The use of a Community Corrections Order as a sentencing option is set out under Part 3A of the Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic).
A Community Corrections Order can be made with or without conviction.
Community Corrections Orders, also referred to as a CCO, replaced the Community Based Orders, Intensive Correction Orders and Combined Custody and Treatment Orders, effective from 16th January 2012. These latter sentencing options are no longer available in any Victorian Court.
On the sentencing ladder, a CCO is considered broadly speaking to be a mid-tier penalty falling below a term imprisonment (immediate or wholly/partially suspended). This type of sentencing order has both punitive and rehabilitative features.
The Magistrate or Judge can achieve a punitive purpose by requiring the offender to comply with intensive supervision, and the imposition of unpaid community work. The maximum unpaid community work that can be ordered on a CCO is 600 hours over 2 years.
Depending upon an offender’s circumstances and the behaviour underpinning the offender, the Court may also seek to impose rehabilitative conditions. These conditions may include for example compliance with a treatment regime (drug and or alcohol counselling, psychological/psychiatric counselling).
If you are placed on a CCO it may have at least one of the following conditions:
- unpaid community work
- treatment and rehabilitation
- bans on entering specified areas or places
- bans on entering many licensed premises and bans on drinking alcohol in other licensed premises
- bans on contacting or associating with specific people or group
- residential restrictions or exclusions relating to the offender’s accommodation.
The maximum period a CCO can be imposed in the Magistrates’ Court is 2 years. In the County or Supreme Courts, the period of the CCO is the maximum term of imprisonment for the offence or two years, whichever is greater.
For a practical illustration of these principles please refer to our case studies. Each case study describes the particular court hearing (plea of guilty, contested hearing, trial), the particular criminal offences that were the subject of the hearing, and the court outcome.
Click on the links below to view actual case studies that resulted in a Community Corrections Order (CCO):