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  • 27Oct

    Criminal Sentencing Reforms

    The State Government have proposed new sentencing reforms in NSW that is said to make a stronger and safer community. The NSW government will invest $200 million into the “tough and smart” justice reforms.

    There are four key areas of the reforms:
    1. Encouraging early appropriate guilty pleas
    2. Stronger sentencing
    3. Smarter management of parolees
    4. Better management of high risk sex and violent offenders

    The government’s rationale for the proposed changes is to reduce reoffending which would result in less crime and victims within the community. Many offenders currently on suspended sentences are unsupervised. Offenders being subject to Community Corrections supervision and stringent conditions attached to the new penalties will reduce the issue of reoffending.

    One of the significant aspects of the Sentencing reforms is the ‘stronger sentencing’ where there is a proposed change of penalties available to be imposed by the Courts.  These new sentencing options are as follows:

    Perhaps one of the most notable changes is the replacement of non-conviction bonds, or commonly referred to as a ‘Section 10’, with the Conditional Release Order. Unlike the current non-conviction bond, the Court will be able to impose conditions such as supervision, non-association requirements and place restrictions. The Court will also have discretion to impose a conviction on the Conditional Release Order.

    There will be a recruitment of more than 200 Community Corrections Officers to allow for the increased supervision of offenders.

    In addition to the change in type of penalties available, further amendments have been proposed in relation to case management of matters to encourage appropriate early guilty pleas and prescribed sentence discounts based on the timing of entering the plea.

    The reforms were passed through Parliament on 18 October 2017 and are said to take effect from early to mid 2018.

    If you require more information on the above article contact Sharon Ramsden on sramsden@marsdens.net.au or by phoning (02) 4626 5077.

    The contents of this publication are for reference purposes only. This publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.

Marsdens Offices