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.
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“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