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Criminal Justice Act 1972

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

15Community service orders in respect of convicted persons

(1)Where a person who has attained the age of seventeen is convicted of an offence punishable with imprisonment, the court by or before which he is convicted may, instead of dealing with him in any other way (but subject to subsection (2) of this section), make an order (in this Act referred to as " a community service order") requiring him to perform unpaid work in accordance with the subsequent provisions of this Act for such number of hours (being in the aggregate not less than forty nor more than two hundred and forty) as may be specified in the order.

(2)A court shall not make a community service order in respect of any offender unless the offender consents and the court—

(a)has been notified by the Secretary of State that arrangements exist for persons who reside in the petty sessions area in which the offender resides or will reside to perform work under such orders ; and

(b)is satisfied—

(i)after considering a report by a probation officer about the offender and his circumstances and, if the court thinks it necessary, hearing a probation officer, that the offender is a suitable person to perform work under such an order ; and

(ii)that provision can be made under the arrangements for him to do so.

(3)Where a court makes community service orders in respect of two or more offences of which the offender has been convicted by or before the court, the court may direct that the hours of work specified in any of those orders shall be concurrent with or additional to those specified in any other of those orders, but so that the total number of hours which are not concurrent shall not exceed the maximum in subsection (1) of this section.

(4)A community service order shall specify the petty sessions area in which the offender resides or will reside; and the functions conferred by the subsequent provisions of this Act on the relevant officer shall be discharged by a probation officer appointed for or assigned to that area, or by a person appointed for the purposes of those provisions by the probation and after-care committee for that area.

(5)The court by which a community service order is made shall forthwith give copies of the order to a probation officer assigned to the court and he shall give a copy to the offender and to the relevant officer; and the court shall, except where it is itself a magistrates' court acting for the petty sessions area specified in the order, send to the clerk to the justices for the petty sessions area specified in the order a copy of the order, together with such documents and information relating to the case as it considers likely to be of assistance to that court in exercising its functions in relation to the order.

(6)The Secretary of State may by order direct that subsection (1) of this section shall be amended by substituting, for the maximum number of hours specified in that subsection as originally enacted or as previously amended under this subsection, such number of hours as may be specified in the order; but no such order shall be made unless a draft of it has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

(7)The power to make orders under subsection (6) of this section shall be exercisable by statutory instrument and includes power to revoke a previous order under that subsection.

(8)Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall be construed as preventing a court which makes a community service order in respect of any offence from making an order for costs against, or imposing any disqualification on, the offender or from making in respect of the offence an order under the foregoing provisions of this Act, under section 23 or 24 thereof, or under section 28 of the Theft Act 1968.

(9)Before making a community service order the court shall in ordinary language explain to the offender—

(a)the purpose and effect of the order (and in particular the requirements of the order as specified in section 16 of this Act);

(b)the consequences which may follow under section 17 if he fails to comply with any of those requirements ; and

(c)that the court has under section 18 the power to review the order on the application either of the offender or of a probation officer.

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