With the abolition of suspended sentences and intensive correction orders, Parliament introduced Community Correction Orders (CCO’s) which are orders that can be served instead of, or in addition to, periods of imprisonment.

CCO’s can include many conditions, including treatment conditions, community work, supervision, random drug and alcohol screening and curfew conditions. They can be imposed for many years and apply to many offences heard in the Magistrates, County and even Supreme Courts.

However, importantly, the Court of Appeal has handed down a guideline judgment in Boulton concerning the operation and application of CCO’s as a sentencing disposition and now opens the door for Courts to sentence offenders to CCO’s even for very serious offences.

With the clarity that Boulton provides, criminal defence lawyers are able to submit that very serious indictable offences that would otherwise have attracted considerable prison terms can be appropriate punished by Community Correction Orders.

However, if you are charged with Commonwealth Offences, the Court of Appeal in Atanackovic v The Queen [2015] VSCA 136 has ruled that Boulton does not apply to Commonwealth offences. Even though you may receive a Community Correction Orders for Commonwealth Offences, you cannot rely on the case as a Guideline Judgment.