New sentencing laws in NSW – Part 4 of 5

On 24 September 2018, significant changes were introduced to sentencing laws in New South Wales.  In Part 4 of our 5-part blog we look at what sentencing options are available as a direct alternative to full-time imprisonment.

The following sentencing options, which used to be alternatives to full-time imprisonment, have been abolished under the new regime:

  • Suspended sentences
  • Home detention orders

If you are currently subject to a suspended sentence or home detention order, your sentence has changed.  Check out Part 2 of our blog here to find out more.

What about ICOs?

Intensive correction orders (ICOs) are still available, but they have been overhauled.

What are the main changes?

An ICO is still only available for a maximum of 2 years if you are being sentenced for one offence. However, the court can now make an ICO for up to 3 years if you are being sentenced for multiple offences.

One of the biggest changes to the new ICOs is that the court does not need to include a community service work condition and while home detention orders have been abolished, new ICOs can include a home detention condition.

What conditions can be imposed?

ICOs must include the following standard conditions:

  • You must not commit any offence
  • You must submit to supervision by a community corrections officer.

These conditions remain in force for the duration of the ICO.

The court must normally also include at least one of the following additional conditions:

  • Home detention
  • Electronic monitoring
  • Curfew
  • Community service work
  • Rehabilitation or treatment
  • Abstention (drugs and/or alcohol)
  • Non-association (with a particular person/s)
  • Place restriction

The court can limit the period during which any additional condition(s) are in force.

Importantly, the court can also impose any further conditions it deems appropriate. This allows significant flexibility in tailoring a sentence to address an offender’s individual needs.

When the court is considering alternatives to full-time imprisonment, it is critical that you obtain legal advice.


Stay tuned to find out more – the final part of our blog is being released tomorrow.

Have questions? We’re here to help. Call us on (02) 9696 1361.

 Disclaimer: The above information contains a basic summary of the law in NSW as at 21 September 2018. It is not legal advice. If you need legal advice, you should speak to a lawyer.