Adult out of court disposals (OOCDs) are a type of disposal for a criminal act that is issued by the police to an adult offender. They allow the police to deal quickly and proportionately with low-level, often first-time, offending which could be resolved more appropriately without a prosecution in court. A pilot was launched in 2014 to test the impact of a simplified OOCD framework that is easier for the public to understand and for practitioners to implement. This was tested in three police force areas for a year.
A process and impact evaluation was commissioned by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) to:
- understand differences in outcomes between the pilot and counterfactual areas (and the rest of England and Wales where possible)
- understand the experiences of the pilots from the perspectives of delivery stakeholders and victims of crime
- identify good practice
It was designed to assess whether the objectives of transparency and simplicity the revised framework were met in a way that did not adversely impact the police, Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS), the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the National Offender Management Service (NOMS). The process evaluation was conducted using a qualitative case study design covering the three pilot police force areas, and in-depth interviews seeking the perspectives of the different stakeholders involved in the pilot. The impact evaluation drew together various data, including numbers of repeat OOCDs and OOCD compliance in the pilot areas and three comparison police forces, with an initial snapshot of re-offending data after three months, sourced from the Police National Computer (PNC).
Out of court disposals pilot: cautions reoffending analysis