Community based sentence bill increases legislative powers across states

A bill to formalise Queensland’s long-standing participation in a national scheme that facilitates the transfer and supervision of people on community based orders across Australia has been passed by Parliament today.

The Community Based Sentences (Interstate Transfer) Bill 2019 addresses risks associated with the current informal process to supervise offenders on community based sentences when they travel or move interstate.

The bill supports the nationwide model and provides consistency in offender management across jurisdictions.

Importantly, for the first time, the legislation formalises the ability of Queensland Corrective Services to refuse the entry of an interstate offender.

Queensland Corrective Services advises the legislation will not result in an increase in the number of offenders on community based orders in Queensland.

“This bill recognises Queensland’s participation in a nationally agreed legislative scheme to manage and facilitate interstate transfer of community based offenders,” Minister for Corrective Services Mark Ryan said.

“The Community Based Sentences (Interstate Transfer) Bill 2019 provides the ability for sentences imposed in Queensland to be managed and administered interstate, including any required breach action.

“Informal arrangements currently in place mean that offenders who have moved interstate are managed by the originating jurisdiction, not the state that they are residing in.

“This bill addresses this risk and affirms the government’s commitment to the safety of the community by providing appropriate legislative authority for the formal transfer and supervision of offenders across the country.”

The bill:

  • Provides the ability for an offender to have their community based sentence formally transferred and registered in an interstate jurisdiction,
  • Ensures that appropriate management and supervision of the community based sentence can occur in the receiving interstate jurisdiction,
  • Ensures that any contravention of an offender’s community based sentence can be dealt with in the receiving interstate jurisdiction, and
  • Limits the requirement for costly enforcement and extradition action following an offender’s contravention of a community based sentence interstate.
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