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Post Sentence Assessment

Post Sentence Assessment was developed in West Yorkshire in partnership with West Yorkshire courts.

It is a unique, award winning (Butler Trust and Howard League Awards in 2014) initiative that changes the way rehabilitation is sentenced and delivered.

The aim is to get a better fit between sentence and offender need to ensure the sentence is tailored to each individual and therefore improves compliance and reduces reoffending.

The introduction of Post Sentence Assessment in January 2012 has reduced the number of breaches, enabled more court reports to be prepared on the day, reduced the number of people returned to court for resentence and therefore reduced costs for probation and courts.

How does Post Sentence Assessment work?

At court, an offender who needs a rehabilitative intervention is sentenced to a Generic Activity Requirement and any punitive elements are determined by the court.

After sentence, the Probation Officer works closely with the offender to find out more about how entrenched their offending behaviour is, what factors have influenced the offending and what factors are supporting them to refrain from offending. This helps the Probation Officer to determine what rehabilitative elements should be included in each offender's Activity Requirement and therefore in the sentence plan.

The offender is fully involved in identifying areas of need which means they better understand their sentence plan and are more likely to comply. However, the decision about what work an offender should do remains with the Probation Officer.

What is an Activity Requirement?

An Activity Requirement will be made up of a range of meaningful rehabilitative work including group activities, group supervision, education, training and employment work, one-to-one work and signposting to other agencies.