Full Time Imprisonment

A court must not sentence an offender to imprisonment unless it is satisfied, having considered all possible alternatives, that no penalty other than imprisonment is appropriate.

In sentencing an offender to imprisonment, a court will usually impose a ‘non parole period’, and an additional period in which the offender, once released from prison, will be supervised by probation and parole (the parole period). For the non-parole period to be less than three quarters of the head sentence, the court is required to make a finding of special circumstances. Special circumstances can include:

  • Rehabilitation
  • Drug and alcohol addiction
  • First custodial sentence
  • Ill health, disability or mental illness
  • Accumulation of individual sentences
  • Protective custody
  • Long-term offenders
  • Youth
  • Hardship to family members in exceptional circumstances
  • Self-punishment
  • Parity with co-offender
  • Sentencing for offences committed many years earlier

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