Single Probation Report for Courts

Community Probation Services (CPS) is introducing a new single report to advise courts. The new report format will be phased in between 1 November 2011 and 31 March 2012.

“Based on feedback from consultation, we have developed a single report that is clear and concise and meets the requirements under ss 26, 26A, 33 and 34 of the Sentencing Act 2002,” the Department of Corrections says.

Features include:

  • a single report, replacing existing short reports, full reports, appendices and reparation reports;
  • a “key considerations” summary of the assessment and proposed recommendation at the beginning of the report;
  • subsequent sections to expand on relevant information gathered during assessment, enabling judges to reference more detailed information if required; and
  • more concise electronic monitoring information for home and community detention contained in the main report and not as a separate appendix.

In most cases any reparation information will be included in the report.

The report template is at my.lawsociety.org.nz/in_practice/practising_law/resources.

The new report format will be implemented according to the following schedule:

  • 1 November 2011: Wellington, Wairarapa and Hamilton.
  • 1 March 2012: Waitemata, Manukau, Waiariki, Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne, Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast, Dunedin, Invercargill.
  • 31 March 2012: Taitokerau, Auckland, Whanganui, Tararua, Taranaki, Christchurch.

The new report format is part of a new Integrated Practice Framework (IPF).

This has been implemented for managing parole, home detention, release on conditions, post detention conditions, extended supervision, intensive supervision and supervision sentences and orders, the department says.

The IPF for community work and community detention will be delivered on 31 March 2012.

“The IPF sets out clear bottom-line mandatory standards that probation officers must follow each and every time with each and every offender. Beyond the mandatory standards, probation officers use a supported decision framework to make professional judgements and decisions about the management of an offender based on the level of risk they present.

“We’ve designed a new pre-sentence assessment tool that guides the probation officer in preparing the report and making their sentencing recommendation. This tool will enable more robust assessment of compliance, likelihood of re-offending and risk of harm to support appropriate recommendations to the court.”

CPS will email reports to counsel before the sentencing date within the agreed timeframes. Local CPS service centres will manage the process and staff will liaise with counsel before implementation to organise the emailing function.