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Community safety comes first under changes to strengthen the management of high risk offenders

Focus on reducing reoffending

Publication date: Wednesday, 6 December 2017

News laws commence today to better protect the community from serious sex and violent offenders who pose an unacceptable risk to the community at the end of their sentence.

There is only a small number of high risk sex and violent offenders in NSW, but their crimes have a significant impact on victims, victims' families and our communities.

The High Risk Offenders Scheme enables the government to apply to the Supreme Court to keep serious sex or violent offenders in prison, or under rigorous supervision by Community Corrections, at the end of their sentence of imprisonment.

From today, a greater number of offenders can be considered under the scheme due to changes in eligibility. For example, the court can now consider an offender's criminal history and future risk of sex and violent offences, instead of just one or the other.

We are also strengthening the test for making a continuing detention order to better consider the risk an offender poses to the community, rather than whether they can be adequately supervised.

These changes reflect an increased understanding of the nature and risk of offending behaviour and allow the courts to take greater action in the interest of public safety.

To encourage participation in rehabilitation programs to reduce the risk of reoffending, there is also now a stronger focus on earlier identification and targeting of offenders who may be subject to the scheme. Less crime, means fewer victims.

To support the victims of crime, changes to the Corrective Services NSW Victims Register will also give more victims the opportunity to be heard when a relevant offender is being considered for a continued detention or extended supervision order.

The Corrective Services NSW Victims Register promotes the rights of victims and provides notifications to registered victims about certain changes to a relevant offender's circumstances in custody.

For more information about the Corrective Services NSW Victims Register go to: http://www.correctiveservices.justice.nsw.gov.au/Pages/CorrectiveServices/support-families-community/victims.aspx

For more information about how tough and smart justice reforms will reduce reoffending, improve community safety and support victims go to: http://www.justice.nsw.gov.au/reform