide for punishment, protection of the public, reducing re-offending and reparation.


Detention and Training Order – A DTO can be given to young people aged 12 – 17 and means you will be sent into secure accommodation (Secure Training Centre or Young Offenders Institute). The sentence lasts for between 4 months and 2 years depending on how serious the offences are.  Half of the time is spent in custody and the rest in the community


Outcomes from court where additional support may be suggested but are voluntary

Absolute Discharge - This means that the court has decided not to impose a punishment because the experience of going to court has been punishment enough. The court can also give a conditional discharge


Conditional Discharge - the offender is released and the offence registered on their criminal record. No further action is taken unless they commit a further offence within a time decided by the court (no more than three years).


Fine – The judge will decide how much the fine is and any other costs you must pay including compensation to the victim of your crime. You must pay the fine by a certain date.


Support from the Youth Offending Service


YRO Panels - The YRO Panels were created by NYOS several years ago. It has since become recognised nationally as “good practice”. The YRO Reviews are chaired by YOS Managers with the support of the Court Liaison Officers. The Magistrates are invited to attend the reviews with the young person and their parent/carer. The Magistrates look at the original proposal/plan of intervention and talk about the progress the young person is making. The Case Manager and the young person play an active role in the review and it enables the young person to become involved in the review of their work. It opens up better and clearer communication between children and Magistrates, and we have seen an impact on the reduction of those attending the reviews, in returning to Court having committed further offences. The children have reported that they feel the reviews are beneficial and that they are treated with respect. It has also allowed the Magistrates to see the complex yet effective work we as a multi-disciplinary service are delivering to the children we work with. The Magistrates have no sentencing powers and cannot amend any YRO during



Custody - We work with children who have received Custodial sentences. We contribute to their sentence planning meetings and devise individual license conditions to both aid in the rehabilitation of young people in society alongside protective measures for victims of their offences.


Resettlement - We have committed Case Managers who have the additional responsibility of Resettlement Leads within NYOS. The Resettlement workers are responsible for working with children who are due to be released into the Community from Custody. They work alongside the Custodial establishments, YOS Case Managers, Education providers and Social Care to ensure that a child has a package of support in place which will enable them to, more confidently, avoid future offending. Children without suitable accommodation or education are more likely to commit offences so resettlement is a key focus within NYOS as we recognise the need for children to live in suitable environments and have access to suitable education provisions in order to achieve a positive and pro social life.