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Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008

Section 17:  The assessment of dangerousness

211.Section 17 amends section 229 of the 2003 Act (the assessment of dangerousness).

212.Section 229 currently draws a distinction between cases where the offender has not previously been convicted of an offence specified in Schedules 15 to 17 (or was aged under 18) and cases where the offender has previously been convicted of such an offence. In the first case, section 229(2) requires the court (in deciding whether there is a significant risk of serious harm) to take into account all information available to it about the offence for which the offender is being sentenced and allows the court to take into account any information about any pattern of behaviour of which that offence forms a part. In the second case, section 229(3) requires the court to assume that there is a significant risk of serious harm unless the court considers it would be unreasonable to do so.

213.The amendments made by subsections (2) and (4) are related. Subsection (4)removes section 229(3) so that the court is no longer required to make any assumption. Subsection (2)amends section 229(2) so that it applies to all offenders. These changes mean that there is no longer any distinction between the two types of cases mentioned above.

214.Subsection (2) also amends section 229(2) to provide expressly that the court may take into account all information available to it about any previous convictions of the offender and any pattern of behaviour of which they form a part. This is intended to provide clarification.

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