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CRIMINAL PENALTIES
S8 COMMUNITY CORRECTION ORDERS
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SECTION 8 : COMMUNITY CORRECTION ORDERS

Like Conditional Release Orders, the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Amendment (Sentencing Options) Act 2017 introduced Community Corrections Order to NSW on 24 September 2018. Community Corrections Orders are legislated under section 9 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW) and replace the community service orders under the previous section 8 and good behaviour bonds made with a conviction under the previous section 9.

As recognised by the Hon M Speakerman SC in the Second Reading Speech for the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Amendment (Sentencing Options) Bill 11 October 2017, the new Community Corrections Order (CCO) operates as a “more flexible order” and a non-custodial alternative to full-time imprisonment so “offenders can receive supervision to tackle their offending behaviour and be held accountable”.

 

Section 8 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 provides:

“(1) Instead of imposing a sentence of imprisonment on an offender, a court that has convicted a person of an offence may make a community correction order in relation to the offender.

(2) A community service work condition must not be imposed on a community correction order made in relation to an offender to whom the Children (Community Service Orders) Act 1987 applies.”

 

 

Section 87 provides a community correction order is subject to the following conditions:

(a) imposed by the sentencing court under section 88.

(b) any imposed by the sentencing court under section 89.

(c) any imposed by the sentencing court under section 90.

 

 

Important features to note about CCOs include:

  • They can be made without the need for a Sentencing Assessment Report, unless the sentencing Magistrate contemplates imposing a community service work condition.

  • A CCO can be made following conviction, as an alternative to imprisonment.

  • CCOs can only be made by the Local Court when the offender is present in Court.

  • The duration of the CCO cannot exceed three years.

  • CCOs can only be made with respect to a domestic violence offender if the order includes a supervision condition (s 4A(3)) and the court has considered the safety of any victim of the offence/s (s 4B(3)).

  • A CCO must include the two standard conditions and may be subject to additional and/or further conditions.

 

What are the Standard Conditions for a CCO?

There are basic conditions the Court must impose when making a CCO. Section 88 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 provides:

“(1) The sentencing court must at the time of sentence impose on a community correction order the standard conditions of a community correction order.

(2) The standard conditions of a community correction order are the following--

(a) a condition that the offender must not commit any offence,

(b) a condition that the offender must appear before the court if called on to do so at any time during the term of the community correction order.”

 

What are the Additional Conditions for a CCO?

At the time of sentence, or upon further application by the offender, the community corrections officer or juvenile justice officer, the Court may impose, vary or revoke additional conditions to the CCO pursuant to section 89(1) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999.

Section 89(2) states “the additional conditions of a community correction order that are available to be imposed are the following conditions (as directed by the sentencing court) -

(a) a curfew condition imposing a specified curfew (not exceeding 12 hours in any period of 24 hours),

(b) a community service work condition requiring the performance of community service work for a specified number of hours (not exceeding 500 hours or the number of hours prescribed by the regulations in respect of the class of offences to which the relevant offence belongs, whichever is the lesser),

(c) a rehabilitation or treatment condition requiring the offender to participate in a rehabilitation program or to receive treatment,

(d) an abstention condition requiring abstention from alcohol or drugs or both,

(e) a non-association condition prohibiting association with particular persons,

(f) a place restriction condition prohibiting the frequenting of or visits to a particular place or area,

(g) a supervision condition requiring the offender to submit to supervision--

(i) by a community corrections officer, except as provided by subparagraph (ii), or

(ii) if the offender was under the age of 18 years when the condition was imposed, by a juvenile justice officer until the offender has reached that age.”

           

It is important to note that the Court cannot impose the following as additional conditions:

  1. a home detention condition,

  2. an electronic monitoring condition,

  3. a curfew condition imposing a curfew exceeding 12 hours in any period of 24 hours.

What are the Further Conditions for a CCO?

The further conditions that may be imposed by the Court for a CCO are not specifically listed in the legislation and would be tailored to the particular offender and level of offending.

Section 90 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 provides:

“(1) The sentencing court may at the time of sentence, or subsequently on the application of a community corrections officer or juvenile justice officer or the offender-

(a) impose further conditions on a community correction order, or

(b) vary or revoke any such further conditions imposed by it on a community correction order.

(2) This section does not permit the sentencing court to impose any further conditions, or vary any such further conditions, if the conditions as imposed or varied--

(a) would be inconsistent with-

(i) any of the standard conditions of a community correction order, or

(ii) any of the additional conditions (whether or not actually imposed on the community correction order) referred to in section 89(2), or

(b) would not be permitted under section 89(3).

(3) The sentencing court may limit the period during which a further condition on a community correction order is in force.”

 

What happens if you breach a CCO?

A breach of a CCO could result in you being resentenced for the offence and receive a harsher penalty. It is therefore important that you receive legal advice about the appropriateness of your conditions and whether they can be complied with. If you are seeking legal advice about a CCO, please contact KF Lawyers for a free initial consultation.

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