Mental Health, Autism & Learning Disabilities in the Criminal Courts

Information for magistrates, district judges and court staff

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b. Information you can ask for to inform sentencing decisions - Film Clip

Film clip 12 (02:49 mins)

Magistrates speak about information that helps to make informed sentencing decisions, including the importance of pre-sentence reports and medical information. Salma Ali, Learning Disabilities Court Diversion Practitioner, discusses her role and the benefits of liaison and diversion services.

Where you know or suspect that an offender has a mental health condition, learning disability or other support needs, you should seek further information to inform your sentencing decision. Sentencing that takes into account the particular support needs of an individual offender is most likely to help to reduce reoffending.

Section 10 of the Magistrates’ Court Act 1980 enables a magistrates’ court to adjourn a case after conviction so that enquiries can be made or to determine the most suitable method of dealing with the offender. This could involve obtaining a pre-sentence report, letters from employers and any other information that may be relevant. Section 10 is also the provision which enables an adjournment for medical reports to be obtained.

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