Intermediate sentencing options under review

Media release

26 October 2017

The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council has today been asked by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath to review community based sentencing orders and parole options.

The Terms of Reference have been issued in response to recommendations in the Queensland Parole System Review Final Report delivered late last year (the Sofronoff Report).

As part of the 18-month review, the Council will:

  • review current sentencing and parole legislation to identify any anomalies that create inconsistencies or constrain sentencing options available to a court
  • assess restrictions on the ability of a court to impose imprisonment with a community based order, and advise of any recommended changes to ensure offenders are appropriately monitored and managed on their release
  • advise whether a court should have discretion to set a parole release date or parole eligibility date for sentences of greater than three years where the offender has already served a period of pre-sentence custody and the further term to be served is less than 12 months
  • advise on whether court ordered parole should apply to a sentence imposed for a sexual offence
  • consider forms of community based sentencing orders used in other jurisdictions that provide for supervision in the community, such as Victoria’s community correction orders, and advise on appropriate options for Queensland.

Professor Elena Marchetti, Acting Council Chair, said: “We welcome the Terms of Reference looking at intermediate sentencing options, which builds on the work of the Sofronoff Report.

“The Parole Review identified a number of issues with sentencing. This review will give us the opportunity as an independent Council to take the time to consult and consider these issues in detail before advising government whether any changes are needed to improve the range of sentencing options available to courts.”

In carrying out this review, the Council will consult with the public, the judiciary and key stakeholders such as the legal profession, victim of crime groups, prisoner advocacy and support groups and relevant government agencies inter and intra-state.

‘It’s now 25 years since the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 was enacted and while it has been amended on several occasions, now is an opportune time to consider the current operation of the Act and how its operation might be improved,” added Professor Marchetti. “The Council’s role is to inform, engage and advise on sentencing matters, we are well-placed to take a holistic view on reviewing legislation.”

As part of its review, the Council will release a consultation paper and invite submissions to gather public and stakeholder views on community based sentencing orders and parole options.

The Council is due to report its findings to the Attorney-General on 30 April 2019.