Community detention is a punitive sentence that restricts an offender’s movements during their curfew. It requires an offender to remain at an approved residence at certain times specified by the court. This is known as the offender’s curfew.
Electronic monitoring equipment is installed at the offender’s address and their compliance with their curfew is electronically monitored for the duration of the sentence.
Offenders can be sentenced to community detention for between 14 days and six months. The offender’s curfew can be up to 84 hours per week. The minimum curfew period is two hours.
How community detention works
Community detention is imposed on offenders with a low level of risk and a pattern of offending at specific times of the day or week.
Only a judge can impose a sentence of community detention. They must take into consideration advice from a probation officer who has assessed the offender, occupants and proposed address.
Conditions offenders must follow
Offenders who receive a sentence of community detention are only subject to standard conditions.
There are no special conditions or rehabilitation aspects associated with this sentence.
Electronic monitoring and GPS
Offenders on community detention are subject to electronic monitoring and/or GPS. The offender must wear an anklet 24 hours a day, seven days a week during their sentence. In some cases, the probation officer may approve the anklet to be temporarily removed, for example for air travel or admission to hospital.
Only offenders who are subject to a rehabilitation sentence – either supervision or intensive supervision at the same time as their community detention, may apply to be absent from their community detention address during their curfew period.
The offender’s probation officer will decide whether to approve the absence request taking into consideration the:
- standard and/or special conditions that apply
- risk to the public
- need to uphold the purpose and intent of the sentence
- type of activity.
For example, a probation officer may approve an offender’s absence from their detention address so they can attend a rehabilitation programme. All absences from the address are monitored and verified by alternative means - such as verification from the offender’s sponsor or checking on appointments.
Holding offenders to account
If an offender doesn’t follow the rules we call this non-compliance and treat it very seriously. It might mean an offender gets:
- an internal sanction, for example a warning
- a formal breach action which may result in another sentence or a fine or imprisonment
- an application to the court to cancel their sentence and replace it with a more restrictive sentence.