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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

December 1, 2004: Conditional Cautioning Code Issued

A new Code of Practice on Conditional Cautioning for England and Wales has been published. Conditional Cautioning in essence allows offenders to be given a suitable disposal without the usual court involvement. The Code governs the use of Conditional Cautions under Part 3 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

The Act defines a Conditional Caution as ‘a caution which is given in respect of an offence committed by the offender and which has conditions attached to it’. If an offender fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with the conditions attached to a Conditional Caution the Act provides for criminal proceedings to be instituted and the caution cancelled. Restorative justice processes can be used as a condition of the caution (where the contact with the victim, direct or indirect, is itself the condition) if both victim and offender consent to this.

The basic criteria which must be satisfied before a Conditional Caution can be considered are:

  • the offender is 18 or over
  • the offender admits the offence to the authorised person
  • there is, in the opinion of the relevant prosecutor, sufficient evidence to charge the offender with the offence

If the above criteria are satisfied, a Conditional Caution may be an alternative to charge, taking into account the factors outlined in the Code.

A Conditional Caution is a statutory development of the non-statutory police caution (or ‘simple caution’) which has long been available, at police or Crown Prosecution Service discretion, as an alternative to prosecution. A Conditional Caution may only be given by a suitably trained authorised person, that is a constable; a person designated as an investigating officer under section 38 of the Police Reform Act 2002; or a person authorised for the purpose by a relevant prosecutor.

Where rehabilitative or reparative conditions (or both) are considered preferable to prosecution, Conditional Cautioning offers a statutory means of enforcing them through prosecution for the original offence in the event of non-compliance. The key to determining whether a Conditional Caution should be given – instead of prosecution or a simple caution – is that imposing specified conditions will be an appropriate and effective means of addressing an offender’s behaviour or making reparation for the effects of the offence on the victim or the community.

Download the full Code here.