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Structured Deferred Sentence (SDS)

Last updated: 27th June 2024


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:

Suitability for Structured Deferred Sentences will be assessed within Justice Social Work Reports. Resulting action plans will be linked to appropriate risk and needs assessment. Supervision is primarily by Justice Officers within the newly created Early Intervention Service, across fieldwork, women’ services and whole systems.