Community corrections orders
Community corrections orders
A community corrections order is a flexible order that allows you to serve your sentence in the community. These court orders have at least one condition attached. These conditions differ according to the kind of offence you have been found guilty of and your particular circumstances.
When community corrections orders can be made
Orders can be made in the Magistrates', County or Supreme courts. These orders are more serious than a fine but not as severe as being sent to jail.
- the offence that they find you guilty of can be punished by five penalty units or more
- they do not think a fine is appropriate, and
- you have agreed.
How long can an order last?
These orders may only be imposed for up to two years if made in the Magistrates’ Court. Orders can be no longer than the maximum jail term that could be ordered for the particular offence.
If a magistrate is thinking about giving you a community corrections order they will need to get a report from Corrections Victoria to see if this kind of order is suitable. This is called a pre-sentence report. The magistrate will usually adjourn the matter until the report can be made. In most cases this can be done on the same day and you will be able to go back into court for sentencing that afternoon.
No pre-sentence report is needed if the only condition in your order is for less than 300 hours of community service work.
The report may include any of the following information about you:
- your age
- your social, medical or psychiatric history and whether you have any special needs
- your educational and employment history
- your financial circumstances ( and if you can afford to pay a bond)
- any history of drug or alcohol use
- details of the circumstances surrounding any other offences that the court knows about
- your financial circumstances
- what services are available to help reduce the risk of you committing other offences
- any course, treatments or programs that might help
- whether you have the capacity to do any unpaid work
- how long any intensive correction period should apply
- any other information the person writing the report believes is relevant.
Terms and conditions
The purpose of the community corrections order is to provide an order that fits the offence and your circumstances. Part of the aim is to help you to sort out some of the problems that led to the offending (such as to help with a drug addiction) and to still give you a penalty.
Every order has terms that must be followed. These terms say that:
- you must not commit any more offences while the order is in place
- you must report to Corrections Victoria within two days of the order being made and must meet with your supervisor regularly after that
- you must let Corrections know if you change address
- you have to stay in Victoria unless you get permission to leave
- you have to comply with any direction that Corrections give you.
All orders must also include at least one condition.
The magistrate will include one or more of these conditions in your order. The orders may include the condition that you:
- work up to 600 hours of community service work (up to 20 hours each week)
- agree to have treatment for drug or alcohol use
- accept supervision or management by Corrections Victoria
- stay away from particular person (like someone you committed the offence with)
- stay away from a particular place (such as Melbourne city centre)
- stay home between particular hours (such as not go out after 11 pm)
- stay away from licensed places
- go back to court so the magistrate can check your progress
- pay a bond
- agree to another order that the magistrate thinks will fit your particular circumstances.
Supervision by Corrections Victoria
When a magistrate makes a community corrections order, the court will give you details of the Corrections Victoria office that you have to report to. You will be allocated a case manager and an appointment date and time. This appointment is organised as part of your pre-sentence report. It is very important that you attend your appointment.
If you break the order
Breaking the order could be anything from not doing what you have been directed to do by your supervising corrections officer, to committing another offence.
It is an offence to break (contravene) a community corrections order unless you have a reasonable excuse. If something happens and you cannot comply with the conditions of the order, you have to let the person who has been supervising you at Corrections Victoria know as soon as possible.
The maximum penalty for contravening a community corrections order is three months jail or a fine of up to 30 penalty units.
If you have committed another offence and that offence is punishable by a jail sentence, then you will be sent to jail unless you have exceptional circumstances.