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.