06/06/24

Rehabilitation of Offenders

Rehabilitation of Offenders
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The process known as ‘rehabilitation’ involves restoring someone to normal life following situations such as imprisonment.

On 28 October 2023, The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Court Act 2022 (‘the Act’) introduced changes to the rehabilitation period for people with a criminal record, following lobbying by various charities, such as Unlock and Transform Justice.

The Act has reduced the period of time that most custodial and community sentences need to be disclosed. For example, information that might be included on a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Certificate, which may be relevant to potential employers.

Evidence shows that the disclosure of historic offences, often of a minor nature, is frequently an unreasonable barrier to successful rehabilitation. Individuals are often unfairly prejudiced when seeking, amongst other things, employment, housing, higher education, insurance quotes and even international visas.

Helen Holder of KANGS Solicitors outlines the changes.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Court Act

Generally

Although more reform is still called for by the lobbyists, the changes brought into force on the 28 October 2023 will impact a large number of people with convictions. Many people will now see their caution or conviction becoming ‘spent’ much sooner.

Changes to the length of time a conviction is deemed ‘unspent.’

A 'spent' conviction typically does not need to be disclosed to most employers or educational providers, and it is prohibited for them to request information about such convictions or cautions. Exceptions apply in certain situations, for example where an 'Enhanced' DBS check is required for positions like teaching or nursing.

‘Unspent’ cautions and convictions will show on a ‘Basic’ DBS Certificate and dictates the time an individual is required to disclose cautions and convictions.

Original sentence exceeds four years

The nature of the offence will be a factor in determining a ‘spent’ period when a prison sentence of over four years has been passed by the Court. These convictions will never be ‘spent,’ and the Government has classified them ‘serious violent, sexual and terrorist offences.’

The full list of such offences is contained within Schedule 18 of the Sentencing Act 2020 and includes:

  • Manslaughter;
  • Kidnap;
  • False imprisonment;
  • Threats to kill;
  • Section 18 and section 20 wounding and s47 assault;
  • Cruelty to children;
  • Possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life or to cause fear of violence;

Robbery;

  • Burglary with intent to inflict GBH or do unlawful damage to a building;
  • Riot, Violent Disorder and Affray;
  • Causing death by dangerous or careless driving;
  • Numerous offences under the Sexual Offences Act 1956 and 2003;
  • Terrorism offences.

The below diagrams show the changes to the ‘spent’ period

Community Orders    

Youth Rehabilitation Orders

Before

Now

Before

Now

Spent after length of the Order + 1 year

Spent after length of the order

Spent after length of the Order + 6 months

Spent after length of the order

PRISON SENTENCE FOR OVER 18s

BEFORE

NOW

Sentence length

Spent period

Sentence length

Spent period

Less than or equal to 6 months

Full sentence + 2 years

One year or less

Full Sentence + 1 year

More than 6 months, up to 30 months

Full sentence + 4 years

More than 30 months up to 4 years

Full sentence + 7 years

More than 1 year, up to 4 years

Full sentence + 4 years

More than 4 years

Never spent

More than 4 years

Full sentence + 7 years (excluding the list of offences deemed “serious, violent or terrorist”)

PRISON SENTENCES FOR UNDER 18s

BEFORE

NOW

Sentence length

Spent period

Sentence length

Spent period

Less than or equal to 6 months

Full sentence + 18 months

One year or less

Full Sentence + 6 months

More than 6 months, up to 30 months

Full sentence + 2 years

More than 30 months up to 4 years

Full sentence + 3.5 years

More than 1 year, up to 4 years

Full sentence + 2 years

More than 4 years

Never spent

More than 4 years

Full sentence + 3.5 years (excluding the list of offences deemed “serious, violent or terrorist”)

How Can We Help?

Conviction for a criminal offence of any nature and at any stage of life is likely to have an enormous impact.

It is vitally important that if you are under investigation or charged with a criminal offence, you must seek legal representation immediately. The Team at KANGS will be delighted to assist you, we welcome enquiries by:

Tel:       0333 370 4333

Email: info@kangssolicitors.co.uk

We provide initial no obligation discussion at our three offices in London, Birmingham, and Manchester. Alternatively, discussions can be held through live conferencing or telephone.

Helen Holder

Helen Holder
Partner

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Sukhdip Randhawa

Sukhdip Randhawa
Legal Director

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