The Court or Parole Board has asked for a report – what does this mean?

Types of report

The main aim of these reports is to assess risk posed by an offender – risk of re offence and the risk of potential harm should someone reoffend.  Generally these reports help the Court decide on the most appropriate sentence and the Parole Board to decide how to manage a prisoner’s return to the community.  There are other reports that we do, such as reporting on progress, misconduct or the suitability of an address for leave, but the two main ones are the Criminal Justice Social Work Report and the Home Background Report.

Criminal Justice Social Work Report:  Previously known as a Social Enquiry Report, this report is commonly asked for by the Court to assist sentencing.  If we have been asked to write a report on you, we will contact you and discuss matters relating to the offence, your attitude about it, and your personal and domestic circumstances.  We will look at any record of previous offending, consider what risks you pose to the community and what would help you stop any further offending – whether that is punishment, support/guidance or a combination of both.

Home Background Report:  This is prepared for the Parole Board and it is a key document supporting the early release of a prisoner.  As with the Criminal Justice Social Work Report above, we will consider the risk you pose to the community especially in respect of past or potential victims, but we will also consider your conduct within prison, any changes to your attitudes, stability of your release address and attitudes of those who will directly support you, such as family.

Other reports:  There are also reports that are completed by separate specialist agencies and not us.  These might be a Drug Treatment and Testing Order (DTTO) assessment or Restriction of Liberty Order (Electronic tag) assessment for instance and are written by the agency likely to supervise such orders.  We might, however include the conclusions from these assessments, in the reports that we write.