Manchester City Council

Work, jobs, training & advice Youth justice volunteer opportunities

Youth offender panel member

Youth offender panels give the community a say in creating effective programmes to ensure young people who offend repair the harm they’ve done and are given help to prevent further offending.

The panels are a ground-breaking way of dealing with first-time young offenders, and provide an opportunity for young people to speak for themselves (rather than through representation) and take responsibility for their actions.

Panel members help:

  • reduce crime in their area
  • to make their communities safer
  • ensure victims are listened to
  • make a difference to a young people
Panel members will need to commit to about three hours a month.

About the panel:

A young person will attend a panel meeting if they have been given a referral order by court. Referral orders are given to most 10 to 17-year-olds who plead guilty on a first-time conviction, unless the charge is serious enough to warrant custody.

A youth justice panel consists of two volunteers recruited from the local community, alongside one member of the youth justice service. The panel will meet with the young person and their parents or guardians to talk about the reasons for the offending behaviour and agree a tailor-made contract aimed at putting things right.

The victim is encouraged to attend the meeting to tell the young person how the crime affected them.

The contract may include a letter of apology to the victim, or some work in their community. It will also include activities to prevent further offending, such as getting young people back into education or help with alcohol or drug misuse. The contract is supervised by the youth justice service and reviewed at regular panel meetings. The conviction is ‘spent’ when the order is successfully completed. If the young person fails to comply, the case is sent back to court and a different sentence may be given.

To find out more call Andrea Bryan on 0161 219 6330 or send an email with your contact details and a brief explanation of why you think you'd be a good volunteer for the youth justice service to a.bryan@manchester.gov.uk.

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