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14.8 Pre-Sentence Report

YOUTH JUSTICE STANDARD

The Pre-Sentence Report and ASSET to be completed within 20 working days or prior to the next court date when appropriate.

The Pre-Sentence Report to be read through with young person and parents/carer.

RELATED CHAPTERS

Youth Justice Legal Framework

Providing Court Services Procedure

RELATED GUIDANCE

Hints and Tips to Help Improve Practice


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Basis of Report
  3. Presentation of Report
  4. Timeframe
  5. Stand Down or Day of Sentence Report


1. Introduction

1.1 A Pre-Sentence Report is prepared by a Youth Justice worker with the purpose of assisting the court in determining the most suitable method of dealing with an offender.
1.2 A Pre-Sentence Report can be prepared for the Juvenile Court and other Courts (Magistrates, High Bailiff’s or Court of General Gaol Delivery).
1.3 Reports should be balanced, impartial, timely, focused, free from discriminatory language and stereotypes, verified, factually accurate, understandable to the child or young person and their parents/carers, and provide the required level of information and analysis to enable sentencers to make informed decisions regarding sentencing.


2. Basis of Report

2.1

A Pre-Sentence Reports should be based on:

  • A minimum of one interview with the child or young person;
  • An interview with at least one parent/carer, where possible;
  • A home visit, where possible (if not possible give reasons why);
  • Any information provided by the police or prosecution in relation to the offence;
  • An assessment of the consequences of the offence, including what is known of the impact on any victim, either from the police or prosecution papers or from a victim personal statement;
  • Information from other relevant sources such as Youth Justice and Children’s Services case records, specialist assessments, or information from other agencies.


3. Presentation of Report

3.1

A Pre-Sentence Report should be presented in the following format:

  • Front sheet;
  • Sources of information;
  • Offence analysis, including impact of the offence on the victim/s;
  • Assessment of the young person (based on ASSET assessment and including health, mental health including learning disability, speech, language and communication needs, and broader welfare considerations such as education or employment) leading to a proposed sentencing option;
  • Assessment of the risk to the community, including the likelihood of re-offending and risk of serious harm to others, and an assessment of dangerousness (as appropriate);
  • Conclusion and proposal for sentencing.
3.2 Complete the Pre-Sentence Report in writing. The Pre-Sentence Report should be read through with the young person and parents/carer. Provide a copy to the child or young person, their parents/carers (if appropriate in relation to child protection implications), the court, the prosecution and the defence advocate.


4. Timeframe

4.1 A Pre-Sentence Report should be completed and produced to the Court within 20 working days of request. Where there are unusually extensive adjournment periods, ensure the Pre-Sentence Report is updated prior to the sentencing date. The ASSET should also be completed within 20 working days.


5. Stand Down or Day of Sentence Report

5.1

A Pre-Sentence Report can also be prepared on a stand down basis on the day of sentence where:

  • It will facilitate the prompt conclusion of a case;
  • Where there is a recent Pre-Sentence Report available (undertaken within the last three months and where there has been no significant change in circumstances);
  • Other recent relevant reports are available.
5.2 Stand Down/Day of Sentence reports may be also be usefully undertaken where the court are unclear whether to impose a financial penalty/discharge but wishes to ascertain the views of the Youth Justice Team before making this decision. In these circumstances the information contained in the Stand Down/Day of Sentence report should be limited to assisting the court in considering the specific sentencing options indicated or available.
5.3 Stand Down/Day of Sentence reports should not be used where custody or a supervision order is being considered.

End