In simple words, a community correction order is a sentencing order that is not as severe as an imprisonment order, and not as as lenient as a fine. This topic is important under criminal law.
Following the commencement of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Amendment (Sentencing Options) Act 2017 on 24 September 2018, Community Corrections Orders were introduced as a sentencing option. It may require the defendant to perform unpaid community work.
A community corrections order is a more or less flexible sentencing order. It allows the offender to serve in the community. A Judge or Magistrates Court can impose a community corrections order for some serious offences. This could include criminal or traffic offences that do not warrant a prison sentence.
There are conditions attached with community correctors order or CCO. In this article, we go over some of the key points in relation to this topic. Depending on the offence, the duration and condition of a CCO can differ.
The purpose of these orders are to provide an opportunity to offenders to rehabilitate while remaining in the community, while also being punished for their offence or wrong-doing.
When do Judges Impose Community Corrections Order?
Judges or Magistrates will make CCOs whenever they feel it is appropriate after hearing the submissions of the particular matter. Moreover, they also have to order a CCO assessment report from the Department of Corrections (NSW). During the assessment, the Department will evaluate the suitability of the offender and determine which conditions are appropriate for a CCO.
Judges impose such orders if the offence is punishable by more than 5 units. Moreover, the length of the order will depend on the offence, and the Court in which the case is heard. If issues of attendance exist, they may have to report to community corrections officer.
Below is a table that can help you differentiate between the duration of a CCO depending on whether the court or magistrate made the order.
What Are Other Types of Orders?
For offences, apart from lower level penalties like fines and severe penalties like imprisonment, there can be some community-based orders. Community corrections order is also a type of community-based orders. Apart from a CCO, there are two other types of community related orders. This includes:
- Intensive Correction Orders
- Conditional Release Orders
Intensive Correction Orders
An Intensive Correction Order (ICO) is a kind of custodial sentence that an offender can serve in the community. It is the most serious community-based order or sentence. When making an ICO, courts can add many conditions to it. This includes:
- home detention
- electronic monitoring
- community service work of up to 75 hours
- alcohol or drug bans
- non-associate requirements
- place restrictions
When courts consider making such orders, they give due consideration and importance to the safety of the community. Therefore, courts make ICOs only when they are sure that the offender will not pose a risk to the safety of the community.
Due to this reason, naturally, courts will not make ICOs when dealing with offences related to manslaughter, murder, sexual assault, discharging firearm, terrorism, breaches of public safety orders etc.
Similarly, a domestic violence offender will be sentenced to an ICO only if the court knows for certain that the victim and any other co-residents will remain safe.
Conditional Release Orders
Courts use Conditional Release Orders (CRO) only in the case of first-time offenders. Similar to ICOs, courts can attach certain conditions including non-association requirements, home detention and similar conditions mentioned above. CROs can be imposed for a period of up to two years or up to three years. The maximum penalty depends on the type of offence committed.
The primary purpose of a CRO is to act as a serious warning for the offender. Moreover, courts can use this to prevent less serious offenders from having to enter the criminal justice system. But if the offender commits more wrong-doing while under a CRO, he/she may receive severe penalties as a result.
Conditions of CCO
There are certain standard conditions associated with community corrections order. These include:
- the defendant must not commit further offences; and
- if called to court, the defendant must attend court
Moreover, the court can also make the following orders, that can be understood as other conditions of a CCO. The court may ask the defendant to:
- Abstain from alcohol and drugs,
- Participate in a rehabilitation program or receive treatment,
- Refrain from associating with a particular person,
- Undertake community service work of up to 500 hours,
- Refrain from entering a particular place
- Accept that they have to be supervised by a community correction officer (a juvenile justice officer if the defendant is under 18)
It is important to note that unlike ICOs and CROs, a home detention or electronic monitoring condition cannot be included in a CCO. Moreover, even a curfew of more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period cannot be placed as such a condition under CCO.
Seeking Legal Advice from Criminal Lawyers
At JB Solicitors, our team of criminal lawyers can help with matters related to community orders. If you or someone you know is facing a criminal charge, it is important to seek legal representation to get the best possible outcome for your matter.
Lawyers can provide advice for you to deal with any of your matters. They can also help by providing information about the relevant legislation that is applicable to your matter.
Furthermore, different states have different laws and rules. Our lawyers are aware of the rules that apply in different states, and they can provide advise that will be relevant in that particular state.
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