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Full Time Custody

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Division 3, section 17A(1) of the Crimes Act 1914 (Commonwealth) establishes that a court cannot impose a full-time imprisonment sentence for a federal offence unless it determines that no other suitable sentence is appropriate given the circumstances of the case. This requirement highlights that before imposing a prison sentence, the court must thoroughly consider alternative sentencing options, including bonds, community service orders, home detention orders, and intensive correction orders. Only when these alternatives are deemed unsuitable or inadequate for sentencing can the court proceed with imposing imprisonment. The subsequent sections within Division 3 of the Act further outline the sentencing framework for imprisonment related to federal offences, aligning it with the sentencing practices at the state level. This includes provisions regarding the establishment of 'non-parole periods' or 'minimum terms.' When sentencing an individual to incarceration, the court is obligated to determine both the total duration of the sentence (e.g., 4 years) and a non-parole period or 'minimum term.' The minimum term signifies the minimum period that the person must spend in prison before becoming eligible for parole release (e.g., 3 years). In general, the minimum term should amount to at least three-quarters of the full-term sentence. However, the court may deviate from this rule under 'special circumstances,' which could include factors like the offender's age and prospects for rehabilitation. Nonetheless, the court retains discretion to abstain from establishing a minimum term for any valid and 'sufficient' reason. This could apply in cases of particularly serious or heinous crimes or for individuals with extensive criminal histories and a high likelihood of reoffending. In such instances, the court must provide a comprehensive explanation for its decision to forgo setting a minimum term. Furthermore, if the imprisonment sentence is six months or less, the establishment of a minimum term is not required. Instead, a single 'fixed term' of imprisonment, such as 4 months, should be imposed. It's essential to seek professional legal guidance if you are facing a federal offence or have questions about sentencing options. If you need assistance, you can contact KPT Defence Lawyers at (02) 9267 5555 for tailored advice and representation.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Protective Custody is a legal arrangement designed to provide shelter and security to individuals who are facing potential harm or danger from others. This protective measure is put in place when an individual is at risk of threats, violence, or harm, and it involves offering a safe environment outside of their usual residence.

Protective custody can be extended to various individuals in need of safeguarding, including:

1. Witnesses: Individuals who have witnessed or have knowledge of a serious crime and are at risk of physical harm or intimidation from the accused or their associates due to their role as witnesses.

2. Domestic Violence Victims: Victims of domestic violence, particularly women, who are facing threats, harassment, or violence from their partners, spouses, or others.

3. Child Abuse Victims: Children who are subjected to physical or psychological abuse, neglect, or threats from any source.

The primary objective of protective custody is to provide a secure and safe environment for these vulnerable individuals outside of their usual living arrangements. This can involve temporary relocation to a secure facility, shelter, or safehouse. Protective custody is a crucial component of ensuring the safety and well-being of individuals who are at risk of harm or retaliation.

Legal authorities and law enforcement agencies play a key role in implementing protective custody measures and ensuring the security of those under their care. The specifics of protective custody arrangements may vary based on the individual’s circumstances, the level of threat, and the available resources.

If you or someone you know is in need of protective custody due to safety concerns or threats, it is important to seek assistance from the appropriate legal authorities or organisations that specialise in providing protective services. These measures are crucial for ensuring the safety and protection of individuals who are vulnerable to harm.

Institutional incarceration facilities include both prisons and jails. Prisons are managed by state or federal authorities and are designed for individuals convicted of serious crimes, serving sentences generally longer than a year. Jails, on the other hand, are overseen by local law enforcement agencies and house individuals with shorter sentences, typically less than a year, and those in pre-trial detention awaiting trial.

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