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Rehabilitation of Offenders (Amendment) Bill [HL]: Briefing for Lords Stages

Published Tuesday, January 24, 2017

This House of Lords Library briefing provides information in support of the House of Lords consideration of the Rehabilitation of Offenders (Amendment) Bill [HL] on 27 January 2017.

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The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (1974 Act) aims to support the rehabilitation of reformed offenders by providing specific periods—subject to the sentence passed or disposal administrated—after which cautions and convictions become ‘spent’, and an individual is regarded as rehabilitated. The Bill aims to reduce the rehabilitation periods of various sentences, and introduce a rehabilitation period for sentences exceeding four years (48 months), which are currently never ‘spent’. There have been criticisms of the 1974 Act and previous governments have attempted to make changes. The most recent changes were made by section 139 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 which reduced the rehabilitation periods for both custodial and non-custodial sentences and increased the upper limit to include sentences of up to four years (and applying retrospectively).

Lords In Focus LIF-2017-0005

Author: Amritpal Bachu

Topics: Administration of justice, Crime, Criminal law

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House of Lords Library

The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.