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Community Sentences

A range of community-based sanctions are available to the courts in respect of young people. Formal community-based disposals include Probation Orders, Community Service Orders, Restriction of Liberty Orders and Intensive Supervision Monitoring Services (ISMS) all of which are considered as disposals for the youth justice process in Scotland. These also include structured deferred sentences, imposed for a period of time to allow the young person to engage with interventions that address the causes of their offending behaviour and to demonstrate that he or she has changed their behaviour. If this is achieved, typically the young person will be admonished on return to court within 3-6 months. Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (DTTO) can served on someone over 16 who is ‘dependant on or has propensity to misuse drugs, and the dependency or propensity requires and may be susceptible to treatment, and is a suitable person to be subject to an order’ (as detailed in ss 89-95 Crime and Disorder Act 1998), and who consents to the order being made. DTTOs are imposed for between 6 months to 3 years and require compliance with an intensive drug treatment and testing programme.

In early 2011, the Community Payback Order (CPO) came into force in Scotland (under the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 s.14) replacing existing provisions for Community Service Orders, Probation Orders and Supervised Attendance Orders. The CPO can be imposed on those aged 12 years and over, and incorporates a number of requirements from which the court can create an individualised sentence, tailored specifically to each individual based on the nature of the offence as well as the underlying issues that may have facilitated it, and which may need to be addressed in order to prevent future reoffending. This might include a requirement to carry out a specified amount of hours of unpaid work in the community with benefits for the community (those aged 16 and over only), intensive supervision, compensation, alcohol or drug treatment or behavioural programmes, with individual and/or group work. It may also specify a residence requirement (where the young person is to reside or places they may not visit) and an order of conduct specifying they must refrain from certain actions.

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