Services before trial and sentence: achievement, decline and potential

Authored by: Kevin Haines , Rod Morgan

Handbook of Probation

Print publication date:  May  2007
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9781843921905
eBook ISBN: 9781843926184
Adobe ISBN: 9781134014910


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The Probation Service in England and Wales grew out of the oral representation, initially by volunteers, of defendants at court. Court-related services, as opposed to the supervision of penal sanctions, continues to be a core ingredient of probation work. In this chapter we aim to describe and critically assess two areas of the work of the Service before trial and sentence. Following historical and context-setting sections we consider, first, the preparation of reports on defendants for sentencers better to enable them to sentence appropriately. Secondly, we consider the bail information and support work undertaken by the Service to assist the court make appropriate bail or remand decisions pre-trial or sentence. In the concluding section we review future prospects and the place that both these areas of work are likely to have, or might have, in the future.

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