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1 August 2005
To provide areas with guidance on delivering intensive community orders. IMPLEMENTATION DATE:
Chief Officers and Assistant Chief Officers are asked to ensure that this
circular is drawn to the attention of all relevant staff, in particular, offender
June 2006
managers and interventions staff, who work with prolific offenders.

The community order of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 is available to courts Chairs of Probation Boards
for adult offenders who have been convicted of offences committed on or Chief Officers of Probation
after 4th April 2005. The Act provides a more flexible sentencing structure, Secretaries of Probation Boards
which enables the Court to order a number of different requirements under
the community order to provide an overall programme of interventions. This CC:
circular provides guidance to all staff on how to take forward the Board Treasurers
management and delivery of intensive community orders. Regional Managers

This circular is issued jointly by the Intensive Interventions Team and the AUTHORISED BY:
Criminal Justice Act Implementation Team within NPD and should be read in Sarah Mann, Head of
conjunction with the complementary circular and guidance on the effective
Interventions Unit
management of the drug rehabilitation requirement (DRR) and alcohol
Richard Mason, Head of Criminal
treatment requirement (ATR), which is being issued simultaneously.
Justice Act Implementation Unit
(PC57/2005 - Effective Management of the Drug Rehabilitation Requirement
(DRR) and Alcohol Treatment Requirement (ATR)).
PC13/2005 PC19/2005
PC15/2005 PC25/2005
PC18/2005 PC 33a/2005


Programme Implementation Manager: Lisa Cox, 020 7217 0683
Head of Intensive Interventions: Claire Wiggins; 020 7217 8646

National Probation Directorate

Horseferry House, Dean Ryle Street, London, SW1P 2AW

1. The community order of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (hereafter referred to as “the CJA 2003”)
is available to courts for offences committed on or after 4 April 2005. This circular provides
Areas with more detailed guidance on the delivery of intensive community orders. It is relevant
to the management of intensive community orders for a range of offenders including Prolific
and other Priority Offenders (PPOs). It should be read in conjunction with the National
Implementation Guide for the Criminal Justice Act 2003 community sentence provisions
(Edition 2, Version 5F), National Standards 2005 and PC 57/2005 - Effective Management of
the Drug Rehabilitation Requirement (DRR) and Alcohol Treatment Requirement (ATR).
Developments in offender management and Interventions over the next year will require further
consideration of the delivery of intensive orders. As such, this guidance will be subject to

Aim of Intensive Community Orders

2. The aim of an intensive community order is to provide the courts with a robust and intensive
community disposal that combines both punishment and, where appropriate, rehabilitation for
offenders who represent the highest likelihood of re-offending, have multiple needs and who
have committed a serious offence(s).

Definition of an Intensive Community Order

3. The Sentencing Guidelines Council (SGC) uses three levels of offence seriousness within the
community order: low, medium and high. Seriousness is defined by the culpability of the
offender and the harm caused or risk being caused by the offence. The SGC proposes that for
the low seriousness band there should in most cases be only one requirement. In all
seriousness bands, the number of requirements must be proportionate to the offence.
Intensive community orders fit within the highest threshold of seriousness within the highest
community order band.

4. The introduction of the CJA 2003 allows for requirements to be combined, to produce an
individual sentence package for offenders, which together amount to a significant restriction on
liberty that will normally require much higher levels of contact than the National Standards
minimum. For the purpose of this guidance, an intensive community order is one which
involves a significant restriction on liberty, which is delivered either via 4 or more different
requirements, of which one must be supervision, or through a smaller number of very
demanding, restrictive and/or punitive requirements e.g. a long unpaid work requirement and
curfew requirement of 12 hours per day for 6 months. It excludes singleton orders such as a
residence requirement, which in itself is intensive and provides a significant restriction on

5. Intensive orders will replace current programmes such as the Intensive Control & Change
Programme (ICCP) and the Intensive Supervision & Monitoring Scheme (ISM). These will be
available only for cases where the offence was committed before 4 April 2005. Both ICCP and
ISM have been integrated into the NPS National Implementation Guide for the Criminal Justice
Act 2003 community sentence provisions (Edition 2, Version 5F) and are represented by model
combination 12 – intensive control. The CPO and Curfew Order delivered within ICCP is
represented by model combination ‘package’ 11.

Suitability for Intensive Community Orders

6. While there is no legislative requirement relating to intensive orders, such orders are likely to
be suitable for those offenders at the high seriousness level of the community order, who may
also be at the threshold of custody. Where appropriate, Prolific and other Priority Offenders
(PPOs) should be prioritised for such orders. Where the court has indicated that the offence
seriousness is high within the community order band, report authors should consider whether

PC56/2005 – Delivering Intensive Community Orders Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 2
the case is one where an intensive community order would be appropriate.

7. Offenders within the high seriousness band of the community order will generally be assessed
with a full OASys (PC18/2005). Generally, a high likelihood of re-offending refers to offenders
with an OGRS of 75+. There may be cases, however, where the OGRS score is lower than this
but the offence seriousness and level of need indicate a more intensive approach. In these
cases it is good practice to obtain managerial endorsement and to clearly record this on the
file. There is no specific OASys benchmark set for these types of orders, which could include
offenders who have a high or very high risk of harm despite the OASys score being medium.

8. The National Implementation Guide for report writers to the new community sentence
provisions provides a structure, which report writers should use to avoid the over use of
requirements. The guidance provides 12 basic (model) combinations1[1] and indicates that there
is no maximum number of requirements for those offenders in the high seriousness band of the
community order, but that, as a guide, in most cases there should be a minimum of three to
four core requirements, one of which should be supervision.

9. Areas may wish to prioritise bail provision where an offender is suitable for an intensive
community order and is at risk of a custodial remand. PC19/2005 provides areas with targeting
guidance on those cases where the court is considering a custodial remand. It suggests that
areas give consideration to targeting bail provision to a number of offender groups of which the
following are included:
1 Those who have a disproportionately high risk of being remanded in custody such as
young (18-21 year old) defendants and;
2 Prolific and other Priority Offenders.

10. In most cases, offenders within this sentencing band will be sentenced following the provision
of a Standard Delivery PSR (PC18/2005). There may, however, be exceptions to this and
ultimately it is the decision of the court as to what reports should be used during the sentencing
process. If the court requests a Fast Delivery PSR and probation staff become aware of issues
relating to a high risk of re-offending or harm they should advise the courts that a standard
delivery PSR may be more beneficial to the court. When proposing an intensive community
order, PSR authors should provide advice to the court on the length and duration of each of the
requirements, although the final decision remains with the court.

11.When proposing an intensive community order, the court must be satisfied that the offender
can comply with the requirements. In the case of an intensive community order, PSR authors
must ensure that the overall punitive weight of the combination of requirements is
proportionate to the seriousness of the current offence(s) and that the individual requirements
are likely to meet the identified offending related needs e.g. an activity requirement is proposed
to address specific issues relating to learning/skills and education/employment activities. The
PSR author must also ensure that the requirements are compatible and do not interfere with
the offender’s religious beliefs or times of work and education.

12. Staff should assess offenders’ suitability for the range of requirements proposed. Where
offenders appear as unmotivated, this should not preclude the PSR author from proposing an
intensive community order. Staff should in these instances consider any additional support
work that would be needed to support compliance. An example of this could be mentoring for
younger offenders.

Wording of Intensive Community Orders

13.When proposing an intensive community order, report writers must specify all the requirements
and their lengths. In proposing offenders for intensive community orders under the CJA 2003,
PSR authors should not make reference to the model combinations defined in the CJ Act

PC56/2005 – Delivering Intensive Community Orders Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 3
Guidance for offences committed on or after the 4th April 2005, nor should brand names such
as ICCP or ISM be used. However, as a transitional arrangement, areas that have existing
ICCP schemes and are proposing an equivalent sentence under the new Act can say that the
sentence being proposed is similar to ISM, ICCP and DTTO. PC 33a/2005 provides more
detailed guidance on writing court reports on PPOs.

Frequency and content of contact

14.There are no separate National Standards for intensive community orders. The new National
Standards 2005 are a minimum and offenders may be required to report more frequently.
Those offenders in the high seriousness band of the community order may be subject to higher
levels of contact/restriction on liberty. The intended frequency of reporting must be recorded in
the sentence plan. Contact levels should be based on the community sentencing band and the
offender management tier and offenders most suitable for intensive community orders are
likely to be managed by offender managers in tiers 3 or 4. Offender managers should ensure
that they maintain weekly contact with the offender and, as a guide, the overall combination of
individual requirements should amount to four contacts per week for the first 16 weeks (these
include contacts with the offender manager).

15.With the exception of highly restrictive orders, all offenders who are within the high seriousness
range for whom an intensive community order is appropriate must be recommended for a
supervision requirement to provide the day-to-day offender management continuity.

16. The combined contact time should provide staff with the basis for advising on the duration of
individual requirements e.g. a medium unpaid work (UPW) requirement of 100 hours may be
more appropriate for an offender with 3 other requirements than a 200 hour UPW requirement.
All activities that are included in the sentence plan and provide an audit trail can count toward
the contact time.

17.Model combination of requirements that might be proposed for high intensity orders (as
outlined in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 National Implementation Guide) are as follows:

Seriousness band Requirements

High seriousness / intensive control Supervision + programme + activity,
Likelihood of reconviction: high plus
Risk any of the following requirements if
of harm: low-high appropriate – unpaid work, mental health
No of requirements: 3+ treatment, residence, prohibited activity,
Levels of contact: minimum 4 contacts per week exclusion, curfew, DRR )
or minimum 15 hours per week for the first 16
weeks if inclusive of a DRR

18.There may be occasions where an offender has a number of offending related needs but has
not committed a serious offence, which would warrant an intensive community order. In these
cases, staff should not propose an intensive order but ensure that the requirements proposed
are proportionate to the seriousness of the offence and will meet the assessed offending
related needs.

16-18 year olds

19.All existing youth justice orders (now re-named Youth Community Orders under the new Act),
will continue to be available to all juvenile offenders including 16 and 17 year olds. Alongside
this, the existing adult community orders available under the Powers of Criminal Courts
(Sentencing) Act 2000: the Community Punishment Order, the Community Rehabilitation

PC56/2005 – Delivering Intensive Community Orders Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 4
Order, the Community Punishment and Rehabilitation Order, Drug Treatment and Testing
Order, curfew order and exclusion order, whilst no longer available to adults under the new
Act, will continue to be available for 16 and 17 year olds. The Intensive phase of the Intensive
Supervision and Surveillance Order (ISSP) will continue to be managed by local YOTs.

Offender Management and National Standards Issues

20. All requirements under the CJA 2003 start from the sentence date – requirements may be
sequenced. National Standards provides the time frame for the implementation of the
requirements. Generally, all requirements must be completed by the end of the sentence,
although the court may specify a shorter completion time for a specific requirement. In addition,
probation staff will need to be mindful of the minimum timescales for requirements to be
implemented i.e. the activity requirement should start within 15 days of the sentence.
Managerial endorsement will be required where implementation of the requirements is likely to
exceed National Standard timescales. This must be recorded on the sentence plan.

21.The court must set the length of a supervision requirement to be the same or longer than any
other requirement imposed. When managing an intensive community order, probation staff
should consider sequencing the requirements in order to maximise the rehabilitative impact on
the offender. Where sequencing is planned, the supervision requirement will, where necessary,
need to be long enough to allow the completion of any programme, treatment or activity
requirement. Where practical, staff should sequence compatible interventions on the same
day. Consideration should also be given to arranging appointments at a regular time each
week or at a time when the offender is most likely to attend.

22.All intensive community orders that contain multiple requirements are likely to fall into offender
management tiers 3 or 4, where case allocation should occur within one working day of

23.The first contact should be arranged on the day of sentence or as soon after but no later than
five days after sentence.

24.The sentence plan should be completed within five working days after sentence and shared
with relevant partner agencies within one working day of completing the plan.

25. Local risk management procedures should apply where staff are working with high-risk or very
high-risk of harm offenders subject to formal MAPPA procedures.

Enforcement and Breach Action

26. Please refer to section 5.4 of the National Implementation Guide for further information on
enforcement. While there are no separate enforcement procedures for intensive community
orders, staff should bear in mind the following:

27.Recording will be a critical task for the management of intensive community orders. Offender
managers should ensure that all elements of the order are clearly recorded on the file. This
must include any decisions regarding unacceptable absences and the delay/suspension of

28.Any absence within a given day is treated as one absence regardless of the number of
contacts for that day. An absence within 12-months relating to requirements is treated as an
absence for the whole order. Verification and, where possible, written proof is required for all
unauthorised absences. It is not appropriate to provide specific examples of what constitutes
an acceptable absence, as there will be a number of issues that will feed into the decision and
the circumstances of each case will vary.

PC56/2005 – Delivering Intensive Community Orders Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 5
29.Given their profile i.e. high likelihood of further offending, this offender group are more likely to
commit further offences during the course of an order and may have higher non-compliance
rates. PC 13/2005 provides further information on expedited listing and notification hearings in
community sentence breaches. The joint circular requires magistrates’ courts and probation
areas to develop locally agreed processes that ensure that community breaches are resolved
within 20 working days after the second unacceptable absence. In cases where an application
for warrant without bail is required to minimise the risk of further offending, offender managers
should give consideration to offenders considered to present a high risk of re-offending,
including those designated within prolific and other priority offender schemes.

30. In providing court reports for breach, any partial progress or achievements to date should be
included in the reports. The report should also provide information on the offender’s ability to
comply with more requirements or more onerous requirements. Conflicting requirements
should be avoided as they could potentially lead to a further breach.

Transitional Arrangements for Existing and New Orders

31.There may be a number of issues relating to the management and breach of existing and new
cases that are likely to arise from April 2005. The following provides examples of possible case
scenarios involving transfer and breach of cases. This is not intended to be exhaustive and
reference should be made to the CJA 2003 National Implementation Guide:

32. Where the court decides to revoke and re-sentence an offender who is subject to an existing
sentence e.g. ICCP and the original offence pre-dates the 4th April 2005, the court can only re-
sentence to the sentencing provisions that are available under the Powers of Criminal Courts
(Sentencing) Act 2000.

33. Where an offender is subject to an existing intensive order i.e. ICCP and is appearing before
court for further offences committed on or after 4th April 2005, the court can take the following

• Sentence to a new order for the new offences and revoke the existing order or;
• Sentence to a new order for the new offences and allow the existing order to continue.

34. It is considered good practice when managing a case as described above to invite the court to
revoke the existing order (this is not permissible if the offender was sentenced to the existing
order in a Crown Court and is being sentenced in a Magistrates’ Court) at the point of sentence
for the new offences.

35.There may be cases where an offender is subject to an existing intensive order i.e. DTTO and
concurrent new community order with DRR requirement, as a result of new offences committed
after the 4th April 2005. Good practice suggests that where breach occurs probation staff
should consider the merits of taking breach action on the new order.

36.National Standards 2005 should apply in all cases where an offender is subject to both an
existing and new community order. The only exception to this is where the enforcement action
is more onerous under the new standards than would have been the case when the order was

Monitoring Requirements
37. NPD are seeking to centrally monitor all orders made under the CJA 2003. Any orders made
under the Act that have more than four requirements, of which one is supervision, will be
defined as Intensive Community Orders. The purpose of this monitoring is to track the extent to
which community orders with multiple requirements are being used and with what offender
types. This will enable NPD to provide more detailed guidance on the targeting and use of

PC56/2005 – Delivering Intensive Community Orders Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 6
these types of orders.

38.There is no impact on areas resulting from this monitoring, as RDS NOMS will identify these
orders centrally from the monthly probation listings (Form 20 extract) which Areas will be
providing from July 2005. Arrangements for feeding back findings to Areas will be issued

PC56/2005 – Delivering Intensive Community Orders Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 7