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Youth rehabilitation order (YRO)
A youth rehabilitation order (YRO) is a community sentence used for young people who have previously offended or who have not pleaded guilty to the offence. The YRO takes effect on the day that it is ordered and can run for up to three years. The YRO lasts until the end of the longest requirement (see below). Some requirements might have shorter timescales and finish before the end of the YRO. There is no minimum length, although in practice they are rarely shorter than three months.
How does it work?
Before making a YRO the court must consider a pre-sentence report (PSR) prepared by Devon YOS to help establish an appropriate balance between the seriousness of the offence, the risk of harm the young person might present in the future and the needs of the young person. The court then sets the requirements and the overall length of the order. If more than one requirement is attached to the YRO, the court must make sure that they are compatible with each other. This approach gives the court greater flexibility to sentence in a way that protects the public and meets the needs of the young person. The young person must then meet regularly with members of the YOS or our partners to complete the order of the court.
The following YRO requirements can be attached to any YRO imposed in court. They have been designed to provide a variety of options for punishment, protection of the public, reducing reoffending, reparation and rehabilitation.
- Activity requirement
- Attendance centre requirement
- Curfew requirement
- Drug testing requirement
- Drug treatment requirement
- Education requirement
- Electronic monitoring requirement
- Exclusion requirement
- Intoxicating substance treatment requirement
- Local authority residence requirement
- Mental health treatment requirement
- Programme requirement
- Prohibited activity requirement
- Residence requirement
- Supervision requirement
- Unpaid work requirement
- YRO with intensive fostering
- YRO with intensive supervision and surveillance
The YOS is responsible to the court for making sure that the court order is carried out. The young person is required to keep all appointments and to abide by behaviour rules during appointments. Failure to do this, without an acceptable reason, can lead to a return to court for ‘breach’ of the order. If the young person is taken back to court for breach, the court may decide to revoke (cancel) the order and to re-sentence the young person.
Involving the victim
Involving the victim of the offence is an important part of YROs, and is part of an approach known as restorative justice. The guiding principle is that the victim has the choice about whether to be involved and how much to be involved.
The young person will be allocated a key worker, but depending on their needs they may meet with different members of the team. The YOS team includes social workers, mental health workers, police officers, probation officers, reparation workers, speech and language specialists and an education welfare officer. The YOS can also refer cases to other specialist teams. For example, if the young person’s offence was linked to drug or alcohol use, they may be asked to meet with one of the Y-SMART team who provide Devon’s drugs and alcohol service. Alternatively, if their attendance at school is an issue, then the YOS education welfare officer may become involved.