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Structured Deferred Sentence (SDS)


Local Authority area:

Dumfries and Galloway

Primary Courts of relevance:

Dumfries & Stranraer

All information provided by:

Dumfries and Galloway Community Justice Partnership

Dumfries and Galloway Community Justice Information

Published: 30 November 2021

The information on this page has been provided by Community Justice Partnerships. Community Justice Scotland is not responsible for the accuracy of the information and is unable to respond to direct queries. All such queries in respect of the information shown on this page should be directed to the Community Justice Partnership to which it relates.

In Spring 2022, the information will be reviewed and updated where required. Thereafter a review, and any necessary revisions, will take place three times annually.

Structured Deferred Sentence (SDS)

Interventions suitable for

Those assessed as suitable for a Structured Deferred Sentence. D&G pilot scheme to concentrate on females over the age of 21.

Programme title and provider

Structured Deferred Sentence

Details of all Specific national or local scheme/intervention(s) available

D&G pilot scheme (females over 21) to be launched November 2021.
The development of Structured Deferred Sentence will be determined once there is sufficient information to complete an evaluation of the pilot.
Support from JSW (and partner agencies) planned for a period of 3 to 6 months (but possibly up to 12 months). Intervention to be brief, regular, and focused – and detailed in an SDS Action Plan.

Possible Outcomes

Mirroring findings from other evaluations, where a Structured Deferred Sentence has been found to:

  • Address the underlying causes of offending in a way that is proportionate, just and effective
  • Empower and motivate individuals, encouraged by the voluntary aspect of the Structured Deferred Sentence
  • Encourage a feeling of being supported, as opposed to a feeling of enforcement
  • Promote intense but brief and purposeful interventions
  • Focus on opportunities, incentives, and the strengths of individuals

All of the above supporting the national drive for early, effective and preventative measures.

Process for Assessment and/or inclusion in scheme/intervention

For the pilot scheme, Structured Deferred Sentences will be assessed for all females over the age of 21 where a Justice Social Work report has been requested. Other suitability criteria include the person being resident in D&G; low/medium risk/need on LSI-R:SV (Level of Service Inventory- Revised: Screening Version) and not currently subject to a Community Payback Order with a condition of Supervision.
A screening tool has been developed to help report writers identify suitable individuals for Structured Deferred Sentences.
The criteria for Structured Deferred Sentences will be determined once there is sufficient information to complete an evaluation of the pilot.