Success leads to restorative justice expansion

Released 11/02/2016

The ACT’s successful restorative justice program has been expanded to adult offenders under new legislation passed in the Legislative Assembly, Attorney-General Simon Corbell announced today.

The Crimes (Sentencing and Restorative Justice) Amendment Bill 2015, which expands the availability of restorative justice to adult offenders, will provide victims of crime the ability to face offenders directly as part of the restorative justice process.

“Restorative justice has proved to be highly successful over the past decade in satisfying the justice needs of victims of crime and helping young offenders to accept responsibility for their offending and find ways of repairing the harm they have caused,” Mr Corbell said.

“The government recognises the specific challenges involved in restorative justice conferencing in respect of domestic violence and sexual offences, so these will not be included in the expanded scheme until all the necessary preparatory work has been completed.

“Our two-stage approach recognises the sensitive nature of these offences and the need for all participants, particularly victims, to feel protected throughout the restorative justice process.”

Additionally, the Bill also allows for ACT Courts to issue intensive correction orders as part of a new community-based sentencing option from 2 March 2016.

“The intensive correction order is designed to be a direct alternative to full-time imprisonment,” Mr Corbell said.

“It takes a new approach designed to encourage defendants to make the right choices while providing an appropriate level of oversight to ensure community safety.

“Offenders will be subject to a specialised assessment by corrections officers, and will need to satisfy a range of criteria before being considered eligible for the new order.

“The intensive correction order aims to combine supervision and strict conditions while providing an opportunity for an offender to change their behaviour.”

The Sentence Administration Board will be able to hear breaches of conditions with the minimum of delay and offenders will face clear but proportionate consequences, such as a short period in custody for breaches.

“This innovative approach to breaches, modelled the on the successful ‘swift, certain and fair’ approach which has been successfully used in some parts of the United States, will support compliance with the order.”

- Statement ends -

Section: Simon Corbell, MLA | Media Releases

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