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Offender Rehabilitation Act 2014

Release and supervision of offenders sentenced to less than 2 years

Section 2: Supervision after end of sentence

13.Section 2 amends Chapter 6 of Part 12 of the 2003 Act. It inserts a new section 256AA into the 2003 Act. The new section 256AA creates a new period of supervision for offenders serving custodial sentences of more than 1 day but less than 2 years. This period of post-sentence supervision will apply to a sentence imposed in respect of an offence committed on or after the provisions of this Act come into force.

14.The supervision period begins at the end of the sentence and ends on the expiry of 12 months from the date of release. This means that an offender serves half of their custodial sentence in custody, the second half under licence in the community, with the post-sentence supervision period then applying until the offender has spent 12 months in the community since their automatic release date.

15.The following are illustrative examples of how these provisions apply for different sentence lengths, compared with sentences under the law before amendment.

Sentence imposed by courtCurrent custodial period before the provisions of the Act are in forceCustodial period once the provisions of the Act are in forceCurrent arrangements on release before the provisions of the Act are in forceArrangements on release once the provisions of the Act are in force
6 month sentence3 months3 months3 months in community, but with no licence conditions or supervision3 months’ licence
9 months’ post-sentence supervision
Total supervision 12 months
10 month sentence5 months5 months5 months in community, but with no licence conditions or supervision5 months’ licence
7 months’ post-sentence supervision
Total supervision 12 months
18 month sentence9 months9 months9 months’ licence9 months’ licence
3 months’ post-sentence supervision
Total supervision 12 months

16.Subsection (2) of new section 256AA requires offenders to comply with requirements during the supervision period. Subsection (4) defines the supervision period as beginning at the expiry of the sentence and ending 12 months after the halfway point of the sentence (the automatic release date). The requirements are to be specified in a notice given to the offender by the Secretary of State (subsection (3)). Subsection (5) makes clear that the purpose of the supervision period is the rehabilitation of the offender and subsection (6) requires the Secretary of State to have regard to that purpose when setting the requirements. Subsection (7) requires the supervisor of the offender to have regard to that purpose when carrying out functions in relation to the requirements. Subsection (8) defines “supervisor” for the purposes of this section. Subsection (9) provides that for a person subject to a sentence under section 91 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 who is over 18 at the date of release, the supervisor must be an officer of a provider of probation services or a member of a Youth Offending Team (YOT). Subsection (10) provides that for any other person subject to post-sentence supervision the supervisor must be an officer of a provider of probation services, which may be a public or private sector provider.

17.Section 2(4) introduces Schedule 1 to the Act. Schedule 1 is in two parts. The first part deals with the requirements which may be specified in the new supervision period. The second part sets out further provision relating to drug testing and drug appointments requirements during the supervision period.

18.Part 1 of Schedule 1 amends the 2003 Act to insert a new section 256AB after new section 256AA. This section sets out ten requirements of the offender that may be specified by the Secretary of State during the supervision period. They are:

  • Subsection (1)(a): to be of good behaviour and not behave in a way that undermines the rehabilitative purpose of the supervision period.

  • Subsection (1)(b): not to commit any offences.

  • Subsection (1)(c): to keep in touch with the supervisor.

  • Subsection (1)(d): to receive visits from the supervisor.

  • Subsection (1)(e): to reside permanently at an address approved by the supervisor and to obtain prior permission for any stay of one or more nights at another address.

  • Subsection (1)(f): not to undertake work, or a particular type of work, unless it is approved by the supervisor and to notify the supervisor of any proposal to undertake work.

  • Subsection (1)(g): not to travel outside the British Islands except with prior permission of the supervisor or to comply with a legal obligation (for example, deportation or extradition).

  • Subsection (1)(h): to participate in activities in accordance with instructions given by the supervisor.

  • Subsection (1)(i): a drug testing requirement (see paragraphs 21 and 22 below).

  • Subsection (1)(j): a drug appointment requirement (see paragraphs 23 to 27 below).

19.Subsection (2) of new section 256AB provides that where an offender is subject to a requirement to participate in activities under subsection (1)(h) then provisions under new section 200A(5) to (10) apply. New section 200A creates a new rehabilitation activity requirement for community orders and suspended sentence orders and is inserted by section 15 of the Act and described at paragraphs 111 to 118 below.

20.Subsection (4) of new section 256AB provides the Secretary of State with a power, by order, to add to, remove or amend the requirements for the supervision period and to make provision for instructions regarding these requirements.

21.Part 2 of Schedule 1 relates to drug testing and drug appointment requirements. It inserts a new section 256D into the 2003 Act. Section 256D provides that an offender subject to a drug testing requirement during the supervision period must provide a sample to ascertain whether the offender has a specified Class A or Class B drug in his or her body. Subsection (2) provides that a drug testing requirement can only be imposed when the Secretary of State is satisfied that the requirements in subsection (3) are met, and the testing requirement is imposed for the purpose of checking whether the offender is complying with any other supervision requirement. Subsection (3) provides that the matters that the Secretary of State must be satisfied are met in order for the testing requirement to be imposed are:

  • That the misuse of a specified Class A or B drug by the offender caused or contributed to a past offence or is likely to cause or contribute to further offending; and

  • That the offender is dependent on, or has a propensity to misuse, a specified Class A or Class B drug.

22.Subsection (4) requires instructions for drug testing to be in accordance with any guidance given by the Secretary of State and subsection (5) confers a power on the Secretary of State to make rules in relation to the provision of drug testing samples.

23.Part 2 of Schedule 1 also inserts new section 256E into the 2003 Act. New section 256E enables an offender to be made subject to a drug appointment requirement as part of their supervision. This requires an offender, in accordance with instructions, to attend appointments designed to address the offender’s dependency on, or propensity to misuse, a controlled drug.

24.Subsection (2) provides that the requirement can only be imposed where it has been recommended by the supervisor and where the Secretary of State is satisfied of a number of matters connected with the offender’s dependency on or propensity to misuse drugs. Subsection (3) sets out those matters. It provides that the offender’s misuse of controlled drugs must have either contributed to an offence for which the offender has been convicted or is likely to cause or contribute to further offending. It goes on to require that the Secretary of State is satisfied that the offender’s dependency or propensity to misuse drugs is susceptible to treatment and that arrangements have been or can be made for the offender to be treated.

25.Subsection (4) provides that the supervision requirement must set out where and with whom the offender is required to meet.

26.Subsection (5) provides that the person with whom the offender is required to meet to address his or her drug problems must have the necessary qualifications or experience. Subsection (6) makes clear that the only instructions that may be given by the supervisor are the duration of each appointment and when each appointment takes place.

27.Subsection (7) makes clear that the offender is not required to submit to medical treatment at the appointment. The offender will only be treated as breaching his supervision condition if he fails to attend or remain at the appointment for the duration instructed by his supervisor.

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