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Is this a small step forward? Re Disclosures amendments - looking forward to hearing what will be...


Is this a small step forward? Re Disclosures amendments - looking...

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JASB
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punter99 - 21 Sep 20 11:17 AM
This is from gov.uk.

The Criminal Justice Act 2003 defines serious harm as: ‘death or serious personal injury, whether physical or psychological’.

OASys defines serious harm as ‘an event which is life threatening and/or traumatic and from which recovery, whether physical or psychological, can be expected to be difficult or impossible’.

Most people's understanding of what is a serious offence is determined by the harm caused, but it can also include designated offences, like those under the Serious Crimes Act. For example, possession of a firearm causes no harm to anyone, but is still included in the list of offences designated by UK law as serious crimes.

It's one of those words which is bandied about by politicians, without any clear understanding of what it actually means.

But one of the reasons why the govt chose to set the limit for a two thirds early release at 7 years was the impact on prison numbers. It was originally going to be 4 years, but they consulted and were told that putting it at 4 years would mean thousands more prisoners locked up for longer. They changed it to 7 years so it would affect fewer prisoners. So their understanding of what serious means, in that context, is serious enough to justify keeping those people in prison.




Hi

Interesting words so thanks for your research.
At the time of my arrest and using your words, I would have raised the point that my offence was basically prostitution and consensual as she had approached me, so how did I cause the form of harm you mention to her?

Obviously I know I was being selfish as I never considered why she would choose this occupation; no matter her age.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope is for tomorrow else what is left if you remove a mans hope.
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This is from gov.uk.

The Criminal Justice Act 2003 defines serious harm as: ‘death or serious personal injury, whether physical or psychological’.

OASys defines serious harm as ‘an event which is life threatening and/or traumatic and from which recovery, whether physical or psychological, can be expected to be difficult or impossible’.

Most people's understanding of what is a serious offence is determined by the harm caused, but it can also include designated offences, like those under the Serious Crimes Act. For example, possession of a firearm causes no harm to anyone, but is still included in the list of offences designated by UK law as serious crimes.

It's one of those words which is bandied about by politicians, without any clear understanding of what it actually means.

But one of the reasons why the govt chose to set the limit for a two thirds early release at 7 years was the impact on prison numbers. It was originally going to be 4 years, but they consulted and were told that putting it at 4 years would mean thousands more prisoners locked up for longer. They changed it to 7 years so it would affect fewer prisoners. So their understanding of what serious means, in that context, is serious enough to justify keeping those people in prison.




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punter99 - 18 Sep 20 10:49 AM
AB2014 - 17 Sep 20 12:39 PM
JASB - 17 Sep 20 11:51 AM
AB2014 - 17 Sep 20 11:04 AM
Simon1983 - 17 Sep 20 7:43 AM
The likes of unlock and the prison reform trust need to take there report forward that was just published, and push for all court orders regardless of what they are, be it SOPO/SHPO/Restraining order etc etc from being linked to an offence and stoping a conviction from becoming spent.

they need to be looked at as monitoring tools like the SOR, that are used to monitor the offender, and do not cause a conviction to remain unspent.

I would like to point out that paragraph 259 of the white paper excludes "serious sexual, violent and terrorist offences". So, some of us will benefit, some of us won't. Classy.

Hi
"serious sexual, violent and terrorist offences"


Another reason why I question the words used by the authorities. Reading those 3 examples (which are descriptive phrases commonly used) would suggest that only sexual offences are classed as "serious", which in my simple opinion, again highlights a bigger issue with societies inhibitions. 

To clarify, I have never heard of a "sexual" offence been called just that! It is always "serious". Yet as I posted recently, a "drug dealer" who admits to manipulating the minds of children is seen as a victim of circumstances and rewarded with both the emotional and financial support by society.  
Even a supporter of terrorism, who annonces publically her desire to "destroy" the UK gains more support than an EX-SO.

I will leave my thoughts on "monitoring" to another post as I am going to far off topic in trying to explain the unexplainable e.g. the psychology of society.

Take care

I see what you mean about "serious" offences, but I think that there will be more sexual offences excluded than any other category. I'm thinking that for violent offences, it would be anything that gets you an indeterminate sentence, as they aren't specifically excluded in the white paper. That wouldn't help anyone with a short-tariff IPP, so maybe they do just mean life sentences, not IPPs. Of course, our interpretations might be naive, and as a cynic, I hope I'm not naive.

I thibk this is misreading the wording. Just because the word serious preceded the word sexual, doesn't mean they regard terrorism or violent offences as non serious. The definition of serious, in the report, appears to be any offence that received a sentence of 7 years or more.

Hi
The definition of serious, in the report, appears to be any offence that received a sentence of 7 years or more.

Not sure if they are correct as my sentence was 4 years and classed as "serious"?

Cheers



Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope is for tomorrow else what is left if you remove a mans hope.
Edited
3 Months Ago by JASB
AB2014
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punter99 - 21 Sep 20 10:18 AM
AB2014 - 21 Sep 20 9:37 AM
punter99 - 18 Sep 20 10:49 AM
AB2014 - 17 Sep 20 12:39 PM
JASB - 17 Sep 20 11:51 AM
AB2014 - 17 Sep 20 11:04 AM
Simon1983 - 17 Sep 20 7:43 AM
The likes of unlock and the prison reform trust need to take there report forward that was just published, and push for all court orders regardless of what they are, be it SOPO/SHPO/Restraining order etc etc from being linked to an offence and stoping a conviction from becoming spent.

they need to be looked at as monitoring tools like the SOR, that are used to monitor the offender, and do not cause a conviction to remain unspent.

I would like to point out that paragraph 259 of the white paper excludes "serious sexual, violent and terrorist offences". So, some of us will benefit, some of us won't. Classy.

Hi
"serious sexual, violent and terrorist offences"


Another reason why I question the words used by the authorities. Reading those 3 examples (which are descriptive phrases commonly used) would suggest that only sexual offences are classed as "serious", which in my simple opinion, again highlights a bigger issue with societies inhibitions. 

To clarify, I have never heard of a "sexual" offence been called just that! It is always "serious". Yet as I posted recently, a "drug dealer" who admits to manipulating the minds of children is seen as a victim of circumstances and rewarded with both the emotional and financial support by society.  
Even a supporter of terrorism, who annonces publically her desire to "destroy" the UK gains more support than an EX-SO.

I will leave my thoughts on "monitoring" to another post as I am going to far off topic in trying to explain the unexplainable e.g. the psychology of society.

Take care

I see what you mean about "serious" offences, but I think that there will be more sexual offences excluded than any other category. I'm thinking that for violent offences, it would be anything that gets you an indeterminate sentence, as they aren't specifically excluded in the white paper. That wouldn't help anyone with a short-tariff IPP, so maybe they do just mean life sentences, not IPPs. Of course, our interpretations might be naive, and as a cynic, I hope I'm not naive.

I thibk this is misreading the wording. Just because the word serious preceded the word sexual, doesn't mean they regard terrorism or violent offences as non serious. The definition of serious, in the report, appears to be any offence that received a sentence of 7 years or more.

When I did my course in prison, they were very clear that no offence should be seen as any more or less serious than any other. Just because you're inferring that it's an offence that gets you 7 or more years in prison, it doesn't mean that's what they're implying. As this is just a white paper, I'm expecting this to be made clearer when the law itself is eventually published. They might go for a 7 years threshold or some other figure, or they might have a list of offences. Either way, I expect to be excluded, even though the original ROA specifically did not exclude any offences, only sentences. Given the way the government is continually delaying the changes to filtering, I don't expect any changes to the ROA anytime soon. Sad Angry

In the white paper it says this

"Abolishing automatic halfway release for certain serious offenders We have already legislated so that serious sexual and violent offenders who receive a standard determinate sentence (SDS) of 7 years or more must serve two-thirds of their sentence in prison, with the final third served supervised on licence and subject to recall to prison. This will mean around 2,000 serious offenders will spend longer in custody. We now propose to legislate to extend this approach to other specified serious violent and sexual offenders who receive sentences of between 4 and 7 years."

I find it quite funny that you were told that no offence should be seen as any more or less serious than any other. I'm guessing that they do that to head off any attempts at denial and minimisation by the prisoners. They don't want to get into a discussion about the hierarchy of offending. But if it was actually true, then it would mean we should adopt a completely flat sentencing regime. In other words, you get exactly the same sentence for speeding as you do for murder.

That doesn't happen, of course, because everybody in the whole world knows some offences are more serious than others. No justice system treats every offence the same. How seriousness is measured, is another question. Is it number of victims, amount of harm caused or do you measure it by the amount of public condemnation?  So what they should have said to you was that no offence is harmless, or something along those lines.

What they were actually aiming at was partly undermining the hierarchy of offending, and partly showing that nobody can say their victim suffered less than anyone else's victim because the offence was "less serious".

As you say, the white paper also says "We now propose to legislate to extend this approach to other specified serious violent and sexual offenders who receive sentences of between 4 and 7 years." If they're excluded as well, nothing will change. Once again, I know I'm a cynic, but it does sound like the sort of thing that would appeal to many governments.

=========================================================

As Chris Stacey said: Although its not formally part of the sentence that is handed down in court, the criminal record that someone comes away with effectively becomes a second sentence, which can have a long-lasting, if not lifelong, impact.

punter99
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AB2014 - 21 Sep 20 9:37 AM
punter99 - 18 Sep 20 10:49 AM
AB2014 - 17 Sep 20 12:39 PM
JASB - 17 Sep 20 11:51 AM
AB2014 - 17 Sep 20 11:04 AM
Simon1983 - 17 Sep 20 7:43 AM
The likes of unlock and the prison reform trust need to take there report forward that was just published, and push for all court orders regardless of what they are, be it SOPO/SHPO/Restraining order etc etc from being linked to an offence and stoping a conviction from becoming spent.

they need to be looked at as monitoring tools like the SOR, that are used to monitor the offender, and do not cause a conviction to remain unspent.

I would like to point out that paragraph 259 of the white paper excludes "serious sexual, violent and terrorist offences". So, some of us will benefit, some of us won't. Classy.

Hi
"serious sexual, violent and terrorist offences"


Another reason why I question the words used by the authorities. Reading those 3 examples (which are descriptive phrases commonly used) would suggest that only sexual offences are classed as "serious", which in my simple opinion, again highlights a bigger issue with societies inhibitions. 

To clarify, I have never heard of a "sexual" offence been called just that! It is always "serious". Yet as I posted recently, a "drug dealer" who admits to manipulating the minds of children is seen as a victim of circumstances and rewarded with both the emotional and financial support by society.  
Even a supporter of terrorism, who annonces publically her desire to "destroy" the UK gains more support than an EX-SO.

I will leave my thoughts on "monitoring" to another post as I am going to far off topic in trying to explain the unexplainable e.g. the psychology of society.

Take care

I see what you mean about "serious" offences, but I think that there will be more sexual offences excluded than any other category. I'm thinking that for violent offences, it would be anything that gets you an indeterminate sentence, as they aren't specifically excluded in the white paper. That wouldn't help anyone with a short-tariff IPP, so maybe they do just mean life sentences, not IPPs. Of course, our interpretations might be naive, and as a cynic, I hope I'm not naive.

I thibk this is misreading the wording. Just because the word serious preceded the word sexual, doesn't mean they regard terrorism or violent offences as non serious. The definition of serious, in the report, appears to be any offence that received a sentence of 7 years or more.

When I did my course in prison, they were very clear that no offence should be seen as any more or less serious than any other. Just because you're inferring that it's an offence that gets you 7 or more years in prison, it doesn't mean that's what they're implying. As this is just a white paper, I'm expecting this to be made clearer when the law itself is eventually published. They might go for a 7 years threshold or some other figure, or they might have a list of offences. Either way, I expect to be excluded, even though the original ROA specifically did not exclude any offences, only sentences. Given the way the government is continually delaying the changes to filtering, I don't expect any changes to the ROA anytime soon. Sad Angry

In the white paper it says this

"Abolishing automatic halfway release for certain serious offenders We have already legislated so that serious sexual and violent offenders who receive a standard determinate sentence (SDS) of 7 years or more must serve two-thirds of their sentence in prison, with the final third served supervised on licence and subject to recall to prison. This will mean around 2,000 serious offenders will spend longer in custody. We now propose to legislate to extend this approach to other specified serious violent and sexual offenders who receive sentences of between 4 and 7 years."

I find it quite funny that you were told that no offence should be seen as any more or less serious than any other. I'm guessing that they do that to head off any attempts at denial and minimisation by the prisoners. They don't want to get into a discussion about the hierarchy of offending. But if it was actually true, then it would mean we should adopt a completely flat sentencing regime. In other words, you get exactly the same sentence for speeding as you do for murder.

That doesn't happen, of course, because everybody in the whole world knows some offences are more serious than others. No justice system treats every offence the same. How seriousness is measured, is another question. Is it number of victims, amount of harm caused or do you measure it by the amount of public condemnation?  So what they should have said to you was that no offence is harmless, or something along those lines.

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punter99 - 18 Sep 20 10:49 AM
AB2014 - 17 Sep 20 12:39 PM
JASB - 17 Sep 20 11:51 AM
AB2014 - 17 Sep 20 11:04 AM
Simon1983 - 17 Sep 20 7:43 AM
The likes of unlock and the prison reform trust need to take there report forward that was just published, and push for all court orders regardless of what they are, be it SOPO/SHPO/Restraining order etc etc from being linked to an offence and stoping a conviction from becoming spent.

they need to be looked at as monitoring tools like the SOR, that are used to monitor the offender, and do not cause a conviction to remain unspent.

I would like to point out that paragraph 259 of the white paper excludes "serious sexual, violent and terrorist offences". So, some of us will benefit, some of us won't. Classy.

Hi
"serious sexual, violent and terrorist offences"


Another reason why I question the words used by the authorities. Reading those 3 examples (which are descriptive phrases commonly used) would suggest that only sexual offences are classed as "serious", which in my simple opinion, again highlights a bigger issue with societies inhibitions. 

To clarify, I have never heard of a "sexual" offence been called just that! It is always "serious". Yet as I posted recently, a "drug dealer" who admits to manipulating the minds of children is seen as a victim of circumstances and rewarded with both the emotional and financial support by society.  
Even a supporter of terrorism, who annonces publically her desire to "destroy" the UK gains more support than an EX-SO.

I will leave my thoughts on "monitoring" to another post as I am going to far off topic in trying to explain the unexplainable e.g. the psychology of society.

Take care

I see what you mean about "serious" offences, but I think that there will be more sexual offences excluded than any other category. I'm thinking that for violent offences, it would be anything that gets you an indeterminate sentence, as they aren't specifically excluded in the white paper. That wouldn't help anyone with a short-tariff IPP, so maybe they do just mean life sentences, not IPPs. Of course, our interpretations might be naive, and as a cynic, I hope I'm not naive.

I thibk this is misreading the wording. Just because the word serious preceded the word sexual, doesn't mean they regard terrorism or violent offences as non serious. The definition of serious, in the report, appears to be any offence that received a sentence of 7 years or more.

When I did my course in prison, they were very clear that no offence should be seen as any more or less serious than any other. Just because you're inferring that it's an offence that gets you 7 or more years in prison, it doesn't mean that's what they're implying. As this is just a white paper, I'm expecting this to be made clearer when the law itself is eventually published. They might go for a 7 years threshold or some other figure, or they might have a list of offences. Either way, I expect to be excluded, even though the original ROA specifically did not exclude any offences, only sentences. Given the way the government is continually delaying the changes to filtering, I don't expect any changes to the ROA anytime soon. Sad Angry

=========================================================

As Chris Stacey said: Although its not formally part of the sentence that is handed down in court, the criminal record that someone comes away with effectively becomes a second sentence, which can have a long-lasting, if not lifelong, impact.

punter99
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AB2014 - 17 Sep 20 12:39 PM
JASB - 17 Sep 20 11:51 AM
AB2014 - 17 Sep 20 11:04 AM
Simon1983 - 17 Sep 20 7:43 AM
The likes of unlock and the prison reform trust need to take there report forward that was just published, and push for all court orders regardless of what they are, be it SOPO/SHPO/Restraining order etc etc from being linked to an offence and stoping a conviction from becoming spent.

they need to be looked at as monitoring tools like the SOR, that are used to monitor the offender, and do not cause a conviction to remain unspent.

I would like to point out that paragraph 259 of the white paper excludes "serious sexual, violent and terrorist offences". So, some of us will benefit, some of us won't. Classy.

Hi
"serious sexual, violent and terrorist offences"


Another reason why I question the words used by the authorities. Reading those 3 examples (which are descriptive phrases commonly used) would suggest that only sexual offences are classed as "serious", which in my simple opinion, again highlights a bigger issue with societies inhibitions. 

To clarify, I have never heard of a "sexual" offence been called just that! It is always "serious". Yet as I posted recently, a "drug dealer" who admits to manipulating the minds of children is seen as a victim of circumstances and rewarded with both the emotional and financial support by society.  
Even a supporter of terrorism, who annonces publically her desire to "destroy" the UK gains more support than an EX-SO.

I will leave my thoughts on "monitoring" to another post as I am going to far off topic in trying to explain the unexplainable e.g. the psychology of society.

Take care

I see what you mean about "serious" offences, but I think that there will be more sexual offences excluded than any other category. I'm thinking that for violent offences, it would be anything that gets you an indeterminate sentence, as they aren't specifically excluded in the white paper. That wouldn't help anyone with a short-tariff IPP, so maybe they do just mean life sentences, not IPPs. Of course, our interpretations might be naive, and as a cynic, I hope I'm not naive.

I thibk this is misreading the wording. Just because the word serious preceded the word sexual, doesn't mean they regard terrorism or violent offences as non serious. The definition of serious, in the report, appears to be any offence that received a sentence of 7 years or more.

punter99
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Was - 18 Sep 20 10:38 AM
Mr W - 17 Sep 20 4:18 PM
Can anyone clarify this line, please? - par 210 - Page 64. For those that have followed my posts, you'll know why I'm interested in this:
Also, practitioners who may wish to supervise offenders for reasons unconnected to the requirements of the Order do not currently have legislative cover to do so.


I'm not sure that anyone can make anything other than a guess, but in the context I presume it is something like...

My Community Order was for 2 years during which I had to complete a course. That was done and dusted in the first 9 months to everyone's satisfaction and I got a good report. My probation officer even suggested that she would support me if I wanted to cut the Community Order part short, but as that would have involved a public appearance and had no effect on the SHPO or SOR meaning that I actually gained nothing from it, I declined explaining my reasoning.

Thereafter, I attended monthly meetings but it would appear from that text in the paper that there was no legal obligation for me to physically attend as the legal obligation on interactions with probation not directly mentioned in an order is a rather nebulous general requirement "to keep in touch with." I felt they were useful, so I had no problem continuing with them. Other persons' experiences may vary.

You're right about the key issue, which was that some offenders were only asked to keep in touch, rather than being told they must attend meetings with probation or else it would be a breach. So the govt wants to change that, making it possible for probation to compel them to attend.

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Mr W - 17 Sep 20 4:18 PM
Can anyone clarify this line, please? - par 210 - Page 64. For those that have followed my posts, you'll know why I'm interested in this:
Also, practitioners who may wish to supervise offenders for reasons unconnected to the requirements of the Order do not currently have legislative cover to do so.


I'm not sure that anyone can make anything other than a guess, but in the context I presume it is something like...

My Community Order was for 2 years during which I had to complete a course. That was done and dusted in the first 9 months to everyone's satisfaction and I got a good report. My probation officer even suggested that she would support me if I wanted to cut the Community Order part short, but as that would have involved a public appearance and had no effect on the SHPO or SOR meaning that I actually gained nothing from it, I declined explaining my reasoning.

Thereafter, I attended monthly meetings but it would appear from that text in the paper that there was no legal obligation for me to physically attend as the legal obligation on interactions with probation not directly mentioned in an order is a rather nebulous general requirement "to keep in touch with." I felt they were useful, so I had no problem continuing with them. Other persons' experiences may vary.

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punter99 - 17 Sep 20 10:45 AM
Buried in the sentencing report (page 63) are proposals to give probation officers the power to administratively change a court order to suit the needs of the ex-offender. SHPOs are not mentioned specifically, but an SHPO is a court order. That would have a significant effect on the need for ex-offenders to go to court. Of course one of the problems of SHPOs, not covered in this report, but mentioned in the other one by the Prison Reform Trust, is that an SHPO extends the time that a conviction is spent, so that it is not spent until the end of the SHPO, which could be many years later. That isn't even mentioned in the sentencing report, which suggests it has been overlooked.

The media seemed to have missed the Prison Reform Trust report entirely. Nothing positive in the Guardian and nothing hateful in the Sun and the Mail. Instead they are all focusing on the govts plans to give life sentences to teenagers and to people who drive dangerously. The latest govt proposals for longer sentences and even more prisons, run contrary to the whole notion of rehabilitation, as the solution to crime.

I can imagine what the haters would say though, which is, why 'reward' SO by giving them jobs, while there are millions of unemployed people who need jobs, but who don't have a criminal record?

But the most interesting bit of that report was that it recognises that unecessary disclosure by the police to employers is actually increasing the chances of people reoffending. For example,

"Disclosures have been made very clumsily to employers, where the person isn’t working with kids or vulnerable people … They may well be increasing the risk of that person reoffending."

"Professionals working with people with sexual convictions suggested that criminal justice practitioners could make it unduly hard for this group to find work"

on page 43;

"A member of staff at an organisation providing support for people on release from prison explained that some people with sexual convictions are ‘so heavily managed’ it can be almost impossible to gain work:

"If he ever gets offered any work it takes the police and probation two to three weeks to do a risk assessment … He did get offered a really good job, but the police sergeant blocked it"  

"Police officers often have the same hysteria [about sex offending] that everyone else does. Risk management isn’t always about stopping people doing things. Sometimes the more restrictions you put on people the more you increase the risk. "

"Research explains the importance of combining risk management with supporting people with sexual convictions to lead fulfilling, meaningful lives. People under probation supervision are unlikely to feel engaged and motivated if the focus is solely on restricting their activities, with little regard for promoting their wellbeing."

All these things should be brought to the attention of any PPU, who is restricting someone's life, without good reason.

Report recommendation 18.
National Probation Service and the College of Policing should develop guidance for probation and police to increase their awareness of the impact of disclosure of a sexual conviction on employment prospects. This would help practitioners make proportionate decisions about disclosing information to employers, balancing the risk of harm with the rehabilitation needs of those they are supervising

"Research explains the importance of combining risk management with supporting people with sexual convictions to lead fulfilling, meaningful lives. People under probation supervision are unlikely to feel engaged and motivated if the focus is solely on restricting their activities, with little regard for promoting their wellbeing."
I think I'll get this put on a Tshirt for whenever my next visit is.

Can anyone clarify this line, please? - par 210 - Page 64. For those that have followed my posts, you'll know why I'm interested in this:
Also, practitioners who may wish to supervise offenders for reasons unconnected to the requirements of the Order do not currently have legislative cover to do so.



=====
Fighting or Accepting - its difficult to know which is right and when.
GO


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