Suspended sentences to be phased out
The Sentencing Advisory Council has released its Phasing out of Suspended Sentences Final Report. The report recommends that suspended sentences be phased out over five years and that a significant number of new sentencing options be created to take their place including home detention, community correction orders and deferred sentencing. The rollout of reforms will begin later this year with the Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin having already announced that legislation will be tabled to expand Court Mandated Diversion ('CMD') to the Supreme Court. CMD is currently restricted to offenders with problematic illicit drug use sentenced in the Magistrates Court. The expansion of CMD to accommodate offenders with a history of alcohol abuse as well as those being sentenced in the Supreme Court was welcomed by a number of community organisations including Community Legal Centres Tasmania. However, with CMD currently reliant on Commonwealth funding and capped at 80 participants, the Sentencing Advisory Council stressed that 'considerable resources will need to be allocated to support the order'. With the current CMD program already stretched to capacity it is hoped that the government will inject the much needed funds to make this program a success.
- Category: DUAO - 2016 - Vol 41(2)