Over the last decade, the Victorian Government has abolished a number of sentencing orders previously used to sentence adult offenders in Victoria. Some were replaced by the community correction order.
Suspended sentences were phased out in Victoria from 2011 to 2014. This began with their abolition as a sentencing option in the higher courts (County and Supreme Courts) for serious and significant offences committed on or after 1 May 2011.
Suspended sentences can still be imposed for historical offences depending on the date of the original offence and the type of offence committed.
Suspended sentences allow a court to suspend all or part of an imprisonment sentence for a specified period (known as the operational period). During this period, the offender is free to live in the community on the condition that they do not commit a further offence punishable by imprisonment.
If the offender breaches this condition, the suspended prison sentence will be activated unless there are exceptional circumstances. In addition, the offender will be sentenced for the new offence.
Intensive Correction Orders, Combined Custody and Treatment Orders, Community-Based Orders, Home Detention
Intensive correction orders, combined custody and treatment orders, community-based orders and home detention were all abolished as sentencing (or post-sentence) options on 16 January 2012 by the Sentencing Amendment (Community Correction Reform) Act 2011 (Vic).
This meant that these orders could no longer be used for any offence, even if it was committed before 16 January 2012:
- intensive correction orders involved a term of imprisonment (up to one year) served in the community under certain conditions
- combined custody and treatment orders involved a term of imprisonment (up to six months) followed by supervised treatment in the community (up to 12 months)
- community-based orders were non-custodial sentences served in the community under certain conditions
- home detention involved a term of detention (up to one year) at the offender’s home.
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