What If I Break The Terms Of My Probation?

Consequences of breaking the terms of your probation

Whether you have been given a community sentence, released on licence or on parole, there are a number of common rules that you are likely to be required to follow. You will usually be required to attend regular meetings with your offender manager and these meetings are unlikely to be optional. This means that you must attend and be prepared for the consequences if you do not.

Educational courses

Other common rules might include having to attend any educational courses arranged on your behalf, or attending courses to help prevent you from reoffending. If you have any addictions or dependencies, you are likely to be required to attend treatment sessions. Often you will have to stay in your home between certain hours and it is vital that you make every attempt to do so if this is part of your sentence.


If you have been given a community sentence and you do not attend all of the meetings you are likely to first receive a warning. If you still fail to attend after being warned, you are likely to find yourself back in court. If you do something more serious, such as committing another crime, you are likely to be taken directly back to court. In this instance it is entirely likely that you will not escape with just another fine/warning but will probably be given a harder and/or longer sentence, more rules to follow on probation, or even be sent to prison.


If you are on licence or parole from prison and you break the rules of your probation then you can be immediately "recalled". This means that you go directly back to prison (without passing 'go' or collecting £200). You will find out that you are being recalled either when your offender manager writes to you stating that you are being recalled (usually after you have received a final warning), or if you have done something serious or might be a risk to the public then your offender manager may arrange to have you arrested.

Recall Arrangements

There are three different types of recall arrangement that you might have applied against you. The first is a fixed-term recall, where you will be released 28 days after returning to prison. Upon release you will go back on licence until the end of your sentence. The second type is standard recall and may mean that you return to prison until the end of your sentence. The third type applies if you are on an extended sentence, where your case will be referred within 14 days of your recall. It will be up to the parole board to decide if and when you will be released.


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