Community Correction Orders Quiz A

Availability of Community Correction Orders

An introductory scenario on the availability of Community Correction Orders

Facts

Alan, aged 21, has been convicted of attempted armed robbery. On 23 May 2011, he, along with James, went to a service station while James was armed with what appeared to be a blood filled syringe and demanded money to fund their drug habit. Alan stood watch for others who might arrive, ready to stop them from helping the service station attendant. Ultimately, he and J left empty handed after the attendant retreated behind a security screen and activated the alarm. CCTV footage captured the numberplate of Alan’s car, and he was arrested two days later. When first arrested, he made full admissions, including identifying James. According to Alan, James instigated the offence and Alan agreed to accompany him to help out a friend and make sure things didn’t get out of hand. The syringe was filled with a fake blood mixture using red food colouring, water and cornstarch.

 

10 months later, on 7 March 2012, Alan was brought before Judge Crick for sentencing. The following evidence is led on the plea:

  • Alan’s drug habit progressed from alcohol and cannabis when aged 15, through to regular ecstasy use when aged 19. Much of this took place in the context of regular visits to CBD nightclubs.
  • Since completing VCE, Alan has worked as a mechanic’s apprentice. The mechanic has provided a positive reference, stating that he was unaware of Alan’s drug use and was prepared to maintain Alan’s apprenticeship.
  • Alan gave evidence which Judge Crick generally accepted, stating that since the offending, he has reduced, but not fully removed himself from the nightclub scene. He has had some success with addressing his drug-taking, but admits that he has relapsed on several occasions.

1:Judge Crick considers that the offending is too serious for a fine or a non-conviction disposition. Which of the following sentencing options are available?
A)

A wholly or partly suspended sentence

Incorrect

Armed robbery is a serious offence and under Sentencing Act 1991 s27(2B), a court cannot impose a suspended sentence for a serious offence.

B)

Intensive correction order

Incorrect

The intensive correction order was repealed by s15 of the Sentencing Amendment (Community Correction Reform) Act 2011, which commenced on 16 January 2012. The abolition of this sanction applied to all offences, even those committed before the commencement of the Act.

C)

Community Correction Order

Correct

The Sentencing Amendment (Community Correction Reform) Act 2011 commenced on 16 January 2012 and the CCO is available as a sanction for all offences where the offender is sentenced on or after 16 January 2012, even if the offence was committed before 16 January 2012.

D)

Home detention order

Incorrect

Section 14A of the Sentencing Act 1991 was repealed by s14 of the Sentencing Legislation Amendment (Abolition of Home Detention) Act 2011, which commenced on 16 January 2012. This repeal applies to all sentences handed down after that date, regardless of when the offence was committed.

2:Which of the following correctly describes the hierarchy of sentences under the Sentencing Act 1991 from lowest to highest?
A)

Dismissal / discharge / adjournment, Fine, Community Correction Order, Imprisonment

Incorrect

This hierarchy omits the Drug Treatment order

B)

Imprisonment, Drug treatment order, Community Correction order, Fine, Dismissal / discharge / adjournment

Incorrect

This list runs from most severe to least severe.

C)

Recognisance release order, Community Correction Order, Fine, Imprisonment, Drug Treatment Order

Incorrect

The recognisance release order is a Commonwealth sentence, and the Drug Treatment order is a less severe sentence than a sentence of imprisonment.

D)

Dismissal / discharge / adjournment, Fine, Community Correction Order, Drug treatment order, Imprisonment

Correct

Sentencing Act 1991 ss6(4) – 6(7) describes the principle of parsimony under Victorian law.

3:Judge Crick is considering imposing a Community Correction Order which includes conditions to help Alan complete his drug rehabilitation. Which of the following matters are not necessary before he imposes this order?
A)

Alan has been convicted or found guilty of an offence punishable by more than 5 penalty units

Incorrect

The court can only impose a community correction order in relation to offences punishable by more than 5 penalty units.

B)

The Court sentence Alan to a term of imprisonment of not more than 12 months.

Correct

Unlike the suspended sentence, intensive correction order or combined custody and treatment order, the community correction order is an order in its own right and does not require the offender to first be sentenced to a term of imprisonment.

C)

The Court has received a pre-sentence report and considered the recommendations, information or matters identified in the report.

Incorrect

The court must receive a pre-sentence report and consider it before imposing a community correction order – s37(b).

D)

Alan consents to the order.

Incorrect

The court can only impose a community correction order if the offender consents to the order – s37(c).

4:Judge Crick receives a pre-sentence report which assesses Alan as suitable for a Community Correction Order that includes a treatment and rehabilitation condition. Which of the following are permissible?
A)

A Community Correction Order requiring Alan to undertake treatment and rehabilitation, without including any further details.

Incorrect

The court must specify one or more of the forms of treatment and rehabilitation listed in s48D.

B)

A Community Correction Order requiring Alan to undertake any treatment and rehabilitation directed by the Secretary to the Department of Justice.

Incorrect

The court must specify one or more of the forms of treatment and rehabilitation listed in s48D.

C)

A Community Correction Order requiring Alan to undertake assessment and treatment for drug abuse and dependency directed by the Secretary to the Department of Justice.

Correct

This is a permissible form of treatment and rehabilitation condition.

D)

A Community Correction Order authorising the admission, detention and treatment of Alan at a treatment centre prescribed under the Severe Substances Dependence Treatment Act 2010.

Incorrect

The Community Correction Order is a non-custodial order and does not allow the compulsory detention of a person. In addition, such an order confuses the distinction between treatment and rehabilitation conditions under the Sentencing Act and detention and treatment orders under the Severe Substances Dependence Treatment Act 2010. Finally, only the Magistrates’ Court can exercise jurisdiction to make a detention and treatment order, and it requires an application in the prescribed form.

5:Judge Crick considers that a treatment and rehabilitation alone does not give sufficient weight to the seriousness of the offence. Which of the following options are not available for making the order more punitive?
A)

Impose a sentence of 3 months imprisonment, with the Community Correction Order to start on Alan’s release from prison.

Incorrect

Imprisonment of up to 2 years may be imposed as part of the sanction for an offence in conjunction with a Community Correction Order.

B)

Require Alan not to associate with James for the duration of the order.

Incorrect

Sentencing Act 1991 s48F allows a court to attach a non-association condition to a Community Correction Order, requiring an offender not to contact or associate with a specified person.

C)

Exclude Alan from attending CBD nightclubs.

Incorrect

Sentencing Act 1991 s48J allows Judge Crick to make an order excluding Alan from any licensed premises, which would include nightclubs. Alternatively, a Judge Crick could make a more targeted exclusion order under section 48H which allows a court to exclude a person from a specified place or area.

D)

Impose a sentence of 2 years imprisonment with a one year non-parole period and a Community Correction Order to commence on Alan's release on parole.

Correct

While a court can impose a sentence of imprisonment in conjunction with a Community Correction Order under Sentencing Act 1991 s44, the CCO must commence on the completion of parole, if the offender is released on parole. This proposal breaches that requirement.

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