Community Corrections Order (CCO) The Legislation:
A court may make a community correction order in respect of an offender if—
(a) the offender has been convicted or found guilty of an offence punishable by more than 5 penalty units; and
(b) the court has received a pre-sentence report (if required) and has had regard to any recommendations, information or matters identified in the report; and
(c) the offender consents to the order.
s.38 Period and commencement of a community correction order
(1) The period of a community correction order is the period determined by the court which must not exceed—
1. in the case of an order made by the Magistrates’ Court, 2 years; or
2. in the case of an order made by the County Court or the Supreme Court whichever is greater of—
(i) the maximum term of imprisonment for the offence; or
(ii) 2 years.
A CCO gives the Court wide sweeping power to address the underlying cause of the offender’s behaviour e.g. drug or alcohol abuse, psychological illness, anger management issues. The CCO was introduced in early 2013 and reflects a change in the Parliament’s attitude to sentencing.
Prior to its introduction there were two types of treatment orders available – Intensive Corrections Orders (‘ICOs’) and Community Based Orders (‘CBOs’). CCOs have replaced both these orders and offer a degree of flexibility to address the Court’s concerns in relation to the offender.
There are three main components of a CCO:
- Treatment and rehabilitation;
- Supervision; and
- Unpaid community work.
CCO’s are monitored and enforced through the Office of Corrections. An offender on a CCO is assigned a Corrections Case Manager who will refer to him or her to the relevant medical practitioners/agencies, roster the offender for unpaid community work and supervise the offender during the course of the order.
The treatment aspect is addressed through referrals to medical practitioners, counsellors or education providers (e.g. Drink Driver Awareness Course).
The supervision aspect is addressed through the Case Manager. The offender is required to regularly attend appointments with their Case Manager who will oversee the offender’s progress on the order. The offender is not permitted to leave Victoria during the course of the order without the written consent of the Office of Corrections.
The unpaid community work is the ‘punishment’ aspect of the order.
Unpaid community work condition
(1) A court which is making a community correction order may attach a condition requiring an offender to perform unpaid community work.
(2) The purpose for attaching an unpaid community work condition is to adequately punish the offender in the community.
(3) Subject to section 48CA, the offender must perform the number of hours of unpaid community work specified by the court under an unpaid community work condition.
The maximum duration of a CCO is two years in the Magistrates’ Court and two years or the maximum penalty of the offence (whichever is greater) in the County Court.
The offender may be in breach if they do not adhere to the conditions of their CCO or if they commit any further offending during the course of the order.
The Court can also order a term of imprisonment (up to 3 months) to be followed by a CCO.
Imprisonment and a community correction order
1. When sentencing an offender in respect of one, or more than one, offence, a court may make a community correction order in addition to imposing a sentence of imprisonment only if—
(a) any sentence of imprisonment imposed on that occasion in relation to any offence is not suspended; and
(b) the sum of all the terms of imprisonment to be served (after deduction of any period of custody that under section 18 is reckoned to be a period of imprisonment or detention already served) is 3 months or less.
The Court is also able to order a work only CCO. In addition to treatment, supervision and unpaid community work, the Court may also order conditions such as: