Youth offender panels are a way of dealing with young people who commit crime by using the local community. Local people will take the lead in challenging young people to take responsibility for their actions and help them to change their behaviour for the better.
Panels also give victims a chance to say how the crime has affected them and what might help to put things right.
These panels involve members of the community working with young people, their parents and victims. Panel members will talk and listen to these key people and agree with the young person a plan to repair the harm already done and ways to stop future offending.
Panels aim to -
- make sure young people take responsibility for their behaviour
- help put things right for the victim
- create opportunities to discuss needs to prevent further offending
Each panel will have two community members who are volunteers for the service. A youth justice officer will also be there to provide additional support.
The victim of the offence will normally be invited to attend and can bring someone with them to support them. If they choose to, they can ask for their views to be taken into account or be represented by someone else at the panel meeting.