Law revision



What does the crown court deal with?

more serious offences

And doesn't have what?

does not have any restrictions on the time limit of imprisonment or the maximum penalty for a fine.

Who does?

Magistrates do have these restrictions

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Penalties are set by who and for what?

Set by parliament to restrict the court's powers e.g a maximum of 7yrs imprisonment for theft doesn't depend on how much has been stolen

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what is maximum sentence?

life imprisonment

when is life imprisonment given?

has to be passed by judge for murder no other sentence is available

manslaughter and and **** can face life imprisonment

2nd serious or violent offence automatically brings in a life imprisonment

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When is minimum sentence available?

not available for first time offenders

minimum sentences for those who offend repeatedly

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Aims of sentencing(retribution)

What is meant by retibution?

offender deserves punishment because of their unreasonable act

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Aims of sentencing(retribution)

What should the punishment ensure?

That the punishment inflicted is in proportion to that offence committed

(in some crimes it isn't easy to produce an exact match between crime and punishment)


judge in america got the victim of the burgulary to go the burgulars house and take items to that appropriate value with a law officer

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Aims of sentencing(retribution)

What happens with tarrif sentences?

judge allowed only to impose a penalty within that tarrif range .

what can this cause?

injustice in certain cases where offenders can have a difficult financial situation if it is a case of fine

what can it also mean?

sentences for offenders are uninformed and remove discretion from judges

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aims of sentencing(retribution)

What does retribution contain?

revenge between society and victim for the wrong done

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aims of Sentencing(Denunciation)

What is denunciation?

expressing dissapproval of criminal activity, society condemns certain types of behaviour shows people that justice is being done


veiw of drink driving has changed because of the change in law , impose for heavier fines and banning from driving, viewed as an unacceptable behaviour.

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aims of sentencing(Incapacitation or protection of

What does incapacitation mean?

that offender is not capable of re-offending i.e death penalty, hands cut off for thieves (in some countries) & in america incapacitate sex offenders to prevent from offending again.

punishment serve useful purpose

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aims of Sentencing (incapacitation or protection o

whatare the minimum sentence for persistent offenders to protect the public from thier activities?

electronic tagging

exclusion orders to prevent offender from being in a place

curfew order, orders an offender to stay at a given address for a certain period time

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aims of sentencing(individual deterrence)

what is individual deterrence?

preventing the offender from offending again through the fear of punishment i.e prison sentence or heavy fines

(offenders don't stop to consider the consequences of thier actions as they can be under the influene of drugs or alcohol)

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aims of sentencing (individual deterrence)

Fear of detection has more of a what?

Deterrent effect, decrease in crime rates,


reduction in crime in london underground system when surveillance cameras were used

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aims of sentencing (general deterrence)

What is general deterrence aiming at?

preventing potential offenders from offending again. aimed at reducing the level of crimes

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aims of sentencing(general Deterrence)

Why is there general deterrence?

potential offenders might not care about severe punishment being passed on others

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Aims of sentencing(general Deterrence)

what do judges try to ensure?

that potential offenders are aware of the level of punishment they can expect through the use of publicity

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aims of sentencing(general Deterrence)

what is general deterrence in conflict with?

with retribution


because it involves setting a particular punishment which can be very high in relation to the crime that has been done


raising of punishment for stealing a mobile phone on street from 6 mnths to 3 & half yrs.

(Least effective and leats fair principle of sentencing)

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aims of sentencing(rehabilitation)

what does rehabilitation aim to do?

reform offender and rehabilitate the into society.

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aims of sentencing(rehabilitation)

What does rehabilitation intend to change and how?

offenders behaviour by imposing the penalty so that he/she doesn't offend in the future.

important elementin what?

in philosophy for young offenders also used for adult offenders

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Aims of sentencing(rehabilitation)

what are individualised sentences?

the individuals who have committed the same offence are given different sentences


because the emphasis is on the individual offender

(direct contrast in tarrif sentences under retribution)

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Aims of sentencing(rehabilitation)

What does individualised sentencing tend to do?

discriminate the underprivileged and offenders from poor home backgrounds as they are less likely to be seen as possible candidates for reform

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aims of sentencing(rehabilitation)

what are persistent offenders less likely to respond to?

reformative sentences

(courts may take into consideration any previous failures to respond to previous sentences)

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aims of sentencing(reparation)

what is reparation aimed at?

compensating the victim by the offender

what is there also?

projects that will bring together the victim and offenders so that th victim can take a direct reparation

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aims of sentencing(reparation)

what should criminals do?

pay compensation to the victims and any other penalty that the judge thinks is appropriate. includes reparation to the society as a whole.

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sentencing practice in the courts

What factors make an offence more serious?

-previous convictions of a similar offence

e.g defendant was on bail while committing that offence racial or religious hostility in relation to that offence disability or sexual orientation invovled in that offence

-if offender was in a position of trust and had abused it

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sentencing practice in the courts

what happens if there is several defendants parts in a case?

the judge will want to know who played the greater and who was involved in planning it,

this will reflect the various sentences that each one of them recieves in relation to what part they played

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sentencing practice in the courts

when is there a reduction in sentencing?

if there's a guilty plea made early enough in the courts proceedings

why is this view controversial by some people?

as they think if they have done the crime they should also do the time

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sentencing practice in the courts

why is reducing a sentence due to guilty plea an advantage?

because it saves high costs, saves victims and witnesses to give evidence and saves time

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sentencing practice in th courts

what happened when the publicity about cases where defendants had thier sentences reduced because they pleaded guilty?

government decided to change the law as it felt there was enough evidence to prove them guilty, therefore they shouldn't be rewarded for pleading guilty.

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sentencing practice in courts

what does previous conviction consist of?

whether defendant has previous convictions of a related offence,

whether they have responded to previous sentences for crimes,

whether they were on bail while committing this crime

what will this decide?

sentence for punishment i.e minimum sentence or an automatic life sentence

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sentcing practice in the courts

who are pre-sentence reports prepared by?

probation service

what will the courts do with these?

look at these and know about defendant's background to see why he/she has committed such a crime and if he/she will respond to a community-based penalty if the court was considering to give one.

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sentencing practice in the courts

if offender suffers from an illness what is then prepared?

a medical report by a doctor.

what will this help the court do?

decide the best way to deal with the offender- the court has special powers when dealing with mental illness

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sentencing practice in the courts

in cases where the court considers a fine for a penalty what must be taken into account?

financial circumstances and take this into account when setting the level of the fines

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sentencing guidelines

correct level of sentencing for what?

certain types of offences

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sentencing guidelines

when the sentencing guidelines council decides to make guidelines it must have to regard what?

need for consistency in sentencing

need to promote public confidence

cost of different sentences and sentences imposed by the courts

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sentencing guidelines

what do the sentencing guidelines council guidline's include?

principles for serious factors in offences

principles of sentencing in domestic violence cases

sentencing for robberies

sentences in manslaughter even where public protection was involved

where there was provocation this still remains the critical factor in deciding the sentence.

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powers of the courts

what are the4 main categoriesof sentences available to the courts?

community sentences

custodial sentences



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powers of the court

what are the additional orders the court have power to make?

compensation orders

and motoring offences such as disqualification from driving

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powers of the court

what is a custodial sentence?

maximum sentence a court can give

ranges from a weekend imprisonment to life imprisonment

(young offenders will be kept seperate from adults if they were given a custodial sentence)

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Powers of the court

when imposing a custodial sentence what must the court do?

state the reason for custodial sentence

in case of a magistrates' court?

they have to write the reason on a warrant of commitment and entered in the court register

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Powers in the court

custodial cases are advised for which cases?

such as assaulting a police officer in execution of his duty

and burgulary of a residential property

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Mandatory life sentences

Murder always carries what sentence?

life sentence

minimum number of years of imprisonment is stated by the judge.

minimum term is governed by

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Mandatory life sentence

what do the starting points range from?

full life term down to 12 years

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Madatory life sentences

when can the full life term only occur?

when there has been murder of previous persons by abduction or sexual motivations for victims

offender previously convicted by murder of child by abducting or sexual motivation for victim.

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mandatory life sentences

cases with starting point of 30years include what?

where the murder is of a police or prison officer in the course of his duty

murder using a firearm or explosive

sexual or sadistic murder of an adult

racially or radically aggravated murder

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mandatory life sentences

what is the time given where starting point of a murder offence is not given?

usually taken to be 15years

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Mandatory life sentences

Offenders under the age of what have a starting point of...?

offenders under the age of 18 have a starting point of 12 years.

once the judge has decided on the starting there are ...

still aggravating factors that may affect the final sentence

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Mandatory life sentences

aggravating factors include?

victim was vunerable because of age or disabilty or any mental or physical suffering inflicted on the victim before death

what do they increase?

minimum term ordered by the judge

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mandatory life sentences

Mitigating factors include what?

offender had an intention to cause GBH, acted for self defence but was not enough

what sentence can the judge set for this?

minimum term less than the starting point

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Mandatory life sentence

if individual over 18 and convicted for a second serious violent offence has to be what...?

sentenced for life imprisonment

judge can what?

set a minimum term that the offender should serve in prison

if there are exceptional circumstances...?

judge doesn't have to impose a life sentence

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discretionary life sentences

serious offences like manslaughter,**** or robbery carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment however...?

judge has descretionin sentencing and can givelesser sentence when appropriateeven fine or adischarge.

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fixed term sentences

what is fixed term sentences?

sentences that have a set number of months or years

what does it depend on?

seriousness of crimes, max sentence for crime and previous convictions of offender

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home detention curfew

why is the prisoner assessed?

to see if he/she is suitable for the curfew period

what is the period curfew increased with?

the length of sentences

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home detention curfew

if no curfew is made then what must happen to the prisoner?

must serve half of the sentence before he/she can be released on licence

what does this do?

encourages released prisoners to re structure thier lives and prevents them from re-offending

prison population is reduced

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extended sentences

what is meant by extended sentencing?

when serious offences(sex or violence) offenders are given a custodial sentence and an extended period , offender is at liberty on this licence

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extended sentences

what can't the extended periods exceed?

10 yeards for sexual offence or 5 years for a violent offence

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extended sentences

what is the idea behind this?

greater control over sexual offenders when they leave prison , they are required to register with the police so that it is known where they are living

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intermittent custody

what is intermittent custody?

where prisoners spent the time in prison on weekends and on weekdays they're free

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intermittent custody

why is the government trying to abolish intermittent custody?

because offenders were increasing the prison population and were blocking places for ordinary prisoners

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minimum sentences

7 years is the minimum for offenders convicted of what?

dealing with class A drugs on three seperate occasions

judges can still impose lesser sentences on exceptional circumstances

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minimum sentences

3 years is the minimum sentence for offender convicted of what?

burgulary on a 3rd time

judges can still decide lesser sentences on exceptional circumstances

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suspended prison sentences

adult offenders suspended for what?

2 years imprisonment max

if in magistrates?


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suspended prison sentences

what is meant by suspended prison sentence?

the sentence does not take effect immediately, the court will set a time during which the sentence is suspended , this can be up to 2years

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suspended prison sentences

if during the suspended period the offender doesn't commit a crime what happens?

they don't have to serve that sentence

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suspended prison sentence

if the offender does commit a crime during the suspended period what happens?

the sentence is activated together with the new sentence for the new offence committed

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suspended prison sentences

when are suspended sentences only given?

where a serious offence has been committed and

where custodial sentence would be appropriate but there are exceptional circumstances which justify the suspended sentence

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suspended prison sentences

what is the idea for suspended sentencing and threat to prison?

prevents the offender from committing any further crimes

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suspended prison sentences

what can a suspended sentence be combined with?

fines or compensation orders or requirements used in community order seen as soft option therefore rarley used by courts

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sentences for young offenders

what do the courts aim for with sentences for young offenders?

need help rather than punishment

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sentences for young offenders

what do the sentencing orders need to do?

keep offenders in the community

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sentencing for young offenders

what do the different types of custodial sentences depend on when sentencing young offenders?

on age of offender

type of crime commited and

previous convictions

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sentences for young offenders

what order is given to 12-21year olds?

detention training order

for under 15year olds this can only be done for who?

persistent offenders

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sentences for young offenders

what can home secretary use and why?

longer periods of detention and training orders for 10-13 yeard olds if crime committed carried a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment

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community sentences

what are previous community sentences now used as?

as requirements

what are requirements combined with?

the actual sentence

why can you mix and match requirements?

to fit restrictions or rehabilitation of offender's needs.

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community sentences

what is unpaid work requirement?

when offender works from 240-300 hrs on a particular project organised by the probation service

one criticism?

number of hours is not enough, other countries who run similar schemes can impose much longer hours.


re-offending rates are lower than for other community sentences

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community sentences

what does prohibited activity require?

requires the offender not to do something from where he/she has caused trouble before

e.g carrying certain things or going to certain places

what does this prevent?

the offender from committing a crime he has done before

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community sentences

what does curfew requirement require?

requires the offender to stay at a particular address for a certain period of time in a 24hr period.

what happens to the offender?

offenders are tagged by electronic tagging or satellites, quite exspensive but still less costly than keeping offender in prison

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community sentences

what does the exclusion requirement prevent?

prevents the

offender from goin to a certain place at a particular time where they have committed a crime before

i.e shoplifters banned from shopping areas

how many for 16 years olds and over?

2 years

how long for under 16 year olds?

3 months

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community sentences

what is supervision requirement?

where the offender is supervised by a probation officer

what is the maximum time?


what must the offender do?

must attend appointments with supervising officer. promotes offender's rehabilitaion.

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what is the most common way to dispose off a case in the magistrates?

fine the offender

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what is the maximum fine for an individual?


for a business?

£20 000

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what happens to offenders if they don't pay the fine (unpaid fines)

offenders are made to work (unpaid work) at a rate of £6 ph so the fine that is owned is remitted

what does this over come?

ineffective punishment and number of prisoners increase in prison

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what is a conditional discharge?

offender is discharged on the condition that he/she doesn't commit a crime for a period of 3years max.

when is this used?

used when punishment is not necessary

if offender does offend again during that period what will happen?

a new sentence will be imposed and a new penalty for the new crime

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what is an absolute charge?

where offender is charged without the penalty being imposed.

when will this happen?

when offender is technically guilty but morally blameless

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disqualification from driving

what is disqualification from driving?

where defendant is charged of driving offence, he/she may be disqualified from driving

what does the length of disqualification depend on?

seriousness of crime

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disqualification of driving

what does the 1st time drinking driving offence serve?

minimum is 12 mnths disqualification

what does the 2nd time drink driving offence serve?

minimum 3years disualification

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disqualification of driving

what will courts also impose as well as disqualification?

courts will also impose a fine

what other crimes does disqualification of driving apply to?

burgulary where offnder has used a vehicle to commit the crime.

this power is rarely used

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other powers available to courts

what happens when an offender recieves a compensation order or restitution order?

offender pays a sum of money to victim as compensation

what is the maximum payment in magistrates?


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other powers available to courts

when does restitution occur?

when offender still has the property of the victim, the court makes an order to return it

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other powers available to court

what is a deprivation order?

offender deprived from certain property.

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other powers available to the court

what is a forfieture order?

allows court to take profits from criminals for up to 6 years before conviction

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other powers available to courts

what must the judge have to set a deferred sentence?

a good reason for believing that offender's circumstancesare about to change, sentence may be deferred up to 6 mnths.

when should defer sentences occur?

where change in circumstances is such that punishment is not necessary or a lesser penalty be more suitable as a result of the change.

what does the offender have to do?


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young offenders

what does the term young offender include?

all offenders under the age of 21

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young offenders

what is the main aim for sentencing youg offenders?

reformation and rehabilitation

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young offenders

what types of sentences can be given to young offenders?

custodial sentences, community sentences, fines and discharges as with adult offenders but it is lesser for young offenders

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young offenders

what age group are community sentences for?


what age group are curfew orders for?


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young offenders

who are attendance centre orders supervised by and what does it include?

supervised by probation service and includes leisure activities and training

when is it set and for who?

various different hours per week and for different offenders depending on their age

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young offenders

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