Penalties in NSW – Intensive Correction Orders


In October 2010, the penalty of ‘periodic detention’ was abolished and replaced by ‘intensive correction orders’ (or ‘ICO’s).

In general terms, an ICO is where an offender is ordered to undertake 32 hours of community work per month for the period of the sentence and comply with a range of other requirements, which 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).

An ICO can only be ordered if a court sentences an offender to a period of imprisonment of 2 years or less (s7, Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW)).

The offender must be suitable for an ICO, which means he/she must be over 18, must be found to be a ‘suitable person’ and such an order must be ‘appropriate in all of the circumstances’ (s67).

To determine whether an offender is ‘suitable’ the court can order an assessment report from Corrections NSW (s69).

ICO’s are not available for certain sexual offences (s66).