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Community supervision alternative to prison now in effect

By Canfan - 2 March 2016 7

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A new sentencing option allowing some offenders to serve their sentence in the community under close supervision is now available to judges and magistrates, Attorney-General Simon Corbell announced today.

The new intensive correction order scheme, which replaces periodic detention, has come into effect following the passage of the Crimes (Sentencing and Restorative Justice) Amendment Bill 2015 in the Legislative Assembly last month.

“The intensive correction order is designed to be a direct alternative to full-time imprisonment,” Mr Corbell said.

“Offenders will be subject to a specialised assessment by correction officers and need to satisfy a range of criteria before being considered eligible.

“The public can be assured there is an appropriate level of oversight to ensure community safety.”

The intensive correction order aims to combine supervision and strict conditions while providing an opportunity for an offender to change their behaviour.

The Sentence Administration Board will hear breaches of conditions with the minimum of delay and offenders will face clear but proportionate consequences, such as a short period in custody for breaches.

“The Board can cancel the intensive correction order and require the offender to serve their sentence of imprisonment in full-time detention if a swift response is needed,” Mr Corbell said.

Intensive correction orders will be limited to sentences for up to two years but may extend to sentences of up to four years if appropriate when factors of harm, risk and culpability are assessed.

“Conditions including community service work, rehabilitation programs and curfews can be imposed depending on the suitability of the offender,” Mr Corbell said.

“The government has taken a highly consultative and evidence-based approach with the Justice Reform Strategy and reviewed a number of intensive correction orders in other jurisdictions to ensure the ACT has a model which best meets our needs.”

Pictured is recently completed section of the expanded Alexander Maconochie Centre. Offenders sentenced to a intensive correction order will be in a position to avoid doing time in prison. Photo: CHARLOTTE HARPER

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7 Responses to
Community supervision alternative to prison now in effect
miz 10:51 am 06 Mar 16

bikhet said :

Charlotte Harper said :

But they have plenty of prison cells since the AMC expansion came online, @HenryBG. Also, how does it lead to criminal victimisation?

I think that what HBG means is victimisation BY criminals rather than victimisation OF criminals.

As with most such ideas, as with puddings, the proof will be in the eating. If this proposal achieves its aims then all well and good.

There is, though, a real risk that it will result in criminals being released into the community to continue their lives of crime. I’d prefer that a review of the scheme be mandated after a fixed period of time, and that the scheme be canned if the claimed benefits can’t be shown.

Yes it is apparent that this is about prison overcrowding issues and cost cutting, despite being couched in terms of giving the judiciary more ‘options.’
The purpose of prison is (a) to remove criminals from the wider community (community safety), and (b) rehabilitate the prisoner while he or she is ‘a captive audience’ so they are better equipped to live a law abiding life after release.
Though the latter is often badly stymied by lengthy Court waiting times (which prevent a lot of prisoners doing programs because they are still technically ‘innocent’ while on remand or with an appeal on foot) and the usual lack of resources for prison rehabilitative programs.
But those things are not an excuse to farm out prison sentences onto the prisoner’s family. This kind of sentence places the family in an impossible situation, as they are supposed to be both ‘supportive’ and ‘supervise them and dob them in’ if required, putting themselves in a position where they can be blamed by both the authorities and the criminal.
It would be far better to fix entrenched Court delays – so the person can clearly connect the punishment with their actions – and have a greater range of programs available within the prison.

bikhet 6:08 pm 03 Mar 16

Charlotte Harper said :

But they have plenty of prison cells since the AMC expansion came online, @HenryBG. Also, how does it lead to criminal victimisation?

I think that what HBG means is victimisation BY criminals rather than victimisation OF criminals.

As with most such ideas, as with puddings, the proof will be in the eating. If this proposal achieves its aims then all well and good.

There is, though, a real risk that it will result in criminals being released into the community to continue their lives of crime. I’d prefer that a review of the scheme be mandated after a fixed period of time, and that the scheme be canned if the claimed benefits can’t be shown.

Charlotte Harper 3:45 pm 03 Mar 16

But they have plenty of prison cells since the AMC expansion came online, @HenryBG. Also, how does it lead to criminal victimisation?

rubaiyat 2:47 pm 03 Mar 16

The threat of sentencing to Tuggeranong may be an effective deterrent.

HenryBG 2:09 pm 03 Mar 16

One of the many benefits of keeping criminals in gaol is that is reduces the overall fertility rate of the criminal class, which in turn reduces the extent of multigenerational disadvantage.

This initiative is a half-baked response to two things:
– lack of prison cells
– over-spending on prisoners

Cost-cutting such as this leads unerringly to otherwise avoidable criminal victimisation.

dungfungus 8:02 am 03 Mar 16

This article would have more credibility if it was released on 1st April.
It’s similar to that other bit of failed corrective engineering called “diversionary sentencing” (or something like that).

Masquara 9:29 pm 02 Mar 16

Aw – Shane Rattenbury chose the door colour did he? : )

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