An Intensive Correction Order, or 'ICO,' offers an alternative sentencing approach to the court, serving as a substitute for periodic detention, also known as weekend incarceration. ICO allows individuals convicted of an offence to remain within the community while adhering to strict obligations and restrictions on their actions. Each ICO comes with 'mandatory conditions,' including granting permission for searches of the person or their property at any time, residing at an approved address and seeking permission for any change, and obtaining authorisation for travel beyond the State (or country). Additional aspects may involve electronic monitoring, completing 32 hours of monthly community service, and engaging in supervised programs or training. These mandatory conditions are just a portion of the requirements, as the court can impose extra conditions as long as they align with the mandated ones.
Before an intensive correction order can be considered, specific criteria must be met as outlined by the court.
The Two-Year Rule:
An ICO is applicable when the associated prison sentence is two years or less. However, if a person is sentenced for multiple offences, each carrying a prison term of two years or less, a cumulative ICO of up to three years can be considered.
The paramount consideration in deciding an ICO is ‘community safety.’ The court assesses whether such an order is more effective in addressing the defendant’s risk of reoffending compared to full-time imprisonment.
There are certain offences for which an ICO cannot be applied, including murder, prescribed sexual offences, terrorism-related offences, firearm discharge offences, and offences involving intent, attempt, conspiracy, or incitement to commit these crimes.
Before granting an ICO, the court must commission an assessment report, although it is not strictly bound by its contents. For domestic violence offences, the court ensures the complainant’s safety before imposing an ICO.
Compulsory (Standard) Terms:
1. The defendant must refrain from committing further offences.
2. The defendant must comply with supervision by a community correction officer.
Additionally, the court must impose at least one of the following supplementary terms:
1. Home detention,
2. Electronic monitoring,
4. Community service work (up to 750 hours)
5. Participation in a rehabilitation program or treatment
6. Abstaining from alcohol or drugs, or both,
7. Avoiding specific individuals
8. Restriction from designated places or areas
The court can introduce further conditions that align with the standard or supplementary terms. The duration of additional conditions can also be specified
The Parole Authority can modify or eliminate ICO conditions based on an application from a community correction officer. Certain conditions, like home detention or community service, require an assessment report’s approval.
A community correction officer can temporarily or permanently suspend supervision and supplementary conditions, either with or without conditions, for a specified or unspecified period.
An ICO can last up to a maximum of 2 years.
Breaches of ICO can lead to various actions, including informal warnings, directives, curfews, or referral to the Parole Authority.
The Parole Authority can revoke an ICO, requiring the defendant to serve the remaining sentence in prison.
Revocation of an ICO can be challenged through an appeal to the Parole Authority after one month in prison. The appeal should detail measures to ensure future compliance and may require an additional assessment report.
If approved, the defendant may be released from custody under the ICO.
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