New sentencing laws focus on community safety

Published: 25 Sep 2018

Changes to sentencing laws will drive down reoffending by making rehabilitation easier to access and more effective.

Suspended sentences will be replaced by stronger Intensive Correction Orders. Proven to reduce reoffending, supervision by Community Correction Officers will now be standard and courts can add conditions including home detention, electronic monitoring, curfews and community service work.

Intensive Correction Orders will not be available to offenders guilty of a range of serious offences including murder, manslaughter, sexual assault, any sexual offences against a child, an offence involving the discharge of a firearm and terrorism offences.

The changes also include a new legal presumption that domestic violence offenders will receive a prison term or supervised community-based sentence.

The sentencing changes are part of a $330 million NSW Government Strategy to reduce reoffending which includes recruiting close to 200 new Community Correction staff.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said the stronger sentencing laws cap off transformative changes to the administration of criminal justice from the time an offender is charged until the end of their sentence, and beyond in exceptional cases.

“The early appropriate guilty plea scheme is already encouraging offenders to own up to their crimes earlier, helping victims get on with their lives and police to get back to fighting crime. Reforms to parole which make community safety paramount are ensuring more offenders access more effective rehabilitation,” Mr Speakman said.

“The government is also protecting the community through the High Risk Offender Scheme which keeps the most dangerous sex and violent offenders behind bars or under close supervision if they pose an unacceptable risk after completing their sentence.”

Find out more information about the changes to sentencing.

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