Working with people on Court Orders

Kent Probation works with around 6,500 people who have been sentenced to a Court Order (a Community Order, Suspended Sentence Order, or who have been released from prison on Licence).  
    Photo of a programme in session
  • Community Sentences (Community Orders and Suspended Sentence Orders) comprise two thirds of Kent Probationís caseload. This is when an offender serves the entire sentence in the community. 

  • Prison Licences make up the other third of Kent Probationís caseload. This is when an offender is given a custodial sentence longer than a year. After serving time in prison, they serve part of their sentence in the community, on licence.  Kent Probation manages them for the period of time in the community. Probation Trusts do not currently have any statutory involvement with offenders sentenced to less than 12 months in prison.
Community Sentences are made up of a Community Order or a Suspended Sentence Order, which may have any combination of requirements attached to it. Courts will sentence people to requirements chosen to punish, rehabilitate and ultimately reduce re-offending, based on an individual case by case basis. These Requirements will have been recommended to the Court by probation staff based on the individual's offence, circumstances, case history and current best practice.

The 12 requirements are:

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Accredited Programmes

Research shows that some people are likely to respond to having their thoughts, behaviour and attitudes challenged in a group setting. People are likely to respond to structured group work that involves action, participation, skills learning and discussion.

Accredited Programmes aim to make a difference by:

  • Tackling the way people think, which has been shown to directly affect the way they behave.
  • Assisting people to think more logically about their lives and how they make moral decisions.
  • Tackling people's weak personal control and poor social skills.
  • Using role-play and other exercises to challenge people's learned anti-social behaviour. This is proven to help people change the way they think, which affects how they behave.
  • Teaching self-management skills to bring about positive changes in thoughts, attitudes and behaviour.
  • Teaching people to appreciate the views of others.
Accredited Programmes aim to rehabilitate offenders. A specific programme will be named at the point of sentence.

Kent Probation runs

  • Thinking Skills Programme
  • Domestic Abuse Programme
  • Drink Impaired Drivers Programme
  • Sex Offender Treatment Programme
  • Internet Sex Offender Programme
  • Aggression Replacement Training

To view more information about the programmes Kent Probation run view our Programmes Menu.

Kent Probation Programmes and Activities

Alcohol Treatment Requirement

This Requirement means that the individual will undergo treatment by a qualified person to enable them to eliminate or reduce alcohol dependency. The person must agree to undertake this treatment.

More information about Drug and Alcohol Treatment in Kent Probation

Attendance Centre

This Requirement is available only for offenders between the ages of 18 and 24 who must go to an Attendance Centre for a maximum of 3 hours per day and not less than 12 nor more than 36 hours in total per week. The main purpose of this punishment is to put a restriction on an individual's leisure time. The Attendance Centre also teaches basic skills, and encourages young people to make better use of their leisure time.

Curfew Order

The person must remain in an appropriate place between specified times. The Requirement may last for up to 12 month and can be in place for a maximum of 16 hours a day. The purpose of this Requirement is to prevent individuals who have a history of committing crimes at particular times, from repeating their pattern of offending behaviour. A Curfew Order will be monitored by electronic tagging. Tagging is provided by a contracted provider.

Drug Rehabilitation Requirement

The court will order the person to undergo drug treatment and testing for six months or more. The individual will be tested at regular intervals. The person must consent to this order being made.

More information about Drug and Alcohol Treatment in Kent Probation

Exclusion Order

The person may not enter a specified place for a period up to two years. The court may specify different places on different days and the place can include an entire area such as an entire town or city. The purpose of this requirement is to prevent individuals who have a history of committing crimes in specific places from repeating their pattern of offending behaviour. This requirement will usually be accompanied by electronic tagging, unless the Court considers it unnecessary. Tagging is provided by a contracted provider.

Mental Health Treatment

This requirement may be issued where there is evidence from a medical practitioner that the person requires treatment but is not sufficiently ill to warrant the making of a hospital order. It may involve visits to a specified doctor or psychologist, out-patient treatment at a named institution, or treatment as an admitted patient to a hospital or care home.

Prohibited Activity

The person must refrain from participating in activities on a specified day, days or over a period of time. Examples of Prohibited Activities are attending football matches or entering licensed premises. The purpose of this requirement is to prevent individuals who have a history of committing crimes whilst performing certain activities from repeating their pattern of offending behaviour.

Residence Order

The person will be ordered to live at a specified address or addresses. The address may be a private address or, with Kent Probation's recommendation, a hostel or other such institution. The purpose of this order is to prevent people from repeating patterns of offending behaviour linked to their accommodation. This requirement can also be for public protection. Whilst in an approved premises, or hostel, an individual's movements can be more closely monitored.

Specified Activity Requirement

Individuals are required to attend at a particular place and take part in specified activities. A range of activities can be considered. Kent Probation currently provide the following Specified Activity Requirements (SAR).

  • Women's Programme
  • Reducing Re-Offending
  • Motivational Enhancement Group
  • Education Training and Employment
  • Domestic Abuse One 2 One Programme
The aggregate number of days specified for the activity can be anything up to 60.

Specified Activity Requirement Leaflets

To view further detail about Specified Activities, please view our Programmes and Activities Menu.

Kent Probation Programmes and Activities


Supervision Requirement

Supervision is one of the most common requirements of a community sentence. It means the person must attend regular appointments with an offender manager. During these sessions, individuals will be challenged in their attitudes, behaviour and lifestyle. The aim is to help them to make positive changes to their lives to stop them committing more offences.

Community Payback

The purpose of this requirement is to punish an individual by ordering them to undertake unpaid work. This will be for between 40 and 300 hours and normally must be completed within twelve months. Individuals on Community Payback perform tasks that benefit the local community. Community Payback projects do not take paid work away from others.

More information about Community Payback, or to nominate a site


Offenders are broken down into four tiers.

Tier 4 offenders being the highest risk of reoffending and/or harm and Tier 1 offenders being the lowest risk. Kent Probationís caseload contains on average 11% Tier 1 offenders, 29% Tier 2, 44% Tier 3 and 16% Tier 4. The assessment of an offenders tier is updated continually throughout their order as their risk changes. 



Wider Support

As well as delivering the order of the court, Kent Probation provides additional support to further protect the public and reduce re-offending. 

For more information about the services Kent Probation provides, please see our Bench Guide.

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