Rubbish In - Rubbish Out - By Probation Matters

A couple of comments on here recently by a magistrate made me realise that it might be instructive if I explain how court Pre Sentence Report's are written nowadays, or should I more correctly say 'generated'. Because of course they are all produced from OASys, but this has never been explained either to judges or magistrates. Just for clarification, I am talking about what are now termed Standard Delivery Reports for either the Crown or Magistrates Court.

Many years ago these were called Social Enquiry Reports which I think pretty well described what they were about. Following a guilty plea or finding of guilt, the judge or magistrates requested a report from a Probation Officer before passing sentence. They wanted to know something about the person, their home situation, any problems, why the offence was committed, what the likelihood of repetition might be and finally a suggestion as to a possible sentence.

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