What is a Community Corrections Order (CCO)?

A community corrections order (‘CCO’) is an order that allows you to serve your sentence in the community.

In the hierarchy of sentencing options available to a Judge or Magistrate, a Community Corrections Order is a more severe sentence than a fine, and a less severe sentence than a term of imprisonment.

The main components of a Community Corrections Order are treatment and rehabilitation, supervision and unpaid community work. A CCO aims to achieve both punishment and rehabilitation of those convicted of criminal offences, whether by way of a plea of guilty or by a finding of guilt.

At least one condition must be included in the order. The length of the order and the conditions attached to it will vary depending on the seriousness of the offence you have been found guilty of and your personal circumstances.

In order to be sentenced to a CCO, you must be assessed by the Corrections Victoria to determine whether you are a suitable candidate to be sentenced to a CCO. The assessor will provide a pre-sentence report. It is essential that you are prepared with all of the right information at your assessment.

If you are sentenced to a CCO, the Community Corrections Order will be monitored and enforced by Corrections and you will be assigned a Case Manager to supervise you. You will attend regular appointments with them.

The duration and conditions of the order will be a matter for the Magistrate or Judge who sentences you. It will also depend on the seriousness of the offending and your personal circumstances. CCO’s can range in duration from between 2 years and 5 years.

What if I break the conditions of my CCO?

It is an offence to break the conditions of your Community Corrections Order by reoffending or not doing what you have been directed to do by Corrections. If you cannot comply with the conditions of your order then you should let Corrections know as soon as possible. If you contravene the conditions of the order without a reasonable excuse you may be charged and, if proven, fined or jailed for up to 3 months.

Getting advice in relation to the CCO

If you have been charged with a criminal offence you must contact a criminal lawyer who specializes in criminal defence in order to obtain advice as to the best course to take and what options, such as CCO’s, might be available to you.

Our criminal lawyers practice exclusively in this jurisdiction, are very experienced and are familiar with the Prosecutors, Magistrates and Judges who also work in this jurisdiction. This institutional knowledge is invaluable to ensure the best possible result.

You can read more about CCO’s here.