Young Offenders Act
Common Questions and Answers
Q. Who decides to hold a conference?
A. A nominated police Specialist Youth Officer.
Q. Who organises the conference?
A. The conference convener, in consultation with the conference administrator.
Q. Where and where is the conference held?
A. The conference is held as soon as possible after the offence at a location agreed to by all participants. It could be anywhere except a police station, court or a juvenile justice office.
Q. What happens if the young person does not admit guilt?
A. They will go to court.
Q. What happens if the victim does not attend?
A. The victim can send a representative and receive advice of the ‘outcome plan’. However, if the victim does not attend the conference, he/she is not able to veto outcome plan. (The victim’s representative is not able to veto an outcome plan.)
Q. Under what circumstances can the conference be adjourned?
A. The conference can be adjourned at any time with the consent of all participants.
Q. What if the offender does not agree with the outcome plan?
A. The police must decide what further action to take. The conference can be reconvened, or the matter sent to court.
Q. What is the time limit for the proceedings?
A. Average time is 1-4 hours, although the Act does allow for adjournments.
For further information, contact your Local Police Youth Liaison Officer, or conference administrator.