What do Panel Members do?

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How do Panels work ?

Adam's Case: Youth Offender Panel - BBC Learning Zone

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Restorative justice

The Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 introduced citizen-led restorative justice in the UK. A referral order is a mandatory sentence where a young person pleads guilty for a first conviction. Subsequent amendments allowed a referral order for a second offence - with a guilty plea - if the young person had not previously received a referral order; for a second time with a guilty plea, and if recommended by the Youth Offending Team under 'exceptional circumstances'.

The Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 allows a referral order irrespective of the number of previous convictions or the number of previous referral orders, if the young person pleads guilty. 



AOPM is the professional association for up to 6000 volunteers supporting young offenders in the community. We practice community-led restorative justice to deliver the most effective sentence available to youth courts. The purpose of the Association is to advance the performance of volunteers in performing their statutory duty with young people involved in the criminal justice system.



We take pride in the role of community Panel Members. The work is demanding. It challenges pre-conceptions about victims of crime and young offenders. It allows us to see beyond tabloid headlines, which offer all-too-easy solutions to youth crime.



We promote good practice in delivering restorative justice to communities afflicted by youth crime, and advocate the rights of children in the criminal justice system, particularly in respect of access to education for those with restricted engagement in schools.

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