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Policy Bulletin 2018 / 11 (Criminal Law Policy – Community Correction Order and Condition Release Orders)

24 Sep 2018

On 4 September 2018, the Legal Aid NSW Board approved an amendment to the Criminal Law Policy which incorporates the changes made by the sentencing reforms.

Background

The NSW Government has introduced a raft of sentencing reforms through the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Amendment (Sentencing Options) Act 2017 which commences on 24 September 2018. The reforms are primarily informed by the recommendations made by the NSW Law Reform Commission in its Report 139 – Sentencing, published in July 2013.

The stated purpose of the reforms is to:

  • protect community safety by reducing reoffending
  • reduce the number of offenders receiving short prison sentences (less than 2 years)
  • get a greater number of appropriate offenders on community-based supervised sentences with conditions tailored to address their offending behaviour and criminogenic needs

The main changes are:

  • Existing suite of community-based sentences are being replaced with a new range of sentencing options – new Intensive Correction Orders (ICOs - which can include Home Detention), Community Correction Orders (CCOs) and a Conditional Release Orders (CROs).
  • Suspended sentences are being abolished
  • ICOs are being overhauled
  • Some existing sentences are being converted into new sentence orders.

Legal Aid NSW has amended the Criminal Law Policy making legal aid available for a breach of a CCO or CRO and also for a variation or revocation of a condition of a CCO and CRO.

What has changed?

Legal aid is available for a breach of a CCO or a CRO and for a variation or revocation of a condition of a CCO or CRO. Applications made by the applicant for legal aid will be subject to the Means Test and Merit Test A and applications made by Juvenile Justice or Community Corrections will be subject to the Means Test. See Policy Online at 4.3.8 and 4.3.9 for Local Court criminal law matters and at 4.11 for criminal indictable matters.

Commencement date

The change applies to applications for legal aid determined on or after 24 September 2018.

Contact for further information

Please contact the Client Eligibility Unit for any questions about the change on anna.coffey@legalaid.nsw.gov.au or 9213 5209.