Criminal Justice Act 1982

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1982 c. 48


Criminal Justice Act 1982

1982 CHAPTER 48

An Act to make further provision as to the sentencing and treatment of offenders (including provision as to the enforcement of fines and the standardisation of fines and of certain other sums specified in enactments relating to the powers of criminal courts); to make provision for the prescribing of criteria for the placing and keeping of children in different descriptions of accommodation in community homes; to amend the law of Scotland relating to the mode of trial of certain offences and the recall of witnesses; to amend the law of England and Wales relating to the remand in custody of accused persons and to the grant of bail to persons convicted or sentenced in the Crown Court; to abolish (subject to savings) the right of a person accused in criminal proceedings under the law of England and Wales to make an unsworn statement; and for connected purposes.

[28th October 1982]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Treatment of Young Offenders

Part I

Treatment of Young Offenders

Custody and detention of persons under 21

Custody and detention of persons under 21

S-1 General restriction on custodial sentences.

1 General restriction on custodial sentences.

(1) Subject to subsection (2) below, no court shall pass a sentence of imprisonment on a person under 21 years of age or commit such a person to prison for any reason.

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) above shall prevent the committal to prison of a person under 21 years of age who is remanded in custody or committed in custody for trial or sentence.

(3) No court shall pass a sentence of Borstal training.

(4) Where a person under 21 years of age is convicted or found guilty of an offence, the court may not—

(a ) make a detention centre order in respect of him under section 4 below;

(b ) pass a youth custody sentence on him under section 6 below; or

(c ) pass a sentence of custody for life on him under section 8(2) below,

unless it is of the opinion that no other method of dealing with him is appropriate because it appears to the court that he is unable or unwilling to respond to non-custodial penalties or because a custodial sentence is necessary for the protection of the public or because the offence was so serious that a non-custodial sentence cannot be justified.

(5) No court shall commit a person under 21 years of age to be detained under section 9 below unless it is of the opinion that no other method of dealing with him is appropriate.

(6) For the purposes of any provision of this Act which requires the determination of the age of a person by the court or the Secretary of State his age shall be deemed to be that which it appears to the court or the Secretary of State (as the case may be) to be after considering any available evidence.

S-2 Social inquiry reports etc.

2 Social inquiry reports etc.

(1) For the purpose of determining whether there is any appropriate method of dealing with a person under 21 years of age other than a method whose use in the case of such a person is restricted by section 1(4) or (5) above the court shall obtain and consider information about the circumstances and shall take into account any information before the court which is relevant to his character and his physical and mental condition.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) below, the court shall in every case obtain a social inquiry report for the purpose of determining whether there is any appropriate method of dealing with a person other than a method whose use is restricted by section 1(4) above.

(3) Subsection (2) above does not apply if, in the circumstances of the case, the court is of the opinion that it is unnecessary to obtain a social inquiry report.

(4) Where a magistrates' court deals with a person under 21 years of age by a method whose use in the case of such a above, it shall state in open court the reason for its opinion that no other method of dealing with him is appropriate because it appears to the court that he is unable or unwilling to respond to non-custodial penalties or because a custodial sentence is necessary for the protection of the public or because the offence was so serious that a non-custodial sentence cannot be justified.

(5) Where a magistrates' court deals with a person under 21 years of age by a method whose use in the case of such a person is restricted by section 1(5) above, it shall state in open court the reason for its opinion that no other method of dealing with him is appropriate.

(6) Where a magistrates' court deals with a person under 21 years of age by a method whose use in the case of such a person is restricted by section 1(4) above without obtaining a social inquiry report, it shall state in open court the reason for its opinion that it was unnecessary to obtain such a report.

(7) A magistrates' court shall cause a reason stated under subsection (4), (5) or (6) above to be specified in the warrant of commitment and to be entered in the register.

(8) No sentence or order shall be invalidated by the failure of a court to comply with subsection (2) above, but any other court on appeal from that court shall obtain a social inquiry report if none was obtained by the court below, unless it is of the opinion that in the circumstances of the case it is unnecessary to do so.

(9) In determining whether it should deal with the appellant by a method different from that by which the court below dealt with him the court hearing the appeal shall consider any social inquiry report obtained by it or by the court below.

(10) In this section ‘social inquiry report’ means a report about a person and his circumstances made by a probation officer or by a social worker of a local authority social services department.

S-3 Restriction on imposing custodial sentences onpersons under 21 not legally represented.

3 Restriction on imposing custodial sentences onpersons under 21 not legally represented.

(1) A magistrates' court on summary conviction or the Crown Court on committal for sentence or on conviction on indictment shall not—

(a ) make a detention centre order under section 4 below;

(b ) pass a youth custody sentence under section 6 below;

(c ) pass a sentence of custody for life under section 8(2) below; or

(d ) make an order for detention under section 53(2) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 ,

in respect of or on a person who is not legally represented in that court, unless either—

(i) he applied for legal aid and the application was refused on the ground that it did not appear his means were such that he required assistance; or

(ii) having been informed of his right to apply for legal aid and had the opportunity to do so, he refused or failed to apply.

(2) For the purposes of this section a person is to be treated as legally represented in a court if, but only if, he has the assistance of counsel or a solicitor to represent him in the proceedings in that court at some time after he is found guilty and before he is sentenced, and in subsection (1)(i) and (ii) above ‘legal aid’ means legal aid for the purposes of proceedings in that court, whether the whole proceedings or the proceedings on or in relation to sentence; but in the case of a person committed to the Crown Court for sentence or trial, it is immaterial whether he applied for legal aid in the Crown Court to, or was informed of his right to apply by, that court or the court which committed him.

S-4 Orders for detention of male offenders aged 14 to 20.

4 Orders for detention of male offenders aged 14 to 20.

(1) Where—

(a ) a male offender under 21 but not less than 14 years of age is convicted of an offence which is punishable with imprisonment in the case of a person aged 21 or over; and

(b ) the court considers—

(i) that the only appropriate method of dealing with him is to pass a custodial sentence on him; but

(ii) that the term of such a sentence should be no more than 4 months,

the order that the court is to make, subject to the provisions of this section and to section 5(2) below, is an order for his detention in a detention centre for such period, not exceeding 4 months, as it considers appropriate.

(2) If the maximum term of imprisonment that a court could impose for an offence is less than 4 months, the maximum term of detention it may specify for that offence in a detention centre order is the same as the maximum term of imprisonment.

(3) Subject to subsection (4) below, no order may be made under this section for the detention of an offender in a detention centre for less than 21 days.

(4) A court may order the detention of an offender in a detention centre for less than 21 days for an offence under section 15(11) below.

(5) Subject to subsection (6) below, a court shall not make an order under this section for the detention of an offender in a detention centre—

(a ) if it considers that his detention in such a centre would be unsuitable because of his mental or physical condition; or

(b )...

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