The 12 Requirements

Below is a look at each of the 12 Requirements. Thames Valley CRC offers 2 Offending Behaviour Programmes, 4 activities as part of a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and a huge range of individual ‘toolkits’ for working with people sentenced to any of the Requirements, whether as a community sentence or part of a post-prison licence.

Unpaid work

Between 40 and 300 hours, to be completed in 12 months. Each year TV-CRC staff in the Thames Valley will supervise some 280,000 hours of unpaid work by offenders in local communities, to ensure that they meet the requirements of their Unpaid Work Requirement and ‘pay back’ communities where they have offended.

More about unpaid work

Rehabilitation activities

Thames Valley Community Rehabilitation Company offers 4 activities as part of a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. This consist of packages of work and specialist activities They are:

  • Employment, Training and Education (ETE)
  • Restorative Justice (RJ)
  • Managing Alcohol Related Aggression (MARA)
  • Thinking Ahead For Women (TA4W)

The aggregate number of days specified for the activity can be up to 60.

More about rehabilitation activities

Programmes

Aimed at changing offending behaviour – these are Ministry of Justice accredited programmes designed to address the attitudes and patterns of behaviour that contribute to offending, such as programmes for domestic violence perpetrators or those who fail to think through the consequences before acting.

More about programmes

Prohibition (from certain activities)

The offender must refrain from participating in activities on a specified day or days or during a period. The most common use for this requirement is to ban people from attending sporting events, such as football matches.

Curfew (electronic monitoring)

The offender must remain for certain periods at a specified place; the order may last for up to 12 months and may be for up to 16 hours a day. Curfews in Thames Valley are monitored by Capita.

A curfew requires the service user to stay at an agreed address during the times they have been told. Usually this is between 7pm and 7am but it can be for up to 16 hours a day. It is commonly known as electronic ‘tagging’ and it is a way of restricting liberty, rather like ‘house arrest’. Curfews are commonly used as the ‘punishment’ element of a community sentence.

Being tagged can make it harder for people to commit further crimes. It can help break their patterns of offending by making them stay at the agreed address. Many people who are tagged say it gives them a new sense of structure and discipline.

There are two types of curfew:
• Curfew Order – imposed by the courts on offenders over the age of 16, for a period of up to 12 months
• Home Detention Curfew – imposed by the Prison Governor as part of an early release from prison.

Exclusion (from certain areas)

The offender may not enter a specified place for a period up to two years. This is usually used when the offence relates to a particular location, for instance a particular pub, club, betting shop or other venue such as a football ground or other sporting activity’s clubhouse. It may also be used for, say, a shopping precinct or town centre for someone with multiple convictions for shoplifting.

Residence Requirement

The service user must reside at the place specified. This Requirement is most commonly used for higher risk offenders who need to reside at a National Probation Service Approved Premises where they can be monitored and supervised more closely on release from prison.

As TV-CRC only deals with low and medium risk offenders, the Residence Requirement is more likely to be used  to keep someone from living at a particular address (for instance, their usual home address, or an address away from their usual home address if domestic abuse forms part of their conviction) or if it’s agreed that living at a particular address will help stabilise an individual and make to more likely that they’ll comply with their order and stay out of trouble.

Mental Health Treatment

The court must be satisfied that that the mental condition of the person is such as required and may be susceptible to treatment but does not warrant the making of a Hospital or Guardianship Order. Changes in 2014 to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offender (LASPO) Act 2012 has removed the requirement in the Criminal Justice Act (2003) and the Mental Health Act (1983) that the evidence of need for mental health treatment given in assessments to the court is given by a Section 12 registered medical practitioner (thus reducing the time).
This change also means that the court can seek views and assessments on the mental health treatment needs of the defendant from the broader mental health community, such as St Andrew’s Healthcare, and that psychological, rather than psychiatric help can also be offered. This Requirement can only be given with the consent of the offender.

Drug Rehabilitation

Addiction to Class-A drugs is a major cause of crime. As a means of combating this courts can issue offenders with a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement – providing fast access to a drug treatment programme with the goal of reducing drug related offending.

Service users agree their treatment plan with Thames Valley Community Rehabilitation Company and our partner treatment service providers. The plan will set out the level of treatment and testing and what is required at each stage of the order.

Who is this sentence suitable for?

This type of sentence is appropriate for problem drug users aged 18 or over who commit crime to fund their drug habit and show a willingness to co-operate with treatment. A Drug Rehabilitation Requirement requires motivation and determination from the offender, but support is provided by Probation and treatment staff to complete the programme successfully.

Lasting between six months and three years, the Drug Rehabilitation Requirement aims to:

  • Help service users produce a personal action plan so that they can identify what they must do to reduce offending and stop their use of drugs
  • Explain the links between drug use and offending and how drugs affect health
  • Help service users identify realistic ways of changing their lives for the better.

Treatment is carried out at a specified place, either as an in-patient or out-patient and includes regular drug testing and court reviews.

Service users may also receive clinical treatment; a day care programme; health education; activities to improve social skills, education and career prospects and participation on an offending behaviour programme.

A Community Order with a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement can be reviewed by the court. Failure to stick to the treatment plan will mean a return to court for breach of the order. This could result in re-sentencing, which might mean prison.

Alcohol Treatment

The service user is required to attend treatment to reduce or eliminate dependency on alcohol. This Requirement can only be given with the service user’s consent.

Service users who have a drink dependency which causes them to commit crime can be ordered by the court to undertake an Alcohol Treatment Requirement. The treatment is delivered by partnership agencies contracted by Thames Valley Community Rehabilitation Company, who supervise the service user throughout the order.

This requirement provides access to a tailored treatment programme with the aim of reducing drink dependency. It can last between six months and three years, depending on what TV-CRC suggests and what the court decides as the sentence length.

There are certain criteria that have to be met before an Alcohol Treatment Requirement is recommended. TV-CRC will liaise with the National Probation Service (which is responsible for writing pre-sentence reports, containing sentencing recommendations, for the courts) to address suitability on a case-by-case basis.

If a person fails to stick to the treatment and supervision plan, it may mean they have to return to court. This could result in a further sentence, and could end up in a prison sentence.

Attendance Centre Requirement (for under 25s)

The offender must attend at an attendance centre for between 12 and 36 hours. TV-CRC runs two attendance centres for those sentenced to an Attendance Centre Requirement. They run every alternate Saturday, with a 3-hour programme of activities designed to reduce re-offending.

Both are for adults (‘senior’ for 18+) and should not be confused with junior attendance centres, which are offered to juvenile courts. Ours are called Senior Attendance Centres – SACs for short.

TV-CRC has one SAC in the north (in Bicester) and one SAC in the south (Reading).

Broadly, the SAC in the south services our offices in Reading, Newbury, Slough and Bracknell. The SAC North in Bicester services the offices of Banbury, High Wycombe, Aylesbury and Milton Keynes. Oxford City service users can be sent to either and exceptions can be made for all locations if necessary (and more practical for the service user in terms of travel time).

The main purpose of SACs is punishment, but given the content of the programme being aimed at criminogenic needs, there is a secondary benefit of rehabilitation and some reduction in re-offending.

Those sentenced to attend must go every fortnight until their hours are complete. It means a minimum attendance of 4 sessions, up to a maximum of 12 sessions, depending on the sentence given.

The content of the sessions varies. Sometimes it’s physical activity or indoor training, with the aim of encouraging better communication skills, interaction as a team player and so on.

Other sessions are information or group sessions, looking at thinking skills and how to avoid future offending. The content of the programme is responsive to the needs of those who attend.

Travel time to each of the attendance centres is given as up to 90 minutes each way, so an additional punishment for attendees is the extra time (up to 3 hours) incurred in getting to each session.

Foreign Travel Prohibition Requirement

A person can be banned from travelling abroad as part of their Community Order. The prohibition can vary. It can apply to named countries, to specific days or dates, can allow some destinations but not others or can ban foreign travel altogether. The ban can last for up to 12 months.

People sentenced to Community Orders, Suspended Supervision Orders and on licence from prison may also be required to attend supervision appointments with a probation officer or probation services officer from Thames Valley Community Rehabilitation Company. Collectively, these probation officers and probation services officers are called supervising officers. After an initial meeting, the supervising officer will agree a sentence plan which includes the aims of the supervision and the frequency of appointments. This is, in effect a contract, between the service user and their supervising officer.

Supervising officers will work with service users to:

  • Promote personal and behaviour change
  • Monitor and review patterns of behaviour and personal activity
  • Reflect on the crimes committed and the affect on victims
  • Motivate and provide practical support
  • Support and re-enforce learning undertaken as part of a Programme or Activity Requirement
  • Undergo counselling
  • Provide support on fulfilling other aspects of their sentence
  • Refer the service user to other TV-CRC services to provide support and advice, such as education and training, housing and mental health
  • Signpost the service user to other organisations in the community who can offer additional support and help towards a crime-free life.