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Sentencing changes under LASPO. Out of court disposals New ‘knife crime’ offence Sentencing youths Rehabilitation of young offenders. ‘Out of Court Disposals’ Part 3, Chapter 7 – Sections 135-138.

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sentencing changes under laspo

Sentencing changes under LASPO

Out of court disposals

New ‘knife crime’ offence

Sentencing youths

Rehabilitation of young offenders

Just For Kids Law (1221638)

out of court disposals part 3 chapter 7 sections 135 138
‘Out of Court Disposals’Part 3, Chapter 7 – Sections 135-138
  • New Youth Caution – the various reprimands and warnings (the final Warning Scheme) will be replaced by the Youth Caution [anticipated implementation April 2013]
  • Youth Conditional Caution – will be available across England & Wales [anticipated implementation April 2013]

N.B. Penalty Notices for Disorder for under 18s will be abolished [anticipated implementation April 2013]

Just For Kids Law (1221638)

out of court disposals
‘Out of Court Disposals’
  • Proposed changes would mean all disposals available at any time (no longer the ‘the scaled approach’ which requires an incremental approach i.e. cannot de-escalate interventions):

Proposed Out of Court Disposal


Formal pre



Informal system









No intervention



or assessment


intervention and













Available at any time

there is no escalator

Source: S Walker & L Harvey-Messina, Implementation of LASPO Act: key stakeholder information (YJB, August 2012)

Just For Kids Law (1221638)

new youth cautions s 135 laspa 2012 inserting s66za of the crime and disorder act 1998
New Youth Cautions S 135 LASPA 2012 (inserting s66ZA of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998)
  • Test

(1) sufficient evidence to charge with an offence

(2) the child or young person admits the offence

(3) the constable does not consider they should be prosecuted or given a Youth Conditional Caution

  • This replaces the existing reprimands and warnings - the ‘Final Warning Scheme’.

Just For Kids Law (1221638)

new youth cautions
New Youth Cautions
  • There is no limit on the number of Youth Cautions a child or young person can receive.
  • Youth Cautions can be given to a child or young person who has previously been convicted of an offence.
  • An appropriate adult must be present if the CYP is under 17.
  • Automatic referral to Youth Offending Team (YOT). If a second Youth Caution is given, the YOT must assess the young person and offer a voluntary rehabilitation programme (unless they consider it inappropriate to do so).

Just For Kids Law (1221638)

Youth Conditional CautionsSections 136-138 LASPOA 2012 (amending s66 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998)


  • Youth Conditional Cautions can be now given to a young person who has previously been convicted of an offence.
  • Authorisation by a prosecutor is no longer required in every case.

Just For Kids Law (1221638)

Effect of new Youth Cautions & Youth Conditional CautionsSection 135 LASPOA 2012 (inserting s66ZB of the CDA 1998)
  • If a young person receives two Youth Cautions or a Youth Conditional caution followed by a Youth Caution and the young person is convicted of a subsequent offence within 2 years of the date of the last of those cautions

- a conditional discharge is only available if there are exceptional circumstances (offence/offender)

- the prosecution may refer in criminal proceedings to any failure to participate in a rehabilitation programme

Just For Kids Law (1221638)

new offence knife crime section 142 laspoa 2012
‘New Offence – Knife crime’Section 142 LASPOA 2012
  • ‘Threatening with article with blade or point or offensive weapon in public or on school premises’
  • Maximum sentence: 4 years. Minimum sentences:

4 month Detention &Training Order (DTO) – 16 & 17 year olds

6 month custodial sentence – 18 year olds

  • Court may give discretionary community sentence if early guilty plea or mitigating circumstances
  • Court must still ‘have regard to the welfare of the child’ s 44 Children and Young Persons Act 1933

Just For Kids Law (1221638)

sentencing youths anticipated implementation early december 2012
‘Sentencing youths’[anticipated implementation early December 2012]
  • Referral Orders – will now be more widely available and can be used repeatedly
  • Youth Rehabilitation Order – greater sanctions available
  • Increased sanctions for breach of Detention and training Orders (DTO)
  • New extended sentences will replace existing sentences for dangerous offenders

Just For Kids Law (1221638)

Referral OrdersSection 79 LASPOA 2012 (amending ss 16-17 of the Powers of Criminal Courts Sentencing Act 2000)

Once in force:

  • If a young person pleads guilty to their first offence: courts may now conditionally discharge[1]rather than impose a Referral Order.
  • Repeated use of Referral Orders: the court will now have a discretion to impose further Referral Orders (or a first Referral Order if not previously given) – the requirement for exceptional circumstances will be removed.

[1] The courts already have a discretion to impose an absolute discharge – s16(1)(c) PCCSA 2000.

Just For Kids Law (1221638)

new referral order conditions
New Compulsory referral conditions:

Sentenced for first time

No previous convictions (disregard bind over / conditional discharge)

Pleads guilty to an imprisonable offence

Court must impose RO unless: absolute discharge, conditional discharge, hospital order, custodial sentence

New Referral Order conditions

The Breaking the Cycle green paper outlines the government’s commitment to increase the use of restorative justice e.g.referral orders.

New Discretionary referral conditions:

  • Pleads guilty to an imprisonable offence
  • Court may impose a Referral Order (if not previously used) or subsequent Referral Orders taking into consideration age, plea, offence, previous convictions, previous sentences, characteristics of co-accused.

Just For Kids Law (1221638)


Youth Rehabilitation Order (YRO)Sections 81-82 LASPOA 2012 (amending paras 14 & 20 of sch 1 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008)

Curfew (s 81)

  • Curfew - Increase in the number of hours which can be imposed: 12 up to 16 hours per day and length: increase from 6 to 12 months.

Mental health treatment requirement (s 82)

  • No longer requires evidence from a medical practitioner approved under s12 of the MHA 1983.
  • The court still needs to be satisfied the offender requires and may be susceptible to treatment; that arrangements have or can be made and the young person has expressed a willingness to comply with the treatment.

Just For Kids Law (1221638)

Youth Rehabilitation Order (YRO)Sections 83-84 LASPOA 2012 (amending schs 1 & 2 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008)

Length/Extension (s 83)

  • The YRO can end once all the requirements have been completed.
  • YROs will be able to be extended by up to 6 months (only once) to allow for completion of requirements.

Fine for Breach (s 84)

  • Maximum fine will increase to £2,500 (currently £1000 for 14-17 year olds and £250 for under 14 year olds). Courts must take into account the offender’s means.

Just For Kids Law (1221638)

Detention & Training Order (DTO)Section 80 LASPOA 2012 (amending s 104 of the Powers of Criminal Courts Sentencing Act 2000)


  • Breach proceedings can now be brought even after DTO has finished.
  • Court may now also impose period of supervision for breach (in addition to a fine or custody). Period calculated from date of breach to end of DTO up to a maximum of 3 months.
  • Period of custody or supervision runs concurrent to DTO.

Just For Kids Law (1221638)

*New* Extended Sentences Sections 123-5 LASPOA 2012 (amending ss 226 & 228 Criminal Justice Act 2003) & schedule 20 LASPOA 2012
  • Detention for public protection (s226(3) CJA 2003) and extended sentence (s228 CJA 2003) – will be abolished
  • Replaced by s 226B ‘new extended sentences’: ‘there is a significant risk to members of the public of serious harm occasioned by the commission by the offender of further specified offences’ and court would impose a custodial term of at least 4 years. Young person serves 2/3 of custodial term before release on an extended licence of up to 5 years for violent offences, 8 years for sexual offences.
  • [It is anticipated there will be an increased use of section 91 – discretionary life sentence]

Just For Kids Law (1221638)

Supervision after release Sections 115 LASPOA 2012, inserting s 256B & 256C of the Criminal Justice Act 2003
  • Young offenders (aged up to 21 yrs) sentenced to a period of detention of under 12 months – will be supervised in the community for 3 months (rather than for the entirety of the licence period).
  • This does not apply to Detention and Training Orders.

Just For Kids Law (1221638)

rehabilitation of offenders sections 139 141 laspoa 2012
‘Rehabilitation of Offenders’Sections 139-141 LASPOA 2012

New changes for offenders under 18 at date of conviction:

  • Custodial sentences of up to 4 years can become ‘spent’.
  • Length of time when other convictions become spent, generally reduced (see below).

Just For Kids Law (1221638)

Just For Kids Law (1221638)