What is a pre sentence report? Will I go to jail?

What is a pre sentence report?


A pre sentence report is a report that is provided to the Court that is sentencing an offender. A pre sentence report is prepared by the NSW Probation and Parole Service.


When will the court order a pre sentence report?

What is a pre sentence report for?

The court will generally order a pre sentence report when it considers that the offence that the defendant has committed is too serious (taking into account the offenders previous record as well) to be dealt with by just a good behaviour bond or fine. Courts are required to consider all other options prior to sentencing an offender to imprisonment.

Probation and Parole will prepare a pre sentence report to provide the court with information about what other sentencing options are available to the court. For instance, if the court was considering imposing a sentence of Community Service, Probation and Parole would have to assess the offender for suitability to perform community service.

Another example would be if the court found that the offender needed to address a drug problem, or a gambling addiction. The court would, in this instance, order a pre sentence report to assess the offender for suitability for supervision by Probation and Parole.


What would I have to do for a pre sentence report?

You would be required to attend the nearest Probation and Parole office to where you live, generally within 7 days of the pre sentence report being ordered. It is important that attend the Probation and Parole office as soon as you can, to arrange an appointment with a probation officer.

The probation officer will have a meeting with you. They will ask you a series of questions about your health, your personal life and your plans for the future. They will ask you about any addiction you may have, including drugs, gambling or anger management. This will enable the probation officer to see whether there would be any courses for you to attend whilst they supervise you.

It is very important that you co-operate with the probation officer at all times, and attend all scheduled conferences and do exactly what they request of you. Failure to do so could see you go to jail!


What happens if the Probation officer writes a bad report?

It’s not the end of the world!

Sometimes, if there has been a miscommunication, or there is an error in the report by the probation officer, it can be corrected. Often, pre sentence reports can be very negative, but this does not necessarily mean that you will go to jail. It is important that you speak to your lawyer about your meeting with Probation and Parole, before and after.


What should I do if I fail to attend the meeting?

If you fail to attend the meeting with Probation and Parole, you should contact them immediately and reschedule immediately.

Probation and Parole are generally quite understanding, and will give you a second chance to get the report done.


What happens if I am not suitable for anything other than jail?

This does not necessarily mean that you will go to jail. There are other ways to serve your jail time in the community. For example, home detention, suspended sentences and intensive corrections orders.


For more information on different types of penalties, and to see case studies where we have represented others, go to:



If you are getting sentenced, and need to speak to an experienced Criminal Lawyer urgently, call LY Lawyers on 1300 595 299 for a free consultation.