Page 4101 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 15 November 2005

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The next is periodic detention. Apart from full-time imprisonment, the bill also provides courts with the power to authorise the performance of a sentence of imprisonment part-time through periodic detention. Periodic detention allows for both the imposition of a custodial sentence and the maintenance of an offender’s positive contribution to the community, such as family life, work or study.

Another option is good behaviour orders. The bill creates good behaviour orders, which will be a vehicle for a range of conditions that can be set by the court. For example, a condition may be that the offender engage in community service work or participate in a rehabilitation program. The court will have the discretion to impose any particular conditions it wishes in a good behaviour order.

I turn to non-association and place restriction orders. The bill includes two new, important orders that are specifically designed to prevent violent behaviour, especially domestic violence: non-association orders and place restriction orders. A non-association order is an order prohibiting an offender from associating with a specified person for a specified time. A place restriction order is an order prohibiting an offender from frequenting or visiting a specified place or district for a specified time. These orders can be made if a court is dealing with an offence that involves harm against a person and the court believes an order will prevent further offences or harassment. These orders will be available to the court if the offender is subject to periodic detention or a good behaviour order.

The bill also creates deferred sentence orders, which are known at common law as Griffiths remand. Frequently, the courts provide opportunities for offenders who have pleaded guilty to demonstrate their motivation to address their offending behaviour by extending bail orders for some period, generally with supervision conditions. Positive progress during this period often results in a lesser penalty than that originally envisaged by the court being ultimately imposed. Following the period of remand, a report is provided to the court and then sentence determined.

The availability of this option will extend beyond those circumstances that the common law acknowledges this type of remand is available for. Deferred sentence orders will enable the court to adjourn proceedings to provide an offender with an opportunity to address their criminal behaviour before sentencing. In this way the court can assess whether the offender demonstrates prospects for rehabilitation or an ability to address their criminal behaviour.

The bill increases the scope of presentence reports so that the court can be better informed about the offender, the circumstances of the offence, and what elements of sentencing will provide the best means to stop offending behaviour. Presentence reports will include any risk assessments of offending behaviour and any programs available that may assist in managing or stopping offending behaviour.

The sentencing bill expands the availability of victim impact statements. The government has lowered the threshold to enable victim impact statements to be tendered for any offence punishable by imprisonment for longer than one year and for the summary offence of common assault. Under the sentencing bill, victim impact statements can be given orally, read out by the victim, or provided someone on the

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