HC Deb 27 July 1976 vol 916 cc134-5W
Mr. Kilroy-Silk

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list all the statutory alternatives to imprisonment, indicating in each case when they were introduced and for what category of offender they are intended.

Mr. John

The following is a list of non-custodial measures and other powers available to the courts in dealing with those over 17 years of age—other than mentally disordered offenders—who have been convicted of offences punishable with imprisonment other than offences where the penalty is fixed by law. The date shown is the date on which the provision was introduced or re-enacted in substantially its present form. Some provisions have existed in a somewhat different form or for specific offences for a longer period. Within the limits prescribed by law, the choice of sentence is a matter for the court to decide in the light of the circumstances of the offender and of his offence.

Absolute discharge 1948
Conditional discharge 1948
Binding over 1361
Probation (see note 1) 1907
Financial Penalties
Fine (see note 2)
Forfeiture of property (see note 3) 1870
Restitution Order 1968
Compensation Order (see note 4) 1973
Criminal bankruptcy Order (see note 5) 1973
Attendance centre Order (see note 6) 1948
Suspended sentence of imprisonment (see note 7) 1967
Community service Order (see note 8) 1973
Disqualification from driving, for non-traffic offences (see note 9) 1973


1. A probation order may include a requirement relating to residence (in an approved hostel or home or other approved place), or (in certain areas only) attendance at a day training centre, or treatment for a mental condition.

2. Fines have been part of the criminal law for very many years.

3. Now available only where the offender is punishable with two years imprisonment or more, or for particular offences.

4. More limited powers to order compensation were previously available.

5. A criminal bankruptcy order may be made only where the total loss or damage exceeds £15,000.

6. For offenders between the ages of 17 and 21, available only in S.E. London and Manchester.

7. Since 1973, a suspended sentence of more than six months may be accompanied by a supervision order.

8. Available in the whole or part of 52 out of 56 probation and after-care areas in England and Wales.

9. Available in the Crown Court where the offender is convicted of an offence punishable with imprisonment for two years or more and where a motor vehicle was used for the purpose of committing or facilitating the offence.

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