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.
On 24 September 2018, community correction orders replaced good behaviour bonds under section 9 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 and community service orders.
A community correction order can be thought of as a type of good behaviour bond with conditions, and is imposed in lieu of a prison sentence in New South Wales.
What are the conditions of a community correction order?
Community correction orders must contain the following ‘standard’ conditions:
- The defendant must not commit any further offences, and
- The defendant must attend court if called upon to do so.
A person will normally only be called to attend court if he or she breaches a condition of the order.
A court may also order that the defendant:
- Be subject to a curfew not exceeding 12 hours in any 24 hour period,
- Undertake community service work of up to 500 hours,
- Participate in a rehabilitation program or receive treatment,
- Abstain from alcohol and/or drugs,
- Not associate with a particular person/s,
- Not enter or frequent a particular place or area, and
- Be supervised by community correction or, if under 18, by a juvenile justice officer.
A court cannot order community service unless it has obtained an assessment report regarding such a condition.
A court cannot order a CCO for a domestic violence offence unless it has considered the safety of the complainant.
Importantly, the court can limit the period that any additional condition applies; so, for example, a 3 year CCO may contain a curfew that lasts for only 3 months.
The following conditions cannot be included in a CCO:
- Home detention,
- Electronic monitoring, or
- Curfew of more than 12 hours in any 24 hour period.
Can conditions be changed?
The defendant or a community corrections officer can apply to a court to revoke, amend or add conditions to a CRO at any time after it is ordered.
However, the mandatory conditions must remain in place.
A community correction officer can suspend the supervision requirement or any curfew, non-association or place restriction conditions, whether unconditionally or subject to conditions.
How long can a community correction order last?
A CCO can last for up to three years.
What happens if I breach my community correction order?
If it is suspected that a CCO condition has been breached, the defendant may be ordered to attend court to determine whether a breach has in fact occurred.
If a breach is established, the court may:
- take no action
- add, change or revoke additional conditions, or
- revoke the CCO in its entirety.
If the CCO is revoked, the defendant will be resentenced for the original offence.