Assisting young people aged 16 and 17 in court

A toolkit for local authorities, the judiciary, court staff, police, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and service providers.

Appendix 11

Summary of Community Penalties available in Scotland

For offences committed on or after 1 February 2011

Community Payback Orders ( CPOs)

The provisions relating to the Community Payback Order ( CPO) can be found in section 14 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010. CPOs replaced Probation Orders, Community Service Orders and Supervised Attendance Orders for offences committed on or after 1 February 2011. The Order also allows for further nine requirements which could be included should this be appropriate and assessed as suitable for the individual concerned:



Unpaid Work or Other activity



Mental Health

Drug Treatment

Alcohol Treatment


In bringing together the options for sentencers the Scottish Government are highlighting the scope for courts to punish offenders in a way which also addresses the areas of their lives which need to change.

A court can impose a CPO on an individual of any age. Where a CPO containing an unpaid work or other activity requirement is imposed on an individual aged 16/17 at the date of sentence, the Court must also make an offender supervision requirement. This recognises that for those under 18, where there may be immaturity and developmental issues, further support may be needed to complete CPOs and indeed in their lives in general. Additionally, with added support, early intervention could provide the basis under which a young person could be diverted from further offending.

Where an offender supervision requirement is imposed with a level 1 unpaid work or other activity requirement, the supervision requirement is likely to be of short duration with the aim largely consisting of supporting the young person to complete their period of unpaid work. Other identified needs may also be addressed, e.g. victim awareness, as part of the Order. In managing this, whilst the case manager would retain overall responsibility, the unpaid work case manager may undertake some of this work.

Justice of the Peace Courts: Justice of the Peace Courts are able to impose a CPO with an offender supervision requirement, a residence requirement, a conduct requirement, a compensation requirement, and a level 1 unpaid work or other activity requirement (20 - 100 hours). A CPO with a level 1 unpaid work and other activity requirement does not require a criminal justice social work report to be called for but such a report should be requested when JPs are imposing a CPO with the other requirements. It will also be required when JPs are imposing a level 1 unpaid work requirement on a 16 or 17 year old as under legislation courts are required to impose a supervision requirement with the unpaid work requirement when it is imposed on a 16 or 17 year old.

Further information on the CPO may be found at:

For offences committed prior to 1 February 2011


The main purpose of probation is to work with individuals to prevent or reduce their reoffending by combining oversight and control with help to learn new behaviours and to deal with problems associated with offending. Probation orders can be used flexibly by the courts and additional conditions can be attached to them, for example: requiring them to undertake unpaid work; requiring financial recompense to the victim or attendance at a specialist programme such as alcohol or drug treatment. An offender can be placed on probation for a period of between 6 months and 3 years. 8,840 probation orders were commenced in 2009/10.

Community Service Orders ( CSOs)

Legislation currently restricts the use of CSOs to cases which would otherwise have resulted in imprisonment or detention. An offender given a CSO is required to carry out unpaid work of benefit to the community for 80-240 hours in summary cases and up to 300 hours in solemn cases. Work placements, are organised/supervised by local authority staff, and take many forms. 6,430 CSOs were imposed by courts in 2009/10.

Supervised Attendance Orders ( SAOs)

SAOs are an alternative to custody for fine defaulters which provide a "fine on time". The participant is required to undertake a programme of activities to make constructive use of time. These can include educational elements or involve unpaid work in the community. An SAO can range length from 10 to 100 hours. In 2009/10, 3,900 SAOs were commenced.

Other Community Sentences (not dependent on date of offence)

Drug Treatment and Testing Orders ( DTTOs)

DTTOs offer an intensive regime of drug treatment and testing with regular review by the courts. They target those whose offending is linked to a drug problem, e.g. stealing to fund a drug habit. DTTOs aim to help individuals overcome drug addiction and reduce/eliminate the need to offend. Those placed on a DTTO are required to undertake regular testing and treatment. They also reappear before a sheriff every month to account for their behaviour. DTTOs are available in the High Court and sheriff courts. 740 DTTOs were commenced in 2009/10.


The DTTO II pilot scheme is running in the Lothian and Borders Sheriffdom and is aimed at lower tariff offenders who are less entrenched in their drug misuse and offending. A DTTO II is available as a disposal to both Sheriffs and Justices of the Peace. Orders made under the DTTO II pilot are typically shorter in length and with less frequent Court reviews than full DTTOs. The initial pilot ran for 2 years from June 2008 to June 2010 and, following the publication of a process evaluation in July 2010, was subsequently extended until March 2012. During the period December 2008 to November 2009 49 orders were commenced.

Restriction of Liberty Orders ( RLOs or "Tagging")

A RLO can be imposed on a young person of any age (but in cases where the young person is under the age of 16 years, the court may only impose a RLO when, having obtained a report from the relevant local authority, it is satisfied with the services that the authority will provide for the young person's support and rehabilitation). The young person may be restricted to a particular place (or places) for up to 12 hours per day for up to 12 months. Compliance with the order is electronically monitored by a commercial contractor by means of a transmitter (tag) worn by the offender on his or her ankle. 1109 RLOs were commenced in 2009/10.

Structured deferred sentences ( SDS)

A court will frequently defer sentence to allow an individual the opportunity to demonstrate they can be of good behaviour. Structured Deferred Sentence schemes can offer the court an enhanced option to defer sentence and require the individual to engage with a short period of intensive intervention work to address the causes of their offending behaviour. This can include behavioural issues such as anger management, or the use of alcohol and drugs. As a general rule SDS would be for a period of up to three months. Currently SDS is only available in a small number of local authority areas. In the case of young offenders, where available SDS could offer the court a means of constructive intervention without the need to impose a potentially higher tariff penalty such as a CPO or Probation

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