An Intensive Correction Order, or ‘ICO’, is a sentencing option available to the court that has replaced periodic detention (weekend gaol).
It allows someone convicted of a crime to remain in the Community but with very heavy obligations and restrictions on what they can do.
Every ICO has ‘mandatory conditions’ which include allowing someone to search you or your property at any time; you must live at an ‘approved’ residence and you must apply for permission to move; you cannot travel outside the State (or the country) without permission.
You must also submit to surveillance or electronic monitoring if required and perform 32 hours of Community Service work every month as well as engage in any programs or training that your supervisor directs you to.
These are only some of the mandatory conditions and a Court can order any other conditions to be included (as long as they are not inconsistent with the mandatory ones).
The condition that most people have trouble with is the Community Service work – it cannot all be done at once or left to the end of your order, you must perform 32 hours of community service work every month for the length of your order.
If you fail to comply with any of the conditions that are placed on you then the Court has several options – it can direct that your order is extended by up to 6 months to give you time to complete your obligations or it can cancel the ICO and impose a full time custody order (send you to gaol).
Not everyone is eligible for an ICO.
If the Court is thinking of imposing a gaol sentence of 2 years then they can refer you to an assessment process that is done by officers from Corrective Services (NSW).
If you are found suitable then the court can place you on an ICO.
If you are deemed unsuitable then the court no longer has that option and you may have to go into full time gaol.
An experienced criminal defence lawyer will be able to advise you about your suitability for an intensive correction order.