Community Sanctions

A child who has been to court and convicted of a crime may receive a community sanction, which allows the child to stay in school and in their community. Community sanctions can be used instead of detention and are operated by the Young Persons Probation (YPP) division of the Probation Service.

Community sanctions have to address the consequences of the actions of the child and, in some cases, can be used to help strengthen relationships in the family. The sanctions include a range of measures such as community service, intensive supervision, mentoring and restorative justice.

If a community sanction is being used, the child will be told why it is being used and what they have to do. The parents, or guardians, are expected to support and encourage the child to complete the sanction and stay out of trouble in the future.

10 community sanctions are available to the courts:

  • Community Service Order: A child of 16 or 17 years of age agrees to complete unpaid work for a set total number of hours.
  • Day Centre Order: A child is to go to a centre at set times and, as part of the order, to take part in a programme of activities. 
  • Probation Order: This places a child under the supervision of the Probation Service for a period during which time the child must meet certain conditions which are set by the court.
  • Training or Activities Programme Order: A child has to take part in and complete a programme of training or similar activity. The programme should help the child learn positive social values.
  • Intensive Supervision Order: A child is placed under the supervision of a named probation officer and has to attend a programme of education, training or treatment as part of their time under supervision.
  • Residential Supervision Order: This is where a child is to live in a suitable hostel. The hostel should be close to where they normally live, attend school or go to work.
  • A Suitable Person (Care and Supervision) Order: With the agreement of the child’s parents or guardian, the child is placed in the care of a suitable adult.
  • A Mentor (Family Support) Order: A person is assigned to help, advise and support the child and his/her family in trying to stop the child from committing further offences.
  • A Restriction of Movement Order: This is basically a curfew order supervised by the Gardaí. A child is required to stay away from certain places and to be at a specific address between 7pm and 6am each day.
  • A Dual Order: This combines a Restriction of Movement Order with either supervision by a probation officer or attendance at a day centre.