The community correction order (CCO) is a recently created and important sentencing option for Victorian criminal courts. The CCO allows courts to combine a range of punitive and therapeutic conditions in a sentence that an offender serves in the community. With the recent abolition of suspended sentences of imprisonment in Victoria, the CCO is now, for some offending, the only alternative sentence to imprisonment.
This report examines changes in the use of CCOs, and sentencing practices more generally, by Victorian courts during the period from January 2012 to December 2014. One of the aims of this report is to assess the effects on sentencing practices of major sentencing reforms, including the phase-out of suspended sentences and the changes adopted in September 2014 to the way CCOs may be combined with sentences of imprisonment.
This report does not assess the effects on sentencing practices of the Court of Appeal’s guideline judgment, which was issued at the end of this report’s reference period. The guideline judgment will be the subject of future research by the Sentencing Advisory Council (the ‘Council’).