Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

3. Appointment of probation officers.

4. Probation committee.

5. Probation.

5A. Community service order.

6. Discharge, amendment and review of probation orders.

7. Action on breach of probation order.

8. Absolute and conditional discharge.

9. Commission of further offence.

10. Supplementary provisions as to probation and discharge.

11. Effects of probation and discharge.

12. Power to make regulations.

13. Functions of probation officer to under 18's.

1 of 1966,

23 of 1976,

16 of 1982,

19 of 2014.

SI 72 of 1976.

[Date of commencement: 7th March 1966]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Probation of Offenders Act.

2. Interpretation.

In this Act—

"community service" means work performed by a willing offender without remuneration at a place or in a project for a period of not less than 40 hours and not more than 240 hours in terms of an order of the court under this Act.

[Ins by s 2(a)(i) of Act 19 of 2014 w.e.f. 27 October 2014.]

"court" means the Supreme Court or the Magistrates' Court and includes a Juvenile Court;

[Am by s 2(a)(ii) of Act 19 of 2014 w.e.f. 27 October 2014.]

"judicial officer" means a Judge, a Magistrate, a Justice of the Peace or the Registrar or Assistant Registrar of the Supreme Court;

"Juvenile Court" means a court sitting under section 93 of the Children Act;

[Ins by s 2(a)(iii) of Act 19 of 2014 w.e.f. 27 October 2014.]

"Minister" means the Minister responsible for social affairs;

[Ins by s 2(a)(iii) of Act 19 of 2014 w.e.f. 27 October 2014.]

"period of conditional discharge" means the period specified in an order for conditional discharge;

"probation committee" means a group of persons appointed under the provisions of section 4;

"prescribed" means prescribed by regulations made under section 12;

"probation officer" means a person appointed to be a probation officer under section 3;

"probation period" means the period for which a probationer is placed under supervision by a probation order;

"probationer" means a person for the time being under supervision by virtue of a probation order.

3. Appointment of probation officers.

(1) The President may appoint such number of probation officers as may be necessary for the purpose of this Act from among persons who are qualified under the regulations to be so appointed.

[S 3(1) am by s 2(b) of Act 19 of 2014 w.e.f. 27 October 2014.]

(2) All persons appointed under the provisions of this section shall be deemed to be persons employed in the public service within the meaning of the Penal Code.

4. Probation committee.

(1) The Minister shall appoint a probation committee or probation committees which shall review the work of probation officers in individual cases and perform such other duties in connection with probation as may be prescribed by regulations.

(2) A probation committee shall consist of—

(a) a representative of the Supreme Court;

(b) a representative of the Police;

(c) a representative of the Ministry responsible for Social Affairs;

(d) a representative of non-governmental organisations; and

(e) any other suitable person.

[S 4 rep and subs by s 2(c) of Act 19 of 2014 w.e.f. 27 October 2014.]

5. Probation.

(1) Where a person is convicted of an offence, not being an offence for which a minimum mandatory penalty is fixed by law, and the court by which he is convicted is of the opinion that, having regard to the circumstances including the nature of the offence and the character of the offender, it is expedient to make a probation order, the court shall call for a probation officer's report on the suitability of the offender to be placed under supervision and having considered the report, may instead of sentencing such person make a probation order.

[S 5(1) am by s 2(d)(i) and (ii) of Act 19 of 2014 w.e.f. 27 October 2014.]

(2) A probation order—

(a) shall require an offender to be under the supervision of a probation officer for such period, not being less than six months nor more than three years, as may be specified in the order;

(b) shall require the offender to—

(i) report to the probation officer at such place and at such times as are specified in the order; and

(ii) notify the probation officer without delay of any change of his address;

[S 5(2)(b) am by s 2(d)(iii) of Act 19 of 2014 w.e.f. 27 October 2014.]

(c) may also require the offender to comply during the whole or any part of the probation period with such requirements as the court, having regard to the circumstances of the case, considers necessary for securing the good conduct of the offender or for preventing a repetition by him of the same offence or the commission of other offences:

Provided that, without prejudice to the power of the court to make an order under subsection (2) of section 10, the payment of sums by way of compensation shall not be included among the requirements of a probation order.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), a probation order may include requirements relating to—

(a) the residence of the offender, provided that before including such a requirement the court shall consider the home surroundings of the offender;

(b) undergoing rehabilitation or treatment; and

(c) attending education programme.

[S 5(3) rep and subs by s 2(d)(iv) of Act 19 of 2014 w.e.f. 27 October 2014.]

(4) Before making a probation order the court shall explain to the offender in ordinary language—

(a) the effect of the order including any additional requirements proposed to be inserted therein under subsection (2) or subsection (3); and

(b) that if he fails to comply therewith or commits another offence he will be liable to be sentenced for the original offence.

(5) If the offender is fourteen years of age or more the court shall not make a probation order unless he expresses his willingness to comply with the requirements thereof.

(6) The probation officer who is to be responsible for the supervision of any probationer shall be selected by the court which makes the probation order, and if the probation officer so selected dies or is unable for any reason to carry out his duties, or if the probation committee dealing with the case considers it is desirable that another officer shall take his place, another probation officer shall be selected by the court.

(6A) The court shall, in selecting a probation officer under subsection (6), have regard to the recommendation that the probation committee shall make.

[S 5(6A) ins by s 2(d)(v) of Act 19 of 2014 w.e.f. 27 October 2014.]

(7) Where a woman or a girl is placed under the supervision of a probation officer the probation officer shall be a woman.

(8) The court by which a probation order is made shall forthwith transmit a copy of the order to the probationer and to the probation officer responsible for the supervision of the offender.

(9) The Supreme Court may in an appeal or revision from the Magistrates' Court or the Juvenile Court make a probation order as if the offender had been convicted by it.

[S 5(9) am by s 2(d)(vi) of Act 19 of 2014 w.e.f. 27 October 2014.]

5A. Community service order.

(1) Where a court which has made a probation order under section 5 in respect of an offender is of the opinion that it is expedient to make a community service order, that court may make a community service order requiring the offender to perform community service as part of the probation order.

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