A Bill has been now been introduced into SA Parliament on Better Sentencing Options.
The Government had asked the community to provide feedback on whether some individuals, who would otherwise be sentenced to imprisonment, could be punished and rehabilitated in other ways following a proper risk assessment.
The Statutes Amendment (Home Detention) Bill 2015 was introduced into Parliament on 10 September 2015. The Bill proposes amendments to the Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act 1988 and the Correctional Services Act 1982. To download a copy of the Bill, visit the Attorney-General's Department website.
The Bill proposes amendments to the Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act 1988 such that:
- a court will have the ability to order that a period of imprisonment be served on home detention in place of a custodial sentence.
- a home detention order will be a valid sentencing option where a court has determined that a sentence of imprisonment must be imposed and there does not exist good reason to suspend that sentence, but the offender is considered to be a suitable candidate to serve the period of imprisonment on home detention.
- the paramount consideration of a court in determining whether to make such an order must be the safety of the community.
- a home detention order is intended to be a sentencing option for an offender who has been individually assessed as posing a low risk of causing harm to the community or of reoffending.
The amendments proposed by the Bill to the Correctional Services Act 1982 draw on the experience of the home detention program already implemented and operated by the Department for Correctional Services.
The Bill also amends the Correctional Services Act 1982 to expand the current home detention program and removes the requirement for prisoners to serve 50 percent of a non-parole period (or total sentence where no non-parole period is fixed) before being eligible for release on home detention, as well as removing the limitation that prisoners can only spend a maximum period of 12 months on home detention. All other eligibility criteria for release on home detention under the Correctional Services Act 1982 will remain - with life sentenced prisoners, sex offenders and terrorist offenders remaining ineligible.
You can download the Bill, fact sheets, the discussion paper and media release here.