The use and impact of the Community Order and the Suspended Sentence Order

George Mair, Noel Cross and Stuart Taylor
Tuesday, 6 March 2007

This is the first in a series of reports as part of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies Community Sentences project. The project was initially established to investigate and monitor the new Community Order introduced in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 by providing good quality, objective information about the way it was used and managed during a period of great change following the creation of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS).

However, as this report demonstrates, soon after the implementation of the Community Order on 4 April 2005, it became clear that the new Suspended Sentence Order, sometimes referred to as ‘custody minus’, was playing a significant role in sentencing and impacting directly on the work of the Probation Service. The project’s remit was therefore expanded to examine the Suspended Sentence Order.