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Young Offenders

Volume 704: debated on Tuesday 21 October 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why a young offender referred to a youth offending panel may not be subject to a lasting record of criminal behaviour whereas the recipient of a compensation order made in a youth court is subject to a criminal record; and what representations they have received from the Magistrates' Association and others on this matter. [HL5493]

A young person who receives a referral order, which involves referral to a youth offender panel, does have a criminal record just as a young person who receives a compensation order does. Both are court orders and are made as part of the sentence imposed by the court. However a referral order is spent under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 as soon as the contract with the youth offender panel is completed. A compensation order becomes spent two and a half years after the date of conviction for those aged 17 and under. Officials have discussed the different spent periods with the Magistrates' Association. There are no plans to change those periods.