New Sentencing Options for NSWStephen Dayeian
On 24 September 2018, the amendments to the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW) (“Sentencing Act”) and Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999 (NSW) will commence, bringing about a major overhaul of the sentencing regime in NSW with what has been described by Parliament as ‘new, tough and smart community sentencing options that will promote community safety by holding offenders accountable and tackling the causes of offending’.
From this date, the sentencing options available to a sentencing court in NSW under the Sentencing Act will be as follows (in descending order of seriousness):
- Full-time detention,
- Intensive Correctional Order,
- Community Correction Order,
- Conditional Release Order (with conviction),
- Conviction with no further penalty,
- Conditional Release Order (without conviction), and
- Non-conviction dismissal.
Suspended sentences, which previously sat in-between full-time detention and an intensive correctional order, will be abolished as a sentencing option.
Additionally, home detention and community service orders will no longer be available as standalone sentencing options, however, they will be available as additional conditions to certain supervised orders.
Intensive correctional orders will continue as an alternative to full-time detention, however, they will be strengthened to overcome what has been described by Parliament as ‘structural issues that stop[ped] many offenders with complex needs from access these orders’.
For example, if an offender is unsuitable to perform community service work as a result of cognitive impairment, mental illness, substance dependency, homelessness or unstable housing, this will no longer be a key barrier for ICO suitability.
Further, section 9 and section 10 good behaviour bonds, will no longer exist in their current form.
There will be no change to full-time detention, fines, convictions with no further penalty, and non-conviction dismissals as sentencing options.
Click here for a more detailed analysis of these changes.