If a young person is charged and found guilty of an offence, the magistrate has a choice of penalties. The most common penalties are fines, good behaviour bonds, community-based sentences or custodial sentences.
A fine may be given to the young person or an adult who is responsible for their care. The fine usually covers the cost of replacing an item or repairing damage, but may also be increased to pay for the hurt caused by the young person's actions. The Children's Court must establish that the young person is able to pay a fine in order to impose this penalty.
A Good Behaviour Bond is generally given to young people who have committed minor offences or where victim involvement is minimal. The young person's ability to pay must also be considered because a monetary bond is set and will be forfeited if the young person re-offends.
If a young person has not paid their fine, forfeited a bail undertaking or has not abided by the Good Behaviour Bond, then the Court may place a young person under a Community Work Order (CWO). The Court will decide how many hours of community work the young person will need to do to make up for the money they owe. If the young person does not obey the order, they could be given a period of detention.
A community-based sentence means the young person can stay living in the community, in their usual home, and can continue to go to school, training or work.
There are three main types of community-based sentences given to young people:
These community orders typically mean the young person must meet regularly with their youth justice officer, attend certain programs to address their offending behaviour or undertake some community work. Community work for young people can be arranged by Repay WA.
A young person may also be given a curfew which is electronically monitored (PDF 122 KB) to make sure they do not go to places that may encourage further offending.
Some young people may need extra support and advice from a person who is outside of their family. These young people may have a youth support officer (mentor) who can give them advice about family, school or social matters. There are male and female youth support officers who represent different cultures so they can work closely with the young person and support their re-entry into the community. An effort is made to look after the special needs of young Aboriginal people and young people with a disability.
To help manage young people in remote areas, the Department uses Community Supervision Agreements (PDF 107 KB) to make sure young people get the right support. The Department works with remote Aboriginal communities to watch out for young people on its behalf. This makes sure young people can get the right kind of supervision in their region. Department staff travel to these communities to provide the right training, information and support for people in the community to effectively supervise these young people.
Last updated: 4-Mar-2010