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Supervised Attendance Orders

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This is a disposal which allows the court to order a person of 18 years of age or more to undertake various activities in the community in cases where the court is considering custody for non-payment of a fine (not compensation). This Order takes the place of an outstanding fine. A Supervised Attendance Order cancels out a fine.

Orders can be from 10 hours to 100 hours in duration dependent on the amount of fine outstanding.

If you are the carer of a child please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that adequate childcare arrangements are made to enable you to complete the hours.

When is a supervised attendance order made?

When you are fined, the court may give you a set time to pay the fine or set an amount to be paid on a regular basis. This payment may be made on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis according to your means and according to what the court considers that you can afford.

Should you fail to pay the fine, or any instalment as instructed by the court, you will be required to appear before a Means Enquiry Court where you will be expected to explain why you have failed to pay the fine or instalment. It is open to the Court to change the repayment order, particularly if you can satisfy the court that you are having difficulty meeting the terms of the Order.

The Court can also impose an alternative sentence of imprisonment to take effect immediately, or at some future date should you default in paying the fine or instalments.  Instead of imposing an alternative of imprisonment the court may decide to make a Supervised Attendance Order.

The court can also do this if it is satisfied that you are unable to pay the fine or instalments and you are present in court. Alternatively, the court could give you further time to pay the fine but impose a Supervised Attendance Order to take effect at a later date if you fail to pay any instalment.

What work is involved?

The Supervised Attendance Order is administered and supervised by Criminal Justice section of Social Work on behalf of the court. It is the responsibility of Criminal Justice Services to organise the right sort of activities for you.

Issues such as debt awareness, money issues, welfare rights and employment guidance will be covered during core module sessions within the initial 10 hours of the Order. Alcohol and drug related problems can be tackled as may learning practical skills such as joinery and computing. Also, you may be required to do varied unpaid work which is of the benefit of the community, e.g. working within a charity shop or assisting in painting, decorating, gardening etc.

The Supervising Officer responsible for your case will discuss with you the nature of the activities to be undertaken and will thereafter issue you with instructions to attend a place of supervision.

What are the rules?

As with other court orders, such as Community Service and Probation, there are a number of conditions you have to meet. These are:

  • To attend the place of supervision for the number of hours specified by the court and at the time given by your supervising officer.
  • To obey the instructions of your supervising officer.
  • To report to your supervising officer as directed.
  • To notify your supervising officer without delay of any change of address.
  • To notify your supervising officer without delay of any change of job or hours of work.
  • To carry out instructions in a satisfactory manner.

Absences must be supported either by a medical certificate or by evidence from your employer. They must also be reported to your supervising officer immediately.

In addition to these standard conditions there are a number of other conditions.

  • No alcohol, solvents or drugs may be consumed, unless medically prescribed, whilst undertaking Supervised Attendance.
  • You must comply with instructions given on health and safety issues.
  • You are not allowed to use or carry mobile phones during your contracted working time.
  • You must complete your Order within 12 months, but where possible within a 12-20 week period.

What happens if I fail to follow these conditions?

If you fail to meet any of the above conditions the Social Work Officer has the power to return your Order to court. If this happens, and the court is satisfied that you have failed to meet any of the conditions that have been set it can revoke the Supervised Attendance Order and impose a period of imprisonment. It is also open to the court to let the Order run and vary the number of hours you were originally ordered to work.

Quick guide

Supervised Attendance Orders are for people who cannot or will not pay their court ordered fines.
The fine ceases to exist when a Supervised Attendance Order is given.
Supervised Attendance does not apply to Compensation Orders.

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