Youth rehabilitation order

This is a single order for young offenders introduced in 2009 in order to simplify the sentencing options available to courts.  The Youth Rehabilitation Order (YRO) may last for a maximum of three years and can include a number of requirements imposed by the court.

The minimum requirement will be that they are supervised by a member of the YOS.  The frequency of appointments given to the young person will depend on the assessed level of risk.

Further information

The assessment may also advise the court to impose additional requirements usually no more than three or four in total from a menu of twelve.  

These may include:

  • a requirement to attend certain activities
  • to receive counselling or treatment in relation to mental health or substance misuse
  • to undertake specific work in relation to their offending behaviour
  • to attend education as required

A failure to comply

Will result in up to two warnings being issued to the young person, and on the third occasion they will be considered to be in breach of the YRO and returned to court for further action.

If the young person is on the threshold of a custodial sentence, either due to the seriousness of the offence, or the persistence of offending, they may be sentenced to a period of intensive supervision and surveillance as an alternative to custody.  

This is a demanding programme of up to twenty five hours per week for three months.  The hours will reduce over a period of time. Intensive supervision and surveillance is also available to young people on bail.


A young person can be sentenced to a detention and training order for a period ranging between four and twenty four months by the youth court.  A detention and training order (DTO) is served for the first half of the sentence in a custodial establishment and for the second half in the community under the supervision of the YOS.  

This is called a license and the conditions are agreed by the YOS and the governor of the custodial facility.

Some young people who commit very serious offences may be sentenced to a longer period of custody and their release date will be determined by a parole board.

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