Section 9 Bonds replaced with Community Correction Orders
The law has recently changed with regard to sentencing. The Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 has been amended with respect to sentencing options available to courts for persons found guilty of offences. Home detention orders, community service orders, suspended sentences and good behaviour bonds have been abolished and replaced with new sentencing options.
Before 24 September 2018, a court could impose a ‘Section 9 good behaviour bond’ in sentencing an offender.
Under Section 9 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999, a court was empowered, following the conviction of an offender, to direct the offender to enter into a bond to be of good behaviour for a specified period. If an offender breached a condition of the bond, they could be re-sentenced for the original offence. This meant that the offender could be sent to prison following the breach of the bond.
Instead of imposing a sentence of imprisonment on an offender, a court may make an order directing the offender to enter into a good behavior bond for a specified term.
The term of a good behavior bond must not exceed 5 years
Under Section 95 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 the following conditions had to be contained in a good behavior bond:
The person under the bond will appear before the court if called upon to do so at any time, and
During the term of the bond, the person under the bond will be of good behavior
Section 9 Bonds no longer available as a sentencing option
On 24 September 2018 the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Amendment (Sentencing Options) Act 2017 commenced which changed the law regarding Section 9 bonds made on conviction as well as community service orders (CSO’s). ‘Section 9 bonds’ have now been replaced with community correction orders under Section 8 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act.
Community Corrections Orders
A community correction order is an alternative sentence to full-time imprisonment.
Part 7 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act provides for Sentencing Procedures for Community Corrections Orders. The maximum term of a community correction order is 3 years (Section 85 (2).
Under ss 87- 90 various conditions may be imposed as part of a CCO, including:
CCOs share a similarity to the previous Section 9 good behavior bond in that it is a standard condition that the offender must not commit any offence (s 88(2)(a) under a CCO.
There are 7 additional conditions which a court may impose on an offender under a CCO. These are:
A curfew condition
A community service work condition
A rehabilitation or treatment condition
An abstention condition (from drugs or alcohol)
A non-association condition
A supervision condition
If it is suspected that you have failed to comply with any condition of a CCO, a court may call on you to appear before it: ss107C(1), 108C(1) Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999.
If you fail to appear or if your location is not known, the court may issue a warrant for your arrest.
If a court is satisfied you have failed to comply with any of the conditions of a CCO, it may:
Decide to take no action, or
Vary or revoke any condition of the order (other than standard conditions) or impose further conditions or
Revoke the order
If the CCO is revoked by the court for failing to comply with any of the conditions, the court may re-sentence you. This means that you may be re-sentenced for the original offence which may involve being sent to prison.
Breaching a condition of a CCO will be taken very seriously by a court. Courts consider a CCO to be an opportunity for the offender to be rehabilitated in the community. If you are found to have breached a CCO, the court may consider that further attempts at rehabilitation by way of conditional liberty not likely to be successful and therefore may sentence you to a harsher sentence, such as imprisonment.
For more information on sentencing or community correction orders, call George Sten & Co Criminal Lawyers. We are available 24 hours a day on (02) 9261 8460 or 0412 423 569.