Posted on 05. Oct, 2010 in News

The Brumby Labor Government will spend $78 million over four years to recruit 150 new corrections staff in metropolitan and regional Victoria to support tough new sentencing reforms being introduced into Parliament today.

Deputy Premier and Attorney-General Rob Hulls said the extra corrections officers would help monitor offenders on a new range of sentencing options being introduced as part of the Sentencing Amendment Bill 2010.


He said the new legislation would abolish suspended sentences for serious offences while giving the judiciary more sentencing options to tackle the causes of crime, as recommended by the Sentencing Advisory Council.

“Victoria is set to become the first state in Australia to abolish suspended sentences for serious offences,” Mr Hulls said.

“These changes modernise and clarify Victoria’s sentencing laws, so that jail means jail, plain and simple. This is the first step towards abolishing all suspended sentences in Victoria.

“Currently, someone who commits a serious criminal offence can still receive a suspended sentence, and walk back into the community without any conditions attached to their movements, or any support.

“By putting in place reforms that arm judges and magistrates with new sentencing options, the Government is empowering the judiciary to create sentences that are tough enough to properly punish offenders, but also effective in tackling the causes of offending.

“The new Intensive Corrections Order will give the courts the power to impose more stringent supervision and monitoring, as well as strict conditions designed to reduce the risk of re-offending.”

The legislation will also abolish the mandatory penalty of at least one month’s jail for a subsequent offence of driving whilst disqualified. Mr Hulls said the changes were expected to come into effect from 1 July 2011.

Minister for Corrections Bob Cameron said the 150 newly funded positions across the State would further strengthen Victoria’s corrections system, and support local job creation in rural and regional Victoria.

“The Government is putting more corrections officers on the ground in metropolitan and regional Victoria, which in turn will help offenders to break the cycle of crime, cut recidivism and reduce crime,” Mr Cameron said.

“Victoria is one of the national leaders in reducing re-offending and is the only state or jurisdiction in Australia to have successfully reduced recidivism in the last seven consecutive years.”

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