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Referral Orders CJI Act changes and revised guidance
Criminal Justice & Immigration Act 2008Referral Order changes From 27 April 2009, Courts can make Referral Orders (RO): • where there is one previous conviction and an RO was not given • where previous bind over or conditional discharge • in exceptional circumstances on YOT recommendation a second RO in case with previous RO.
Referral Order Changes in the CJI Act Courts will also have new powers: • to discharge ROs early for good progress under the contract following referral back by panel • to extend the RO contract period for up to three months following a panel referral, e.g. for non-compliance.
Guidance key messageCustody threshold cases YOT priority if Court considering custody in a first time guilty plea case. RO proposal in PSR to illustrate robust intensive contract. Option of informal pre-sentence panel contract, agreed by young person, to inform PSR. If RO made by Court: - YOT panel report includes PSR draft intervention plan - formal panel within five working days - intensive contract with full range intensive interventions similar to other community sentence custody threshold cases.
Guidance key message Communicating with courts YOT priority to inform Courts and build confidence in ROs/panels. Regular reports to sentencers on contract contents and RO case outcomes. Regular YOT liaison meetings with sentencers. Joint events for sentencers, legal advisers and panel members. Regular review/update YOT service agreement with Court.
Guidance key message Engaging more victims Victim involvement voluntary, based on informed consent Victim option for face to face meeting YOT worker to explain choices. Options include attend panel, have views represented, be kept informed, other restorative process. If attending, panel arranged to suit victim convenience Victims Code of Practice applies, eg information about victim support services available.
Guidance key message Compensation Orders If Compensation Order made alongside RO, 30 months longer rehabilitation period applies before conviction ‘spent’. Where possible, YOT information to court re practicality of compensatory financial reparation via RO contract. YOT to have robust, financially sound processes in place for dealing with financial reparation in RO contract.
Guidance key messagePanel volunteer length of service At YOT manager discretion, subject to satisfactory training and performance appraisal, panel volunteers able to serve two three year periods for six year maximum. To meet additional demands of CJI Act changes the tenure of panel volunteers already serving at 1 April 2009 can, at YOT manager discretion subject to satisfactory training and performance, be extended for a maximum of two extra years. To be reviewed in April 2010.