An intensive correction order can be made in circumstances where:
- the court has imposed a sentence of imprisonment of a term that is two years or less; and
- the court considers that the sentence should not be suspended under a bond; and
- there is a need to provide the defendant with a suitable, community based intervention program for rehabilitation purposes instead of ordering them to serve their sentence in prison.
See Sentencing Act 2017 (SA) s 79(1).
Like home detention orders, intensive correction orders are issued where the court determines it is not appropriate to suspend the sentence under a bond [Sentencing Act 2017 (SA) s 81(1)(b)]. An intensive correction order is intended to provide the court with an alternative sentencing option where the court considers there is a genuine risk the defendant will re-offend if not provided with a suitable intervention program for rehabilitation purposes [s 79(1)(b)].
In issuing an intensive correction order, the court must be satisfied that the rehabilitation of the defendant is more likely to be achieved by allowing the defendant to serve the sentence in the community while subject to strict conditions, rather than in prison [Sentencing Act 2017 (SA) s 79(2)].
The paramount consideration of a court when issuing an intensive correction order must be to protect the safety of the community, in line with the primary sentencing purpose [Sentencing Act 2017 (SA) ss 3 and 79(3)]. The court is also required to consider the impact the order may have on the victim of the offence, the spouse or domestic partner of the defendant, and any person residing at a residence where the defendant may be released to [s 81(4)].
Intensive correction orders cannot be made in relation to offences where a reduction, mitigation, or substitution of penalty is expressly prohibited [s 80(1)(b)]. This would include where a serious firearms offender is being sentenced for a serious firearms offence [see ss 25, s 51(1)(c), and s 80(1)(b)].
Section 82 of the Sentencing Act 2017 (SA) sets out the conditions of an intensive correction order, including:
- that the person be of good behaviour [s 82(1)(a)];
- that the person be under the supervision of a community corrections officer [s 82(1)(b)];
- that the person is prohibited from possessing a firearm [s 82(1)(e)];
- that the person undergo physical or mental assessment or treatment (or both) [s 82(1)(g)];
- if the person is unemployed - that they perform a specific number of hours of community service [s 82(1)(j)].
Further, the court can impose such other conditions as it thinks appropriate which can include conditions that:
- the defendant reside at a specified premises [s 82(2)(a)];
- the defendant abstain from drugs or alcohol [s 82(2)(c)];
- the defendant undertake an intervention program [s 82(2)(d)];
- the defendant submit to drugs tests, including testing without notice [s 82(2)(e)];
- the defendant be monitored by the use of an electronic monitoring device for a period not exceeding 28 days [s 82(3)(b)].
An intensive correction order has a maximum duration of two years [81(1)(a)] but the term imposed should reflect the proposed term of imprisonment. An intensive correction order does not contain a non-parole period. Therefore, a defendant subject to an intensive correction order will serve the entirety of their sentence subject to the order [see s 47(5)(a)(ii)].
It is an offence to contravene or fail to comply with a condition of an intensive correction order, punishable by a maximum penalty of a fine of up to $2 500 or imprisonment for 6 months [Sentencing Act 2017 (SA) s 91].
If the defendant breaches a condition of an intensive correction order, the court has the ability to:
- revoke the order and order that the balance of the sentence be served in custody [s 83(1)];
- vary the order including extending the term of the order up to an aggregate period of two years [s 83(2)(b)]; or
- impose further conditions on the order [s 83(2)(c)].
If an intensive correction order is varied or revoked, the court must notify Correctional Services [s 84].
A person who is reasonably suspected of committing a breach of a condition of an intensive correction order may be apprehended, without warrant, by a police officer or community corrections officer and detained pending proceedings relating to the alleged breach [see Sentencing Act 2017 (SA) ss 83 and 90].
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