Helen Mills assesses the Community Order and Suspended Sentence Order
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).
Community sentences need to be more responsive to the needs of young adult offenders, according to a report published today by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies.
The report, which examines the use of the new Community Order and Suspended Sentence Order for adults aged between 18 and 24 found that there is a heavy reliance on unpaid work programmes and much less use of education, training and employment programmes and substance misuse programmes despite the fact that young adults have distinct needs in these areas.
The use of interventions for women offenders serving community sentences is dependent upon the availability of local services and priorities, according to a report published by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies.
The report, which examines the use of the new Community Order and Suspended Sentence Order for women found that many of the requirements which make up the sentence are not used. In particular, the specified activity requirement could be used more often and also requirements to meet mental health and drug treatment needs for women.
The community order and the suspended sentence order: The views and attitudes of sentencers is the fourth research report of our community sentences project which monitors the orders introduced in the 2003 Criminal Justice Act.
Based on interviews with magistrates and judges it provides the first independent analysis of their views and attitudes towards the new orders. It reports that sentencers are generally positive about them but are concerned about the volume of legislation and many changes to sentencing practice in recent years.
Government attempts to slow a rapidly rising prison population by a reformed, and credible, community sentences framework has largely failed, according to a report published by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies. Indeed there is evidence that the Community Orders and Suspended Sentence Orders, which came into effect in April 2005, are contributing to the rise in prison numbers, rather than helping to arrest its growth.