Good behaviour bonds pursuant to Section 9 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 involve the recording of a conviction and placement of a person on bond in which they undertake to be of good behaviour (not reoffending) for up to 5 years. The imposition of a good behaviour bond, whilst at the lower end of the sentencing hierarchy, can have serious repercussions if the bond is breached and revoked.
Aside from being of good behaviour, additional conditions can be placed on a bond. The discretion as to conditions that may be attached to a bond is broad but not unlimited. The conditions must reasonably relate to the purpose of imposing a bond, that is, the punishment of a particular crime and rehabilitation. Conditions should not in their operation be unduly harsh or unreasonable or needlessly onerous. Common conditions of good behaviour bonds include to report to Probation and Parole, take medication as prescribed, and to continue psychological treatment.
Where a person breaches a good behaviour bond, a court may:
- Decide to take no action with respect to the failure to comply; or
- Vary the conditions of the bond or impose further conditions on the bond; or
- Revoke the bond.
Where a good behaviour bond is revoked, a person will be resentenced for the original offence. The sentence on a breach will usually reflect that, by rejection of trust placed in the offender by the court, he or she has shown a lack of remorse and doubt has been cast on his or her rehabilitation. However, the sentence for the offence must not exceed what would be otherwise appropriate for the original offence.