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, for example, components on risk-taking behaviour, decision-making, and victim impact, as well as interventions to address identified need. SDS is used in a variety of ways and can provide a flexible and effective intervention which can help prevent individuals who have offended becoming further drawn into the justice system, as well as 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 breach 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 potentially reducing the risk of future breach and providing 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