A youth justice centre order involves a period of detention in a youth justice centre. A youth justice centre order is the most severe sanction that may be imposed under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005.
In the Children’s Court, a youth justice centre order can be given to an offender aged between 15 and 20 at the time of sentencing. Under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005, the maximum period of detention in a youth justice centre is:
- three years for a single offence
- four years where the young person is convicted of more than one offence on the same day or at the same proceeding.
The period of detention in a youth justice centre must not be more than the maximum period of imprisonment that could be imposed on an adult for the same offence.
In an adult court, under Victoria’s dual track system, a youth justice centre order can be imposed on a young offender aged under 21 at the time of sentencing.
Under the Sentencing Act 1991, the maximum period of detention in a youth justice centre is:
- two years if sentenced in the Magistrates’ Court
- four years if sentenced in the County or Supreme Court.
Courts cannot set a non-parole period for a youth justice centre order. However, the Youth Parole Board may consider releasing a child or young offender on parole during the order.
While detained under a youth justice centre order, young people participate in education and programs that address the offending behaviour.
Temporary leave may be granted during the sentence, allowing a young person to leave the youth justice centre to engage in employment, attend training, or visit family and friends.
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