PIAC made a submission on the use of non-conviction orders and good behaviour bonds to the NSW Sentencing Council. This submission is informed by the work of the HPLS Solicitor Advocate and PIAC’s work in the area of prisons.In this submission, PIAC rejects the notion that non-conviction orders and good behaviour bonds are over utilised or used in a disproportionate way. PIAC expressed concern that the NSW Sentencing Council may consider further restricting the use of non-conviction orders and good behaviour bonds. PIAC focuses on the current use, but limited availability of, cautions and diversionary programs for offenders, particularly women, including the Cannabis Cautioning Scheme (CCS) and the Magistrates Early Referral into Treatment (MERIT) program. Further, PIAC highlights how the use of non-conviction orders is seriously undermined by a range of legislative provisions that require non-conviction orders be treated as a conviction for certain purposes.PIAC recommends that priority should be given to the establishment of effective diversionary programs for women. PIAC also recommends the extension of diversionary programs such as CCS and MERIT to ensure such programs can adequately respond to the treatment needs of offenders.Word version available on request to HPLS – [email protected]
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