Sentencing Reforms in NSW
Arrested in NSW and are anxious to know what type of penalty you are up for? Read our dedicated page on the different types of the Penalties the NSW Courts can impose.
NEW SENTENCE REFORMS
Last year May 2017, the NSW Governments announced a series of fundamental justice reforms that aim to deliver justice more quickly, to strengthen sentencing options and ensure offenders are rigorously supervised when serving community orders.
The reforms to do with the new sentencing and penalties available to Magistrates came into force 24 September 2018.
The new changes which were legislated and enacted through the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Amendment (Sentencing Options) Act 2017 (NSW) make substantial amendments to the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999(NSW) and The Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999 (NSW) (with both of these acts governing sentences).
THE SENTENCING REFORM
The new reforms have had the following impact on sentencing laws:
- Suspended sentences will be abolished;
- Intensive Correction Orders (ICO) will be strengthened, with offender’s subject to supervision by Community Corrections Officers and conditions such as home detention, electronic monitoring, curfews and community service work.
- Community Correction Orders will replace Community Service Orders and good behaviour bonds;
- Conditional Release Orders will replace section 10 bonds without convictions; and
- More than 200 extra Community Corrections Officers will provide extra supervision to thousands of offenders, who were previously unsupervised in the community.
The following details were released by the Department of Justice regarding the amendments:
INTENSIVE CORRECTIONS ORDERS (ICO)
“Supervision will now be mandatory and all offenders serving Intensive Correction Orders (ICOs) will be subject to conditions such as home detention, electronic monitoring, curfews, community service work, alcohol/drug bans, place restrictions, or non-association requirements.
Offenders will be required to participate in programs that target the causes of their behaviour, such as alcohol or drug misuse, or mental health issues.
The ICO will be the most serious sentence that an offender can serve in the community. All offenders on ICOs will be subject to Corrective Services NSW supervision.
If offenders breach their order, Community Corrections Officers will have authority to impose fast and more certain penalties.
For more serious breaches, offenders will be brought before the State Parole Authority (SPA). The SPA will have the power to send the offenders to prison to serve the remainder of their sentence in custody.
Community safety will be the Court’s paramount consideration when deciding whether an offender should serve up to two years under an ICO or in prison.
ICO’s will not be available for offenders who have been convicted of murder, manslaughter, sexual assault, any sexual offence against a child, discharge of a firearm, terrorism offences, organised crime, breaches of serious crime prevention orders, or breaches of public safety orders.
A domestic violence offender will only be able to be sentenced to an ICO if the court is satisfied that the victims can be adequately protected. For example, a domestic violence offender will not be eligible for an ICO with a home detention condition if they will be residing with the victim.
For more information on the ICO, please visit our dedicated page by clicking here.
COMMUNITY CORRECTION ORDER
Courts will be able to use the Community Correction Order (CCO) to punish offenders for crimes that do not warrant imprisonment or an ICO, but are too serious to be dealt with by a fine or lower level penalty.
CCOs replace community service orders and good behaviour bonds.
The court will be able to select from the range of conditions, such as supervision by Community Corrections Officers, community service work and curfews. CCOs will be able to be imposed for a period of up to three years.
For more information on the CRO, please visit our dedicated page by clicking here.
CONDITIONAL RELEASE ORDER (CRO)
CRO’s have replaced non-conviction bonds.
Courts will be able to use the Conditional Release Order (CRO) to deal with first time and less serious offences where the offender is unlikely to present a risk to the community.
Offenders who are sentenced for offences such as driving while disqualified, first time drink driving or low-level drug possession, may receive a CRO.
The benefit of CROs is that the Court will be able to impose conditions such as supervision, non-association requirements and place restrictions where appropriate. CROs will be able to be imposed for a period of up to two years.
Similar to the intent of non-conviction bonds, the CRO acts as a warning and diverts these less serious offenders out of the criminal justice system, freeing up resources to deal with the offenders who cause the greatest concern to the community. If an offender commits any further offences while on a CRO, subsequent penalties will be more severe.
For more information the CRO, please visit our dedicated page by clicking here.
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If you have been charged with any Criminal offence our Team at National Criminal Lawyers are well versed and specialists in having charges either withdrawn and otherwise achieving favourable outcomes.