Youth Rehabilitation Order

A Youth Rehabilitation Order is a community sentence used for the majority of young people who offend.

Introduced by the Criminal Justice and immigration Act 2008. The Youth Rehabilitation Order (YRO) came into effect on 30 November 2009.

It's the standard community sentence for the majority of young people offending, unless it's compulsory a Referral Order is made.


The YRO takes effect on the day that it is made and can run for up to three years. The YRO lasts until the end of the longest requirement. Some requirements might have shorter timescales and finish before the end of the YRO. There is no minimum length although in practice Orders shorter than three months are rarely made.

How it works

To sentence a young person to a YRO the court must consider the offence serious enough to warrant a community sentence. The restriction of liberty the order imposes on the young person must be commensurate with the seriousness of the offence.

Before making a YRO the court must consider a Pre Sentence Report prepared by Dorset Combined Youth Offending Service (YOS). This helps establish an appropriate balance between the seriousness of the offence, the risk of harm the young person might present in the future and the needs of the young person.

The court then sets the requirements and the overall length of the Order.

If more than one requirement is attached to the YRO

The court must ensure that they are compatible with each other. This approach gives the court great flexibility to sentence. It gives a way that protects the public and meets the needs of the young person.

The young person must then meet regularly with members of the YOS or our partners to complete the order of the court.

The Requirements

The following YRO requirements can be attached to any YRO imposed in court. They have been designed to provide a variety of options for punishment, protection of the public, reducing reoffending, reparation and rehabilitation.

Non Compliance

The YOS is responsible to the Court for ensuring that the court order is carried out. The young person is required to keep all appointments, and to abide by behaviour rules during appointments. Failures to comply, without an acceptable reason, can lead to a return to court for 'breach' of the order.

If the young person is taken back to court for breach

The court may decide to 'revoke' (cancel) the order and to re-sentence the young person.

Involving the victim

Involving the victim of the offence is an important part of Youth Rehabilitation Orders. It is part of an approach known as Restorative Justice.

The guiding principle is that the victim chooses whether to be involved, or how much to be involved. The YOS has a separate worker, the Victim Liaison Officer, who makes contact with the victim.

Specialist Workers

Other YOS workers may also meet with the young person. The YOS has different types of worker in the team. This is so it can respond to the different needs of each young person. 

The team includes social workers, health workers, a psychologist, a police officer, a probation officer and an education officer. For example, if the young person's offence was linked to drug or alcohol use, they may be asked to meet with one of the YOS health workers. If their attendance at school is an issue then the YOS education officer may become involved.

Parent Support

The parents of the young person may be important to the success of a YRO. The YOS Officer often seeks to meet the young person at home. This is to make a positive working relationship with the parent or carers. 

For some parents it's helpful to have a separate contact in the YOS. They can support them with their efforts looking after the young person. The YOS has a Parenting Officer who can undertake this work.

Contact details East Dorset

Dorset Combined Youth Offending Service
Bournemouth Learning Centre
Ensbury Avenue 
BH10 4HG

Telephone: 01202 794321

Contact details West Dorset

Dorset Combined Youth Offending Service
Monkton Park
Winterborne Monkton 

Telephone: 0300 123 3339