Parole and Sentencing: Research Report
The Parole and Sentencing Report considers how Victoria's courts’ use of non-parole periods changed between 2010–11 and 2014–15 and the factors that influenced the length of non-parole periods imposed by the courts during this period. The report shows Victoria's courts are increasingly adding community correction orders to prison sentences rather than setting a non-parole period.
The report reveals a decline in the proportion of imprisonment sentences that included a non-parole period. Between 2010–11 and 2014–15, the proportion decreased:
- from 95% to 70% in the higher courts (the Supreme and County Courts)
- from 22% to 10% in the Magistrates’ Court.
This shift is due to factors such as the phasing out of suspended sentences and reforms to the parole system. But the trend away from non-parole periods has been accelerated by a change to the Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic) from September 2014, increasing the maximum prison sentence that can be combined with a CCO from three months to two years. The change means that when imposing imprisonment terms of between one and two years, courts can now set a non-parole period or impose a CCO.
The full report is available from http://sentencingcouncil.vic.gov.au