The Pre-Sentence Report: What is it?

About to signWhat is a pre-sentence report?

A pre-sentence report is what the court asks for when you have pleaded guilty or are found guilty of an offence.

The report gives the court information about you and your offence / offences. It helps the court to choose a sentence (punishment) for you.

Who writes the report?

An officer from Sutton YOT (Youth Offending Team) will write the report. This officer will need to meet you to find out information about you. They may need to meet (interview) you more than once.

These interviews may be at the YOT office or at your home. Your parent / carer will be with you. If you are in custody, the officer will visit you there. You will be given an appointment for this interview by letter or by phone. They may also contact other people, agencies or services who knew you. These might be your employer, doctor or youth worker. This is to find out more information to write in the pre-sentence report. It is very important that you attend this appointment. The report writer will contact your school / college and social worker (if you have one).

During the interviews the report writer will ask you questions and it is important that you answer the questions so that the report is fair and true. What you tell the report writer will go in the report. Personal information that you tell the report writer will be treated as confidentially as far as possible. If the report writer has to pass on information because of safety or about another offence he / she will discuss it with you first.

If you are 18 and not known by the YOT, a Probation Officer will write the report.

What is in the report?

  • Your attitude to the offence
  • The consequences of your offence
  • The risk of you offending again
  • Information about you (schooling / home / family)
  • An assessment of your parent / carer (if you are under 16 or if the court has asked for it)
  • Information about the choices of sentence the court could make

Who sees the report?

  • You
  • Your parent / carer
  • Your solicitor or barrister
  • The judge or magistrates
  • The court legal advisor
  • The Crown Prosecution Service
  • The YOT staff
  • Your social worker (if you have one)

If you are sent to a special unit to live, the unit will also see the report.

What if I don’t agree with the report?

Your legal representatives will be able to give your comments to the court.


You must:

  • be respectful and behave in a way that will not offend anyone else. If you don’t, it could delay the sentence being made, and make it more difficult for the YOT to see how willing and able you are to complete a sentence in the community.

You must not:

  • come to any appointments under the influence of alcohol, drugs or any other substance, or have them with you
  • bring anyone to the appointment apart from your parent / carer
  • have your mobile phone switched on

Contacting us

If you need to contact the YOT, call 020 8770 5754 and ask to speak to your YOT worker (if you know who it is) or to the YOT Duty Worker.

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