Structured Deferred Sentence (SDS) aims to provide a structured intervention for individuals upon conviction and prior to final sentencing.
They are generally used for people in the justice system with a range of complex needs that may be addressed through social work and/or multi-agency intervention but without the need for a court order.
SDS offers the opportunity for Justice Social Work services and key partners to directly provide and tailor interventions for individuals. This may include:
- components of risk-taking behaviour
- decision-making and victim impact
- interventions to address identified need
SDS is used in a variety of ways and can provide a flexible and effective intervention that can help prevent individuals who have offended from becoming further drawn into the justice system.
An SDS can also address the underlying causes of offending and contribute to safer and fairer communities for all.
SDS, in some cases, could be more appropriate than the imposition of a longer-term disposal such as a Community Payback Order (CPO), particularly for those where a short-term intervention would more appropriately address areas of risk and need.
It could also be of benefit to those who may find it more difficult to manage the requirements of a CPO or Drug Treatment and Testing Order (DTTO), and reduce the risk, and associated impact of, non-compliance and breaches associated with statutory orders.
It may also provide an opportunity for individuals to stabilise their circumstances and assess their motivation and ability to comply with a period of statutory supervision. Again, this potentially reduces the risk of future breaches and provides an alternative to short periods of custody.
In all cases, structured intervention may include up to three contacts per week, which may include contact with 3rd party agencies and will be monitored by Justice Services. Back To Top