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Community Correction Orders

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 the 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 standard 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.

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