Significant changes to sentencing legislation expected in October 2018
On 17 October 2017, new amendments were passed that will consolidate a variety of sentencing options that were previously available. It is anticipated that these new amendments will likely take effect in September 2018. If you are currently the subject of an order of the court such as Home Detention Order these changes will affect you.
The new sentencing options now include:
- The Intensive Correction Order (‘ICO’)
- The Community Correction Order (‘CCO’)
- The Conditional Release Order (‘CRO’)
The Intensive Correction Order (‘ICO’)
An ICO will replace Home Detention Orders, Suspended Sentences and Existing Intensive Correction Orders.
Once a person is found suitable for an ICO, the order can be tailored to fit a range of circumstances and a range of conditions can be imposed.
The new ICO:
- must include a mandatory supervision condition, a condition to not commit an offence and at least one additional condition, that can include (but is not limited to) an electronic monitoring condition, a curfew condition, a community service condition and/or a rehabilitation condition.
- may have home detention and community service as a condition, although Home Detention Orders and Community Service Orders have been revoked.
There are many instances where an ICO cannot be ordered, for example when a person has been convicted of a particular offence, or whereby the length of imprisonment for the offence(s) exceeds 3 years.
There is also now a presumption that a Court must impose a sentence of full-time detention or a supervised order for any person that has committed a domestic violence related offence.
For specific advice in relation to your eligibility for an ICO, either under the current legislation or the proposed amendments, you should contact a lawyer.
The Community Correction Order (‘CCO’)
The CCO replaces Good Behaviour Bonds made under section 9 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act and Community Service Orders.
Similar to the new ICO, a CCO will allow offenders that are unsuitable or unable to work to still access intensive supervision as an alternative to shorter prison sentences.
Once the offender is found suitable for a CCO, it can be ordered for a maximum duration of three years.
- must contain a standard condition that the person subject to the order not commit an offence and to appear before the Court when called to do so.
- may have conditions, including (but not limited to) a curfew, a community service work condition (for up to 500 hours), a rehabilitation condition, an abstention from alcohol and drugs condition and/or a supervision condition.
- must not have home detention or electronic monitoring as a condition, and a curfew condition in a CCO cannot exceed 12 hours in a 24-hour period.
The Conditional Release Order (‘CRO’)
A CRO now replaces good behaviour bonds made under s 10(1)(b) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act.
Under this order, the Court may or may not proceed to conviction.
- must contain a standard condition that the person subject to the order not commit an offence and to appear before the court when called to do so.
- may contain conditions similar to those that are available in a CCO.
The legislation imposes that only one of these orders may be in force at the same time, and if there is any inconsistency between the conditions of the orders, an ICO will prevail over an CCO and a CCO will prevail over a CRO. If community service is a condition under multiple orders, the number of hours must not exceed 750 hours (if one of the orders is an ICO) or must not exceed 500 hours (if one of the orders is a CCO).
Existing bonds and variations
For persons that are currently under orders and bonds that are being replaced, the new order will take effect to replace the existing bond. For example, if a person has been sentenced to a community service order, once the new Act takes effect, they will be serving a CCO, with the standard condition to not commit an offence with the additional (but optional) community service condition and any other conditions imposed by the sentencing Court when they were sentenced.
This person may be eligible to apply to vary the community service condition that they are serving as the new amendments allow a person to make an application to the Court to vary or adjust condition(s) in a CCO or a CRO (other than the standard mandatory conditions).
Disclaimer: The above information contains a basic summary of the proposed amendments to the legislation as at 23 May 2018. It is not legal advice. If you need legal advice, you should speak to a lawyer.