Reparation order

The National Standards for Youth Justice Services has guidelines for Reparation Orders on page 51.

This guidance provides advice for courts and Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) on the operation of the Reparation Order. It deals with the procedure at court before and when the order is made, the role of the responsible officer, liaison with victims, forms of reparation, variation and discharge, appeals and breach.

What is the Reparation Order?

The Reparation Order is available for any juvenile (10 to 17 years old) who has been convicted of an offence. It has a two-fold aim:

  • to take into account the feelings and wishes of the victims of crime;
  • to prevent the young offender from committing further offences by confronting them with the consequences of their criminal behaviour, and allowing them to make some amends.
  • Main features of the order
  • The Reparation Order will require the young offender to make specific reparation either to the individual victim of his crime, where the victim desires this, or to the community, which they have harmed.

Any reparation required under this order may last for a maximum of 24 hours, and must be carried out over a maximum period of three months from the date that the order is made by the court. Examples of possible reparation include writing a letter of apology or meeting the victim in person to apologise, repairing criminal damage for which the young person has been responsible, cleaning graffiti, collecting litter, and so on.

Reparation carried out under a Reparation Order should be reparation in kind rather than financial reparation; courts are already able to make a compensation order if they believe that financial reparation is appropriate.

The court will appoint a responsible officer who will supervise the young person as he completes the requirements of the Reparation Order, and who will alert the court if the young person fails to comply with the terms of the order.

It is a primary requirement of this new order that the victim of the crime in question agrees to reparation being made. Before a young offender can receive a Reparation Order, the victim's views will be sought. If the victim wants no further contact with the offender, then no such contact will take place and reparation may instead be made to the community at large. If the victim is prepared to receive direct reparation from the young person, consultation will continue to establish the kind of reparation the victim would consider to be suitable and would be prepared to accept.

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