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What Does The Offender Rehabilitation Act Mean for Criminal Law?

What Does The Offender Rehabilitation Act Mean for Criminal Law?

New legislation introduced by the government regularly has a ripple effect of new law changes and revisions which can have significant implications for both defendants and lawyers. One such recent bill was the Offender Rehabilitation Act which could prove a big difference with criminal law defendants.

What is The Offender Rehabilitation Act?

Passed in March 2014, the act was implemented for any sentences imposed after 1st February this year. It applies to any defendant who is 18 or over on the day of their release following a sentence of anywhere between one day and two years.
What does it mean for criminal law defendants?

There are a number of aspects to the new bill, but among the main points of interest for criminal law defendants are:

  • Offenders who are serving a sentence of between one day and one year are to be released on licence after serving half of their sentence
  • The increase of supervision to an extra 45,000 offenders per year released after sentences under a year
  • Increased flexibility in serving sentences in the community
  • For offenders serving a custodial sentence after 1st February 2015 of between one day and two years will receive a minimum of 12 months statutory supervision. Before the Bill, the large majority of offenders in this group would not previously have received probationary supervision after their release
  • Offenders who are serving a suspended sentence or community order must get permission before a change of registered address
  • The previous activity and supervision requirements when serving a suspended sentence or community order have been replaced by a new Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR)
  • Drug testing has been extended to both Class A and Class B drugs
  • There are updated drug appointment requirements for those being supervised in the community after release
  • New ranges of sanctions can be imposed by the Magistrates Court for breaches of supervision after release, which include fines, curfews and up to two weeks in custody

For more information you can read the full Offender Rehabilitation Act legislation details here. Alternatively, if you would like any information about how this may relate to your case, you can contact Lynn Mahon on 0161 615 0660 or Stephen Fox on 0161 615 0666 or email or