Court Services > Pre-Sentence Reports (PSRs)
is a Court Report?
A Court Report can be requested by Magistrates and Judges. It gives them information and advice, to help them decide what they should do about your offending. There are several types of Court Report:
If the offences are serious, or the Court is considering a heavy punishment, then they will usually adjourn your case so that a detailed Report can be prepared.
If this is your first time in Court, or the offences aren't too serious, then a brief written Report or even a verbal one may be sufficient.
Provides the Report?
Court Reports for young people are provided by staff from the Youth Justice Service. They are specially trained to do this, and their Reports should comply to National Standards set by the Youth Justice Board.
Whatís in a Court Report ?
That depends on what kind of Report has been requested. Some are very detailed and thorough, while others just concentrate on basic information. Most Court Reports will include:
Details of your offence/s and the harm caused to others
Your home and family life, and your attitude to the offence/s
Your education or employment, and other background information
The risk of further offending, and a proposed Sentence
Parental responsibility for your behaviour, and for any fines
is the Report Based On?
The YJS worker will always interview you, and talk to your parents if you are under 17yrs old. Itís very important that you try to be honest and sensible about this, as your attitude to the offences is an important factor in sentencing.
They will also see the evidence against you, including transcripts of your Police interview/s, and details of your previous offences (if any). Depending on how serious the case is, they may also consult other professionals who know you Ė eg social workers, youth leaders or your teachers.
Who Sees the Report?
All the officials and Court staff involved in your Hearing can see it. You and your parents can also read it with your Solicitor, before the Hearing. Afterwards it will be kept on file, but only officials will be allowed to see it. Reports are never shown to the public, the press or to victims of offences.
What if I Donít Agree With It?
If the Report is factually wrong, or you think it is unfair, then you can say so during the Hearing. You can also make a complaint.
What About Parental Responsibility?
Parents are expected to take proper care that their children donít get into trouble. When young people do offend, Courts must decide how much of the responsibility belongs with the parents. Parents often have to pay Fines and Compensation, and sometimes could also be placed under a Parenting Order if they wonít accept voluntary help.