Information for Sentencers
Providing Reports for Sentencers
Once charged with a crime, a defendant will appear in a local Magistrates Court. If the offence is less serious the case will be heard by three Magistrates or a District Judge. If the case is more serious the Magistrates or District Judge will refer it to the Crown Court where it will be heard by a Judge and Jury. When a defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty of a crime, the Sentencers will often ask for a report from the local Probation Trust, to assist them in deciding what sentence to pass.
The decision about what sentence an individual receives lays with the Magistrates or Judge. However, the Probation Trust will recommend a Sentence which will best address the identified risks of re-offending, and of serious harm.
Events for Sentencers
Humberside Probation Trust works closely with local Sentencers and we meet with them regularly to continue to develop good working relationships.
In each Court location we hold Induction events for new Magistrates annually. This allows Sentencers to meet with staff, learn more about the work of the Trust, and find out about the different types of requirements we deliver and how we supervise offenders.
Humberside Probation Trust and local Magistrates meet in each location twice yearly as part of the Probation Liaison Forum. This gives Magistrates an opportunity to share their experiences of the Trust, and is another opportunity for providing training, briefings and information about new initiatives and requirements.
Scunthorpe Court Pilot
Once again with the support and co-operation of Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunal Service, Humberside Probation Trust recently undertook its fifth annual sentencer survey.
Each year, the Trust aims to make contact with every Humberside magistrate and gain their views regarding the level and, where appropriate, the quality of service provided by the Trust. The return rate in 2010 was 26% which was quite disappointing. In an attempt to increase the response rate this time the survey was issued in two ways – on line and hard copy. The response rate did increase to 35%, which is very encouraging as feedback from sentencers is crucial to help us evaluate service provision to courts.