What Sentences Can a Young Person Receive?

If a young person pleads guilty, or is found guilty after a trial, there are a wide range of sentences that can be imposed. Many youth sentences are the same as adult sentences, including: discharges (both absolute and conditional), fines, probation, and imprisonment. However, there are also several sentences that are specific to young people under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. They include:

Reprimand: The judge can give a reprimand to the young person. This is essentially a stern lecture from the judge to the youth in court.

Fine: A young person can be sentenced to a fine, up to a maximum of $1000.

Compensation and/or Restitution: This is an order from the Judge that the young person pay for the loss or damage to property or for loss of income or support caused by their actions.

Community Service Hours: Based on the young person’s ability and the time they have available (aside from school or work), the judge can impose up to 240 hours of community service work to be completed within 12 months.

Probation: A judge can sentence a young person to probation. While on a probation, a young person is supervised by a probation officer. They will have to meet with the probation officer on a regular basis as well as follow the conditions included on the probation order;

Intensive Support and Supervision Program: This is a judge made order with more intensive support for the young person and closer monitoring than a probation order.

Non-Residential Order (NRO): An order that the young person complete a certain number of hours of programming, up to a maximum of 240 hours completed in 6 months time. These hours can include going to school or volunteer work.

Custody and Supervision Order: This is a youth jail sentence and a portion of it is served in a youth jail, while the second portion, one half as long as the first, is served in the community under supervision. There are two types of custody for young people: closed custody which means a youth jail facility, and open custody at a different type of youth facility with fewer restrictions than a jail.

Deferred Custody Order: This is a jail sentence served completely in the community under strict conditions. The you person will usually be ordered to serve a portion of the order under house arrest, and the remainder under a curfew. If the young person breaches their conditions, a judge can order the young person to serve the remainder of the order in a youth jail.

Intensive Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision Order: A rare sentence that can only be imposed for young people who commit serious violent offences, or multiple offences where serious bodily harm has been caused, and who have a mental illness or psychological disorder. This sentence combines jail time and an intensive treatment and support plan.


At Pringle Law, our lawyers have experience working with young people and their families. The youth justice system has some important differences from the adult system and it is important for you to get advice from lawyers who know how to handle youth cases. At Pringle Law, our lawyers will walk you and your child through the process and do everything we can to protect your child’s future. Contact our office today for a free consultation.