This procedure applies to supervising young people subject to a court order that includes special conditions.


When to use this procedure

When supervising young people who are subject to a court order that includes special conditions.


Practice context and legislation

  • All community based court orders include the following general conditions:
    • to report to the youth justice unit within two working days of being placed on a supervised order, and then as required by their supervising worker
    • to commit no further offences
    • to obtain written permission from the Secretary of the Department of Human Services to leave the state
    • to notify their youth justice worker of any change of address, school or employment, within 48 hours of the change
    • to obey any reasonable and lawful instructions made by youth justice
    • to observe any special conditions imposed by the court.
  • Youth justice supports young people's personal development and reducing crime in the community. To do this, special conditions may be recommended by youth justice and imposed by the court to assist the young person's life circumstances and minimise the risk of further offending.
  • Special conditions relate to the offence committed and the court is bound to provide a reason for inclusion of a special condition in its statement of reasons for the sentence being imposed.
  • Special conditions can relate to the whole period or a specific period of the order.
  • The Youth Parole Board also has the power to impose special conditions on parole orders.
  • The implementation and supervision of the young person's compliance with the court order, including special conditions, is the responsibility of youth justice workers.

Roles and key tasks

Case manager

  • Supervise compliance with the order and implement interventions required by special conditions.
  • Incorporate special conditions into client service plan and review process.
  • Consult with relevant professionals on compliance with special conditions.
  • Consult with line management in relation to non-compliance.
  • Implement warning and breach process as required.

Team leader / team manager

  • Be available to case manager for consultation.
  • Endorse assessments, client service plans and court reports.
  • Issue warnings and authorise breach action where appropriate.

Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support

  • Provide oversight, direction and monitoring of the area youth justice service.
  • Provide case consultation regarding young people exhibiting high-risk behaviours.

Youth Justice Senior Practice Advisor

  • Provide case consultation in relation to court recommendations, breaches and particularly for high-risk young people. This should occur subject to local area agreements between Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support and the Senior Practice Advisor.

The procedure in detail

Pre-sentence reports

Identify any factors contributing to the offence that could be addressed by inclusion of a special condition.

When considering recommending special conditions, tell the young person what is being recommended and why.

This will enable them to make an informed decision about whether they consent to the order, and the inclusion of any special conditions.

Include a declaration of eligibility of the young person under s. 8 of the (Intellectual) Disability Act 2006, if the young person is eligible to participate in services available under that Act.

Explain special conditions

At the commencement of an order, explain to the young person the general requirements of the order and any special conditions that have been imposed by the court.

Ensure that the young person clearly understands what is expected of them to comply with the special condition/s component of the order.

Inform the young person that their compliance with special conditions will be closely monitored and recorded and inform them of the potential consequences for non-compliance with special conditions (for example, return to court).

Types of special conditions

A special condition may require the young person to undertake specific behaviours such as:

  • attend school or employment
  • abstain from use of alcohol and/or drugs
  • reside at a specified address
  • abide by a curfew.

Special conditions may also require attendance at specialist appointments to:

undergo medical, psychiatric, psychological, drug, educational or disability assessment, counselling or treatment.

The court may order the young person to observe any special condition (for the whole or any part of the period of the order) that the court considers necessary or desirable.

Support compliance

From the start of the order, discuss with the young person the best way to help them meet the special condition requirements.

Try to make arrangements that are convenient and manageable for the young person to fulfil.

This can include provision of outreach support, referral to support workers and the use of brokerage expenditure.

Reinforce that the objective is for the young person to take responsibility for meeting the special condition requirements.

Regularly review special conditions with the young person during supervision sessions.

Family support

Where possible involve the young person's family or other significant people to support them to fulfil the requirements of the special conditions.

Explain any special conditions to the young person's family or other significant people, and what the young person's responsibilities are to meet these conditions.

Some special conditions, such as attending school, involve behaviours that may require ongoing support beyond the expiry of the court order.

Inform the young person's family or other significant people of the consequences of non-compliance with special conditions.

If possible involve the young person's family or significant people in the client service planning, decision making and support processes.

Specialist assessment recommendations

Organise specialist assessment by a professional or community based service if the court has ordered this, or if you think it is necessary.

Once the assessment is completed, ensure any recommendations are immediately followed up and considered as part of the client service planning process.

If there is disagreement or other difficulties about recommendations in an assessment report, discuss these with the author and team leader.

A second assessment may be sought from another clinician if this is appropriate.

Where possible involve the young person's family or significant people in the client service planning, decision-making and support processes.

Discussion of information

Personal information contained in assessment reports that have been ordered by the court as part of a special condition can be used and disclosed if the young person has consented to that use or disclosure.

Under the Information Privacy Act 2000 the release or disclosure of the young person's information can also occur without consent if this will lessen or prevent:

  • a serious or imminent threat to an individual's life, health, safety or welfare
  • a serious threat to public health, safety or welfare.

When considering whether or not to disclose information consider the following factors:

  • the sensitivity of the information
  • the young person's best interests
  • whether the information contains personal information about a person other than the young person.

Refer to the procedure for 'Privacy and information exchange' for more information.  If uncertain, consult with the team leader and/or the team manager.

Monitoring special conditions

Monitor the young person's compliance with special conditions in the following ways:

  • Include all goals relating to special conditions in the client service plan.
  • Review and document the young person's progress in meeting special condition goals at the client service plan review meeting held every 12 weeks or more often if necessary.
  • If an assessment report has been issued as part of a special condition, ensure that any recommendations are considered and followed up within a reasonable time frame.
  • Ensure review of cases with special conditions in staff supervision.
  • Regularly review special conditions with the young person during supervision sessions.
  • Maintain contact with the young person's family or other significant people who provide support to the young person relating to special conditions.
  • Record all details of the young person's behaviours and/or appointments that relate to the special conditions in case notes in Client Relationship Information System (CRIS).
  • Decisions relating to phasing down or termination of special conditions need to be discussed with a team leader or appropriate line manager.

Non-compliance with special conditions

When a young person is not meeting the requirements of the special conditions:

  • Ask the young person why they are not meeting the order requirements.
  • Remind them that the order has been issued by the court and that there may be legal consequences for failing to comply with special conditions.
  • Explore whether other options can be arranged that are more suitable to the young person and support compliance. For example, rearrange appointment times or the location of appointments.
  • Identify supports that may help the young person meet special condition requirements. For example, apply for brokerage to purchase immediate support to assist the young person to better manage their life.

If a young person fails to comply with the special condition of their court order, consult with the team leader to determine ways to establish compliance and whether the warning process should be initiated.

Non-compliance with special conditions should be dealt with immediately and consideration given to the following:

  • any circumstances that might have had an impact on the young person's behaviour or ability to fulfil the special conditions requirements
  • the general attitude of the young person to the order and the special conditions
  • the young person's capacity to comply with the expectations of the order and/or the special conditions
  • any positives displayed by the young person, which can be built upon to assist them to meet the special condition requirements
  • whether the special condition is no longer necessary or appropriate.

Lawful instruction or direction

Consider issuing a lawful instruction or direction to the young person to comply with the special conditions of their order.

Prior to issuing a lawful instruction or direction:

  • consult with the team leader
  • prepare a letter signed by the team leader to give to the young person detailing the reason for the lawful instruction
  • document all information in the young person's file in CRIS.

Warning process

If the young person continues to not comply with the special conditions component of their order, initiate the warning process.

The warning process gives young people the opportunity to respond in an appropriate and positive way to the responsibilities associated with their order.

In the event of continued non-compliance, assess the young person's stability, circumstances and attitude to the special conditions, to determine if a breach of the order is appropriate.

Refer to the procedure for 'Warning process for community based orders' for more information.

Breach action

One of the grounds on which breach proceedings may be taken is where the young person has not complied with the general condition or any special conditions or amended conditions of the order.

The decision to initiate breach action occurs only after all reasonable attempts to establish the young person's compliance with the order requirements have been unsuccessful.

The timeframe needed to determine whether breach action is initiated varies between cases and circumstances and will be determined in consultation with the team manager and with approval from the Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support.

Refer to the procedure for 'Breaching active court orders' for more information