'No jail’ plan fails to deter criminals

By Yoni Bashan

The NSW Attorney-General has ordered a review of a sentencing policy hailed for reducing­ rates of reoffending amid concerns that it is failing to deter some criminals, is being overused, and has accelerated recidivism rates.

Mark Speakman and Corrections Minister Anthony Roberts have ordered a departmental review­ into intensive corrections orders, after a number of offenders who avoided prison for their previous crimes went on to commit­ further offences.

The reoffending is largely in the area of drug supply, though some cases involve serious violence, including assaults on police officers.

Known as ICOs, the orders were introduced in 2010 as an alterna­tive to imprisonment, offering­ offenders a chance to serve out their custodial sentences in the community if their crimes attracted two years or less behind bars.

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