In 2011, the Crimes Act was amended to allow the NSW attorney general to keep certain offenders in prison after their sentence has ended, if they are believed to be high risk, or are judged not to have been rehabilitated, or to have taken responsibility for their crimes.
Additionally, provisions were also made for extended supervision orders, under which offenders are released from prison at the end of their sentence, but are kept under close watch.
An extended supervision order (in NSW) imposes certain conditions on offenders who have been newly released into the community.
Extended supervision orders are most commonly taken out against serious sex offenders when it is believed that they are likely to re-offend if they are released back into the community.
To take out an extended supervision order in NSW, the state needs to make an application needs to the Supreme Court during the last six months of the offender’s sentence.
Whether or not an application will be approved is based on a number of different factors, including:
- What treatment and/or rehabilitation programs the offender has undertaken
- during custody and the extent of their participation.
- Reports from psychologists, psychiatrists or medical practitioners detailing the likelihood of the offender committing a further offence if left unsupervised.
- Whether or not the offender has complied with restrictions and rules during their time in prison.
- The criminal history of the offender, and whether they have committed previous offences.
- Any factors that were mentioned at the time of sentencing that could be relevant to whether the offender is likely to re-offend once released.
An offender should be served with a copy of the extended supervision application within two days of it being made, and they are entitled to see the supporting documentation and reports that are included within the application.
If it is considered likely that the offender will be released before the application for an extended supervision order is processed, an interim order can be put in place.
What are the terms of an extended supervision order?
The exact terms of an extended supervision order in NSW will vary, depending on the individual and the recommendations made by the professionals who have assessed them.
Some of the provisions that might be included in an extended supervision order are:
- Reporting regularly to a corrective services officer.
- Residing at a specified address.
- Allowing corrective services access to their address, and items such as computers, when required.
- Mandatory participation in treatment and rehabilitation programs.
- Wearing electronic monitoring equipment.
- Restrictions around who to associate with or particular classes of persons to associate with.
- Restrictions surrounding participation in certain activities or forms of behaviour.
It is possible to appeal an extended supervision order if it is believed that the terms are unjust, or would impact too harshly on the offender.
It is also possible to have extended supervision orders varied, or in some cases revoked.
The conditions of an extended supervision order can be onerous, and can have a significant impact on the lifestyle of the offender.
An order can be put into place for up to five years, and the state can apply for a further or subsequent order.
Breaching an extended supervision order is also a criminal offence, and comes with a penalty of up to two years in prison.
For more information about how an extended supervision order might apply to you or a loved-one, contact an experienced criminal lawyer.