Sentencing dangerous offenders

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Sentencing dangerous offenders
  • Abolition of IPPs and EPPs
  • Extended determinate sentences
  • EDSs for adults over the age of 21
  • Release arrangements for offenders serving an EDS
  • Serious terrorism sentences
  • Mandatory life sentence for second listed offence
  • Determining dangerousness (the significant risk test)
  • Evidence of dangerousness

Sentencing dangerous offenders

This Practice Note reflects the procedural code for sentencing offenders in England and Wales (Sentencing Code) that applies from 1 December 2020, as set out in Parts 2–13 of the Sentencing Act 2020 (SA 2020). For those considering whether the Sentencing Code applies to their case, see Practice Note: Sentencing Code.

Abolition of IPPs and EPPs

Historically, the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (CJA 2003) provided for sentences of imprisonment for public protection (IPPs) and detention for public protection as well as extended sentences for certain violent and sexual offences (EPPs). These were abolished by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO 2012).

The current sentencing regime for sentencing dangerous offenders provides for:

  1. extended determinate sentences (EDSs), and

  2. mandatory custody for life or life sentences (including for second listed offences)

See further Practice Note: Custodial sentences available for adult offenders.

Extended determinate sentences

An EDS consists of a custodial term (the appropriate custodial term) followed by an extended licence period.

The appropriate custodial term is that which would otherwise be imposed in accordance with the SA 2020, s 231. It must reflect the seriousness of the offence. It cannot exceed the maximum term permitted for the offence.

In determining the appropriate custodial term, the court must take into account any offence specific guidelines that might apply, see Practice Note: Sentencing criminal offences—sentencing guidelines and resources.

The extended licence

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