Commonwealth Penalties – Intensive Correction Orders


Section 20AB of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cwth) allows courts in NSW to impose penalties for commonwealth offences that are similar to penalties available for state crimes.

This means that because Intensive Correction Orders (or ICOs) are available for NSW state offences, they are also available for commonwealth offences.

ICOs are an alternative to full time prison.

This means that the court must initially indicate that the person should be sentenced to prison, but then consider whether the period of imprisonment can be served by way of an alternative to full time custody, eg by way of an ICO.

An ICO can only be ordered if the appropriate period of imprisonment is 2 years or less.

ICOs require a person to:

1. undertake 32 hours of community work per month for the period of the sentence, and

2. comply with a range of other requirements, which can include:

– drug and alcohol testing,

– attending any required rehabilitation programs;

– face-to-face conferences with a Corrections Services Supervisor, and in some cases

– a curfew and electronic monitoring (anklet).

To determine whether someone is suitable for an ICO, an assessment report will normally be ordered from the Department of Corrections.