The Intensive Alternative to Custody

‘Selling’ sentences and satisfying judicial concerns



Emmeline Taylor, Rebecca Clarke, Dervla McArt

Probation Journal

March 2014



Drawing upon the implementation of the Intensive Alternative to Custody in Greater Manchester, this article explores the key concerns voiced by sentencers when presented with a Pre-Sentence Report (PSR) proposing an ‘alternative to custody’. It is argued that the crucial element for effective implementation lies in the gatekeeping provided by PSR authors (probation staff), the dissemination of timely and relevant information to sentencers, and the reassurance that the order fulfils the requisite ‘penal punch’ to avoid accusations of ‘soft options’.





Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee