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Structured Deferred Sentence (SDS)

Last updated: 11th July 2024

Programme Name:

Low Tariff Structured Deferred Sentence


A structured deferred sentence is a flexible intervention providing structured social work support for individuals post-conviction but prior to sentencing. They can be used for people who have offended with underlying issues that might be addressed through social work and/or multi-agency intervention. At the end of the period of intervention, the court retains the discretion to pass sentence in any manner that would have been appropriate at the time of conviction, but with the benefit of information from the supervising officer in relation to the period of deferral.

Further Information:

Low Tariff Structured Deferred Sentence (LTSDS) is a locally agreed period of deferment for individuals who have a limited history of offending, or their offending is associated with any mental health, substance use or social issues they were experiencing at the time they committed the offence. LTSDS aims to provide the individual with an understanding of the consequences of their actions on themselves and others, increase confidence and self-esteem, encourage engagement with support services and networks i.e., substance use, housing, routes for employment/education thereby reducing links associated with their offending and prevent future offending and improve general health.