Community-based sentencing

There are several types of community-based sentences including community service, attendance centres, probation and specialized mental health care and supervision.

Community service

Community service is a way for youth to pay back the community. It helps them become more responsible. Youth work for free for a certain period of time to help in the community.

For example, your teen could be working at a local community centre or with a group doing community garbage clean up.

Attendance centres

Attendance centres provide supervision during the day, in the evening and on weekends. Programs are unique to each teen.

The support youth get in an attendance centre can include:

Programs can last up to 240 hours in six months.

Restorative justice

Restorative justice programs focus on fixing the harm youth have done to other people and the community. These programs also hold young people responsible for their actions.

You and your teen may meet the victim and discuss the harm done. This approach helps youth understand the impact of their actions. It can also prevent them from doing harm again.


Probation means that a youth is supervised in the community and must meet specific conditions set by the court.

Your teen will meet a youth justice probation officer. The officer’s goal is to work with your teen so that he or she will not get in trouble with the law again. The officer:

The youth justice probation officer also monitors if your teen follows all the court conditions. The officer has legal authority to return your teen to court if the probation conditions are not met. Not meeting the conditions of a probation order could be considered as a new offence.

You should always encourage your teen to work with the youth justice probation officer.