Pre-sentence report

If a court finds your child guilty of an offence, the magistrate or judge may ask for a pre-sentence report to help them decide what the sentence will be.

The report gives the court information about what led your child to break the law, sentence options, and programs and services available to help them.

The court must ask for a report if it is considering giving your child:

  • an intensive supervision order
  • a conditional release order
  • a detention order.


First, a Youth Justice officer interviews you and your child to try to understand:

  • why your child broke the law
  • how they feel about it
  • how they feel about any victims.

The caseworker may interview you more than once and other people as well.

The interview process usually takes about 3 weeks.


The Youth Justice officer may ask you about:

  • your family
  • your child’s school or work
  • the offence
  • your child’s attitude to the victim
  • any consequences or punishment your child has experienced already
  • your child’s behaviour since those consequences
  • any other information that the court has requested.

The Youth Justice officer might also talk to you about the court’s options for sentencing and whether your child would agree to them.

Viewing the report

The Youth Justice officer talks to you about what the final report says but the court decides whether you can see it.

After your child has been sentenced, you can ask to see the report. If it contains confidential information about another person, you might not get a copy.

Copies go to:

  • your child’s solicitor
  • the police prosecutor
  • the court.

Disagreeing with the report

If you have a problem with the report, contact either the Youth Justice officer who wrote it, or their team leader. You can also speak to your child's solicitor.

More information

What happens when your child goes to court.