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    Young offenders
    Criminal proceedings cannot be brought against children below the age of 10 years. Offenders between the age of 10 years. Offenders between the ages of 10 and 18 fall within the jurisdiction of youth courts. The same probation, curfew and community service orders may be given to 16-and 17-year-olds as to older offenders. Also available to the court are supervision orders or attendance center orders.
    Under a supervision order-which may remain in force for not more than three years-a child (10-13 years old) or young person (14-17 years old) normally lives at home under the supervision of a social worker or a probation officer. The order may require the offender to live in local authority accommodation and / or participate in specified activities at specified times.
    Crown Court powers to order long periods of detention for young offenders who commit serious crimes are extended under the provisions of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to include 10-to 13-year-olds. The courts may detain 10-to 13-year-olds convicted of an offence for which an adult can be jailed for 14 years or more (including rape, arson, domestic burglary and robbery). Previously they could be given long terms of detention only if they had been convicted of murder or manslaughter.
    Detention may be in a local authority secure residential unit, a center managed by the Youth Treatment Service or a young offender institution.
    The basic custodial sentence for those aged 15 to 21 is detention in a young offender institution. Alternatives include fines and compensation, attendance center orders (for up to 36 hours) and community service orders (for between 40 and 240 hours).
    Under the 1994 legislation, courts can order parents to ensure that their children comply with community sentences. In every case when an offender aged between 10 and 15 years receives a community sentence, the court is under a duty to consider such an order. Courts have a power, as opposed to a duty, in the case of 16- and 17- year-old. Courts are also empowered to impose a secure training order on persistent offenders aged between 12 and 14. The order means a period of detention in a secure training center followed by a period of supervision; it is available for young offenders who have committed three or more imprisonable offences and who have failed to respond to punishment in the community. A further provision doubles the maximum sentence for 15-to 17-year-olds in a young offender institution from one to two years.

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