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What are dispositional orders

Court orders for youth offenders are called dispositional orders. The Youth Courts can make different types of dispositional orders that focus on rehabilitating youth offenders. The orders also have a component of deterrence and punishment to discourage the youth offenders from committing further offences.

After the youth offender has pleaded guilty or been found guilty of an offence, the judge may call for a pre-sentence report before deciding on the orders to make. The case will be fixed for a hearing about 4 to 5 weeks from the date the youth offender pleaded guilty or was found guilty. The youth offender will be asked to return to court when the court is ready to deliver the final orders.

Types of dispositional orders

The court may make one or more of the following orders (1). The youth offender's parents or guardians may also need to comply with certain orders.

As a youth offender, you may be:
  • Discharged (with no dispositional order).
  • Discharged after entering a bond to be on good behaviour and to comply with any other orders that the court may impose.
  • Committed to the care of a relative (or a fit person whom the court thinks can protect and supervise you) for a period specified by the court.
  • Supervised by a probation officer or volunteer probation officer for a period between 6 months and 3 years. This is also known as a probation order.
  • Required to perform community service under conditions specified by the court, for up to 240 hours in total.
  • Held in a place of detention for up to 6 months.
  • Held in a place of detention or an approved institution over a number of weekends, up to 26 weekends.
  • Sent to a juvenile rehabilitation centre for up to 3 years.
  • Ordered to pay a fine, damages or costs.
  • Transferred to the District Court and charged under Section 305 of the Criminal Procedure Code. This is only if the Youth Courts decide that you should undergo a period of reformative training and one of the following applies to you:
    • You have turned 16 years old.
    • You are between 14 and 16 years old, were previously charged in court for another offence and sent to a juvenile rehabilitation centre for that offence.
As the youth offender’s parent or guardian, the court may order you to:

Enter into a bond

This is to ensure you exercise proper care and guardianship of the youth offender, and comply with court orders related to the youth's welfare, maintenance and rehabilitation.

Undergo counselling, psychotherapy or related programmes

You will be required to attend these sessions together with the young offender. The aims of these programmes include:

  • Resolving any relationship problems between you and the youth offender.
  • Rehabilitating or assisting in the youth offender’s rehabilitation.
  • Enabling you to manage the youth offender.
  • Enhancing or protecting the youth offender’s physical, social and emotional well-being and safety.

You may be asked to enter into a bond to ensure you follow the order. If you fail to attend the sessions, you will lose the amount you put up for the bond and face a fine of up to $2,000.

If the youth offender disobeys a dispositional order

The court can vary (change) a dispositional order if a youth offender breaches it. A youth offender may have to face consequences such as:

  • An extended period of probation, with additional conditions.
  • Having the probation revoked (and being sent to a juvenile rehabilitation centre).
  • Being sentenced to reformative training under Section 305 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

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