Overcoming the Stigma: Changes to the Laws in Relation to the Rehabilitation of Offenders

Craig MacKenzie
Craig MacKenzie

Published: November 3rd, 2023

7 min

On 28th October 2023 provisions in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 came into effect, enacting changes to the laws in relation to the rehabilitation of offenders.

These amendments extend the scope of the Rehabilitation of Offenders At as it applies to England and Wales so that certain custodial sentences of over four years currently excluded from rehabilitation may become spent, unless imposed in respect of certain offences.

It also amends the times at which different sentences may become spent and makes provision on the face of the ROA for the rehabilitation periods that apply to certain orders on conviction.

The government states that over 120,000 former offenders will find it easier to get work and turn their lives away from crime following this change in the law.

Key Changes

Custodial sentences of four years or more years for less serious crimes become 'spent' after a seven-year period of rehabilitation, as long as no further offence is committed.

Some of the more serious sexual, violent, and terrorist offences are excluded from these changes.

The new rehabilitation periods are as follows:

Sentence

Adults

Under 18s

(Adult) Community Order/Youth Rehabilitation Order

The last day on which the order has effect

The last day on which the order has effect

Custody of 1 year or less

1 year

6 months

Custody of more than 1 year and up to 4 years

4 years

2 years

Custody of more than 4 years*

7 years

3.5 years

*excluding serious sexual, violent, or terrorist offences, that continue to never be spent

Previous rehabilitation periods were:

Sentence

Adults

Under 18s

(Adult) Community Order/Youth Rehabilitation Order

1 year beginning with the last day on which the order has effect

6 months beginning with the last day on which the order has effect

Custody of 6 months or less

2 years

18 months

Custody of more than 6 months and up to 30 months

4 years

2 years

Custody of more than 30 months and up to 4 years

7 years

3.5 years

Custody of more than 4 years

Conviction is never spent

Conviction is never spent

The actual detail of these changes can be quite complex, so do not hesitate to contact us to discuss the direct implications of these changes on your own circumstances.

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We ensure we keep up to date with any changes in legislation and case law so that we are always best placed to advise you properly. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your case, please contact Craig Mackenzie.

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