The Children’s Court may impose a probation order on a child who has been found guilty of an offence. Probation is the least intensive supervisory order available under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic).
Probation is imposed in around 13% of cases sentenced in the Children’s Court (2020–21).
The duration of a probation order is generally 12 months. However, the order may be up to 18 months if the offence is punishable by imprisonment of more than 10 years, or the child has been found guilty of more than one offence.
The child must obey certain conditions for the duration of probation, including:
- reporting to a youth justice worker when required
- not reoffending
- obeying any instructions of a youth justice worker
- reporting any changes of address, school or employment
- not leaving Victoria without permission.
The Children’s Court may impose additional conditions. For example, the child may need to attend school, reside at a particular place, undergo treatment or counselling, or not use alcohol or drugs.
If the child breaches the conditions of probation, the court may:
- confirm the probation order
- vary, add or substitute any condition of the order
- revoke probation and impose another sentence.
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