Penalties For Children

Penalties For Children

Principles are set out in the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 (NSW)

  • child’s education to continue uninterrupted
  • for a child to live at home
  • A penalty imposed should be no greater than the adult penalty

Although most penalties and sentencing option are similar to those available for adult offenders.

Dismissal: dismiss the charge without punishment or conviction but may decide to issue a caution.

Conviction: the court can decide whether to record a conviction. If they are under 16, no conviction can be recorded.

Adjournment: the sentencing can be adjourned for up to 12 months to assess the child’s prospect of rehabilitation and reconsider a later date.

Bond: release the child on a good behaviour bond for up to a maximum of 2 years. This can be combined with a fine

Youth Justice Conferencing: release subject to the child complying with a YJC outcome plan

Fine: anything up to 10 penalty units ($1000)

Probation: a bond with a probation order of up to 2 years overseen by an officer of NSW Juvenile Justice

Community Service Order: under 16 years the max is 100 hours, those over 16 years can have a max of 250 hours

Suspended Control Order: similar to a suspended sentence, a control order can be suspended for up to 2 years subject to good behaviour

Control Order: most severe penalty, similar to imprisonment except involves detention in a juvenile justice centre. Children can be sentenced to a maximum of 2 years


Extract from Legal Studies Stage 6 Syllabus. © 2009 Board of Studies NSW.