Community Corrections is responsible for administering court-imposed sanctions including the supervision of accused persons or offenders in the community who are subject to bail conditions, community-based sentences and those released from custody on parole.

Community supervision is focused on targeting criminogenic needs which are major risk factors highly associated with criminal behaviour. ACTCS aims to work with offenders to address issues such as substance abuse and unemployment with the shared goal of reducing the offender’s risk of reoffending and promoting greater community safety. Community Corrections also have an ongoing role in the administration of the Drug and Alcohol Sentencing List which was launched in 2019-20 that provides a sentencing option for offenders with alcohol and drug issues with a strong focus on rehabilitation.

Within Community Corrections, Community Correction Officers (CCOs) are responsible for providing professional case management, supervision and monitoring for people on court and parole orders.

CCOs also facilitate access for offenders to relevant management programs and Community Service Work where required, aiming to maximise correctional/rehabilitative opportunities so that the impacts of crime on the community are reduced.

Through the provision of a wide range of interventions including offender behaviour management programs, education and vocational training, ACTCS strives to reduce recidivism and promote successful rehabilitation and reintegration into the community. ACTCS also provides advice and services to the Courts, the Sentence Administration Board and a range of government and community stakeholders.

As shown in Table 23 below, the average number of offenders supervised by Community Corrections decreased from 1 235 in 2019-20 to 1 053.30 in 2020-21, which represents an approximate 14.7% reduction.

Table 23 - Average Number of Offenders Supervised by Community Corrections

 

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

Non-Indigenous Male

673.80

741.10

741.50

819.60

713.50

Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander Male

123.70

127.50

126.00

148.90

135.00

Non-Indigenous Female

137.10

156.30

173.60

193.40

163.50

Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Female

45.00

49.50

50.10

55.80

40.40

Male with Indigenous
Status Unknown

41.30

14.80

27.90

11.20

0.70

Female with Indigenous
Status Unknown

14.70

5.10

9.50

5.70

0.20

Non-Indigenous Gender
Unspecified

0.60

0.00

0.10

0.50

0.00

Total

1 036.10

1 094.30

1 128.70

1 235.00

1 053.30

Intensive Correction Orders

Intensive Correction Orders (ICOs) are available as an alternative to full-time imprisonment for eligible offenders serving short sentences (generally up to two years, or in exceptional circumstances up to four years). With the consent of the offender, ICOs allow suitable offenders to serve their sentence of imprisonment in the community under the supervision of ACTCS.

In June 2021, there were 82 offenders serving an ICO, with 98 active ICOs. During 2020-21, Community Corrections completed 165 ICO Assessment Reports at the request of ACT Courts. Since ICOs were introduced, there has been a steady increase in the use of these orders by the courts – though numbers declined slightly in the last financial year.

Drug and Alcohol Treatment Order

Drug and Alcohol Treatment Orders (DATOs) were introduced as a sentencing option in the ACT on 3 December 2019 under the Crime (Sentencing) Act 2005. The Drug and Alcohol Sentencing List (DASL) and DATOs are made in conjunction with a suspended sentence and can be from 12 months to two years duration. The DASL Team includes a Supreme Court Judicial Officer, and representatives from ACT Courts and Tribunal, CHS, ACTCS, Director of Public Prosecutions, Legal Aid ACT and an Aboriginal Guidance Partner. ACT Policing and Housing ACT provide advice to the DASL Team. The multi-disciplinary team work collaboratively to case manage and monitor participants.

As of 30 June 2021, 23 offenders were serving on a DATO. There were 42 requests (including two update reports) for DATO assessments that were completed by Community Corrections at the request of the ACT Supreme Court.

Community Service Work

The Community Service Work Unit administers orders with a community service work (CSW) condition. Offenders may be required to perform up to 500 hours of work as part of their order. ACTCS supervised community work crews currently operate five days per week, including Saturdays.

Work crew duties typically include activities such as graffiti removal, beautification of parklands, administrative jobs, special projects, cleaning, repairing and gardening jobs for various not-for-profit organisations and charities. In 2020-21, a total of 11 094 CSW hours was performed by 247 offenders.

Completion of educational and/or programs hours designed to address offending risk factors (up to 25% of total hours) may also count towards CSW hours.

Table 25 - Community Service Work

FY

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

Total Offenders

372

369

371

312

247

Total Hours Ordered

32 547

31 850

31 663

19 366

19 420

Total Hours Worked

22 141

27 333

21 644

16 486

11 094

Table 26 - Community Service Work Completion

FY

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

Expected Completions

341.00

404.00

345.00

324.00

241.00

Successful Completions

209.00

252.00

242.00

199.00

106.00

% Successful

61.30

62.40

70.10

61.40

44.00

Orders Breached

132.00

152.00

103.00

125.00

135.00

% Breached

38.70

37.60

29.90

38.60

56.00

Sentence Administration

The Sentence Administration Section manages sentence calculations, administration of court orders, jurisdictional transfers, protection orders and immigration orders to ensure offenders are held in custody in accordance with legal authority. Sentence Administration is the central point of contact for all sentencing matters.

Offenders in the community on parole, as well as offenders in custody pending release to parole, may apply for an interstate transfer of their Order. Applications are made only when an offender is seeking to permanently transfer from one jurisdiction to another. Approval for an interstate transfer may be given by a receiving jurisdiction, prior to the granting of parole, in order that the sending jurisdiction’s parole authority may be fully informed of an offender’s post release plans before making a release decision.

Once registered in the receiving State or Territory, the Parole Order becomes an order of that jurisdiction and is subject to the receiving State or Territory laws. Sentence Administration receives notification of travel approval for offenders on parole travelling through or to the ACT.

In 2020-21, the total number of offenders who transferred their Parole Orders out of the ACT was 16, with 11 transferred to NSW. Fourteen offenders transferred their parole orders to the ACT, with 13 from NSW. The COVID-19 public health emergency has seen the number of transfer requests decline as movement between jurisdictions has been restricted.

In 2003, all State and Territory Corrective Services Ministers agreed to implement a nationally consistent legislative scheme to facilitate the formal transfer of community-based sentences between jurisdictions with corresponding community sentences. In February 2020, legislation was passed in Queensland to allow that State to participate in the national scheme joining Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT. The Northern Territory is the only non-participating jurisdiction. New South Wales informally supervises ACT offenders on request. In 2020-21, one offender transferred their community order to NSW and one offender successfully transferred their community order to NSW.   

There is one formal transfer in progress to NSW and there have been no requests from other States in 2020-21. Since the last financial year there has been an increase in the informal supervision of community-based orders in NSW, which is reflected in the decrease in formal transfers in this reporting period. The COVID-19 public health emergency has seen the number of transfers decline as movement between jurisdictions has been restricted.