Publication types:

Publication topics:

Published on:

29 November 2023

A consultation paper the revised Imposition of community and custodial sentences guideline.

What is this consultation about?

The Sentencing Council is seeking views on the revised Imposition of community and custodial sentences guideline in England and Wales.

The proposed revisions follow changes in legislation, developments in case law, recent sentencing research, and feedback from criminal justice practitioners.

The Imposition guideline is the main guideline for general principles around imposing community orders and custodial sentences, and in what circumstances a custodial sentence can be suspended, and deals with other sentencing considerations, such as the requesting of pre-sentence reports . The current guideline was published in 2017.

Who should respond?

We would like to hear from anyone who uses sentencing guidelines in their work or who has an interest in sentencing. We would also like to hear from individuals and organisations representing anyone who could be affected by the proposals, including:

  • victims and their families
  • defendants and their families
  • those under probation supervision or youth offending teams/supervision
  • those with protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

What do we want to know?

Through this consultation process, the Council is seeking views on a series of changes to the existing guideline that would provide the courts with, among other things:       

  • more guidance on the circumstances in which it may be necessary to request a pre-sentence report;
  • new sections on sentencing young adult offenders and female offenders; and
  • new information on evidence regarding the effectiveness of rehabilitation when compared with short custodial sentences, based on external research reviewed for the Council.

When and how to respond

The consultation closes on 21 February 2024. See About this consultation for how to respond and our policies on Freedom of Information and privacy.

Related documents