Release on Post Sentence Supervision

Introduced from 1 February 2015, a post sentence supervision (PSS) period is applied to all offenders who committed an offence on or after this date and received a determinate sentence of more than one day, but less than two years. The post sentence supervision period forms a secondary supervision period following on from the licence period. The length of the PSS is dependent on the length of the licence, as both will always add up to a total of one year for eligible offenders.

However, they differ in several ways. The primary difference is that while the aim of the licence period is to protect the public, prevent re-offending and re-integrate the offender in to the community; the PSS is primarily about the rehabilitation of the offender. Licence conditions are not applied during a PSS period, instead an offender is managed under the requirements of a series of supervision requirements.

There are eight default supervision requirements applied to the eligible offenders; seven of which mirror the standard licence conditions with the eighth being

  • Participate in activities in accordance with any instructions given by your supervisor.

This activity requirement allows the probation provider to include any type of activity that it requires in order to promote the rehabilitation of the offender. There are no restrictions on what types of activity these can include, and therefore can be accredited programmes, one to one work with a staff member, mentoring by a former offender, or other relevant activities as developed by probation.

Rather than a long list of potential additional supervision requirements as with licence conditions, there are only two which may be applied. These are related to drug testing and attending drug rehabilitation appointments. There is no ability to add any bespoke supervision requirements.

Breach actions are also handled differently to the licence period, as rather than returning the offender to custody, the offender is instead taken to court. The court may hand down an additional custodial period of up to 14 days, require the offender to undertake unpaid work, add the requirement to wear an electronic monitoring device or pay a fine. Any additional custodial periods handed down by the courts in this manner are not split into custodial and community periods, but will be served in whole in custody and are not subject to a new licence/PSS period.