When and why the court may make a youth control order

When and why the court may make a youth control order

This content is intended as information for lawyers appearing in the Children’s Court with clients who may be placed on a youth control order (YCO). If you are not a lawyer but have been referred to a youth control order planning meeting, you should contact your lawyer, youth justice worker or Children’s Court planning meeting convenor with any questions you may have.

Section 409A sets out the objects of a YCO as being:

  • to provide a judicially supervised intensive supervision regime
  • to penalise the child by imposing restrictions on liberty
  • to provide intensive targeted supervision to help the child develop an ability to abide by the law
  • to engage the child in education training or work (paid or unpaid)
  • to give the child an opportunity to demonstrate a desire to cease offending.

A YCO is available if the court considers that the child would otherwise be sentenced to detention: s. 409B(1). It is to last no longer than 12 months and must not extend beyond the twenty-first birthday: ss. (2).

Section 409C sets out restrictions on the power to make a YCO, including that it is only available if:

  • the offence, or one of the offences, is punishable by imprisonment, and
  • the secretary has satisfied the court that the child is a suitable person to be placed on a YCO, and
  • the child consents, and
  • a YCO plan has been developed for the child.

Section 409E sets out the matters for the court to consider, where applicable, in deciding whether to make a YCO:

  • behaviour on any bail supervision program
  • behaviour on remand
  • extent of acknowledgment of responsibility for the offending
  • availability of education, training or work opportunities
  • the child's willingness to engage in education, training or work opportunities
  • the report of the YCO planning meeting
  • any other matters the court considers relevant.

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