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Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012

Section 70: Programme requirement

396.Section 70 amends section 202 of the 1991 Act which makes provision in relation to “programme requirements”. These may be imposed as part of a community order or a suspended sentence order with a view to addressing particular aspects of offender behaviour such as treatment of alcohol or drug addiction and poor cognitive skills.

397.Subsection (4) amends section 202(1) of the 1991 Act by reducing the number of matters the court must specify when imposing a programme requirement. It removes the requirement for a court to specify (a) the particular accredited programme in which the offender must participate, and (b) the place at which the offender must participate in an accredited programme. It retains the requirement for a court to specify the number of days on which the offender must take part in an accredited programme. By the amendments to section 202(6) of the 1991 Act, it will be for the responsible officer to determine those matters.

398.Subsection (5) repeals section 202(4) and (5) of the 1991 Act, which specify a number of conditions that have to be met before a court may impose a programme requirement. These conditions currently require a court to include only certain accredited programmes, and prevent the court from including a programme requirement if compliance with that requirement would involve the co-operation of someone other than the offender and the responsible officer, unless that person has consented. The effect of subsection (5) is that those conditions will no longer apply.

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