Referral order

  • Available for all youths.
  • A referral order must be imposed on any youth with no previous convictions who pleads guilty to any imprisonable offence, unless the court is considering an absolute discharge, conditional discharge, Mental Health Act order or custody. Previous bind over’s and discharges (absolute or conditional) are not previous convictions for these purposes, so do not have any impact on the mandatory referral order provisions.
  • A referral order may be imposed where a youth has pleaded guilty to at least one of the offences before the court for sentence, regardless of previous convictions.
  • The length of the order must be for a minimum of three months and a maximum of 12 months.
  • The order runs from the date the contract is signed (not the court date).
  • The court must order a parent/guardian to attend the meetings of the youth offender panel, where the youth is 10-15 years old, and may order parental attendance for those aged 16-17. Failure to attend a panel meeting may result in the parent being brought back before the court.

For the offence(s) of ………… we are making a referral order for ………… months. This is because …………

You will meet a panel of people who are there to help you. You will be able to talk with them about yourself and your offending ………… [give details].

They will then ask you to agree and sign a contract that will include activities to stop you offending again. The order starts on the day you sign the contract.

If you do not sign the contract, do not do the things listed in it, or fail to attend meetings you can be brought back to the court and given a different sentence.

[State names of parent(s)/guardian(s)/local authority representative(s)] ………… must also attend the meetings. If they do not attend, they may be brought back to court.

Your order will be supervised by the ………… Youth Offending Team.

You must wait for a copy of the order before you leave the court building.

[Consider any ancillary orders.]

You must also pay a surcharge of £………… This money is used to fund victim services.

Do you understand?