Referral Orders

Earle, Rod (2008). Referral Orders. In: Goldson, Barry ed. The Youth Justice Dictionary. Abingdon: Willan Publishing.


Referral orders are the standard sentence in England and Wales for children and young people pleading guilty to a first conviction unless the court decides to pass an immediate custodial sentence; an absolute discharge (for some very minor offences); or a hospital order (under mental health legislation). Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the order – other than it being almost mandatory – is that it devolves decisions regarding the content of the order to a panel of community volunteers.

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