Young people have legal rights in much the same way as all adults have basic rights. For example young people have a right not to be discriminated against simply because of their age, colour, gender or race.
Citizens Advice Brent and Brent Advice Matters will give advice on a range of issues, including immigration, health, housing and benefits.
Most young people in Brent do not become involved in crime. However when young people do come into contact with the criminal justice system, the likely outcomes are described below.
Referral orders are given to most 10 to 17-year-olds pleading guilty and being convicted for the first time in court. Those served with a referral order must attend a youth offender panel to decide the correct course of action for their offence and agree to a contract outlining the work to be undertaken whilst on the referral order.
Youth offender panels are meetings where the victims and offenders can be brought together face to face. Meetings are staged in a controlled environment, with members of the Brent youth offending team and community panel members acting as a neutral party between those involved in the offence. The offence is discussed, and suitable remedies for the situation are decided upon. A contract is then drawn up to address the issues.
Referral orders and youth offender panels adhere to the 'restorative justice' model of responsibility, restoration and re-integration. The aim is to make offenders take responsibility and make amends for the consequences of their offending. This can lead to the offenders making restoration to the victim or wider community.
Restorative justice also gives the victims of the offence a part in the process: they may ask questions, receive an explanation and/or an apology and discuss how the offender can make practical reparation for any distress and inconvenience they may have caused.
Brent Youth Offending Service, Brent Civic Centre
Telephone: 020 8937 3810
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