Sentencing system to be introduced

A NEW sentencing system is to be introduced for some offenders who appear in Grafton Local Court.

Tuesday’s State Budget detailed how forum sentencing would be introduced to Grafton and 24 other courts in the next 12 months.

The Attorney General’s Department says that under forum sentencing the victim and others get the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the offender and tell them about the impact of the crime on their lives. During the forum, the victim can help create a plan for the offender that aims to repair harm to the victim and the community and reduce the offender’s likelihood of re-offending.

The department says it also presents the offender with an opportunity to learn about the impact of their behaviour on their victims and other people.

“To be eligible for forum sentencing, the offender must be facing a prison sentence,” the department says.

Any plan agreed to by the parties is sent back to the court for approval. If approved, the offender completes the plan as a condition of a bond or bail.

If the plan is completed satisfactorily and was part of the sentence and all other parts of the sentence completed, the court is notified and the sentence is finalised.

If they don’t, the matter can be brought back to the court.



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